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Hare’s Ear Nymph Step-by-Step:
Admittedly, I’ve been on a bit of a streamer kick lately, and the Step-by-Step section of the blog has been overwhelmed by Pike Bunnies, Deceivers, and Clouser Minnows (among others) as a result. With the weather warming, however, the sunfish bite is quickly heating up, and it’s time I begin to think smaller again.
While dries, poppers and even small streamers will all take their share of sunfish, you’d be hard pressed to find any pattern more effective than a simple, buggy nymph. And of these, there are few more versatile than the Hare’s Ear Nymph.
Favored by trout anglers as a suitable mimic for any number of mayfly nymphs, the Hare’s Ear is in reality a generalist pattern. Buggy in appearance, it can in theory (as well as practice) imitate countless aquatic invertebrates by simply tweaking size, color and profile. As a result, it is at home in the warmwater lakes and bayous of Louisiana as it is on any Colorado trout stream.
Tied below with a tungsten beadhead, this fly gets down to the fish quickly and is ideal for situations with a bit more current.
|1x- 2x Nymph Hook (size 8 – 20)||70 Denier (Black or colored to match)||Brass or Tungsten (Gold; sized to match)|
|Hare’s Mask (Guard Hairs)||Hare’s Ear Dubbing||Hare’s Ear Dubbing|
|Flat Tinsel or Ultra Wire (Gold; Sized to Match)||Turkey Feather (Brown/Mottled Brown)|
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Hare’s Ear Nymph Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:
(Mobile Viewers: Click images to enlarge)
Tips and Tricks
- Match the Hatch – As mentioned in the intro, this pattern can be a great match the hatch pattern for thicker-bodied mayfly species. Consider bringing a mix of sizes and color combos to the stream. Or better yet, do some research on the species that inhabit your target stream and tie up a few to match.
- The Other Hare’s Ears – As is the case with most famed patterns, more than a few variations have popped up over the years. There are two Hare’s Ear variants in particular that I’d recommend everyone check out: the Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear and the Rosborough Hare’s Ear.
Proof of Concept
While a Hare’s Ear Nymph has accounted for more than its fair share of trout over the years, a review of my photo library did not produce any suitable of proof of concept images for this post.
Preferring not to wait for my next opportunity to prove this pattern on willy trout, I decided to rig up my new Echo Dry 2wt and head for a local stream. Hoping to check off a few local sunfish for the FFFI Gulf Coast Council’s Suncatch Challenge, I tied on a #16 Beadhead Hare’s Ear and proceeded to prospect a series of small, tree shaded pools. While the bite was slow, the Hare’s Ear proved its worth as a number of small brightly colored sunfish came to hand.
Species Caught on the Hare’s Ear Nymph to Date:
- Green Sunfish