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Rubber Legged Hare's Ear
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Rubber Legged Hare's Ear
By Al Campbell, Rapid City, SD

You know how to tie a Hare's Ear, but have you ever thought about the way it would look with legs? Since flies like the girdle bug and others with rubber legs are very effective, adding rubber legs to a Hare's Ear is also attractive to fish.

I think this pattern looks like a easy but convincing stonefly nymph imitation. Considering my success with this and similar patterns during stonefly hatches, I would guess the fish agree. This is my "go-to" nymph pattern during stonefly hatches. It's also a super pattern for bluegills and sunfish.

I tied this pattern with dark legs and hair, but it is equally effective in lighter colors with light legs. Dark brown and black are favorite colors for early stoneflies, but I gradually shift to lighter colors and larger hooks as the season progresses and the sub-species of stoneflies get larger. By July I'm usually using colors and sizes to match either golden stones or the smaller yellow sallies that hatch locally.

Don't think that this pattern can only be tied the way you see it here. For damselfly nymphs, tie it with light olive or yellow legs, a tuft of olive marabou for a tail, and a light olive body. Three tails and a set of legs made from micro-sized rubber and you have a passable mayfly. Substitute black biots for a tail, peacock for a body and white rubber legs and you have a unique version of a prince nymph, with or without the bead head. You can add a bead head or lead wrapped weight to any of these variations.

Materials: Rubber Legged Hare's Ear

    Hook:  Standard dry fly, 1X or 2X .

    Thread:  6/0, black.

    Tail:  Black rubber leg material.

    Body:  Dark brown hare's ear or similar coarse dubbing. Rib:   Copper or gold wire.

    Shell Back:   Turkey or pheasant tail fibers (pearl tinsel adds a nice flashback touch).

    Legs:   Black rubber leg material.

Tying Steps:

Step 1. Tie in a split tail of rubber leg material.

Step 2. Add a copper wire.

Step 3. Dub a coarse body of hare's ear dubbing.

Step 4. Rib the body with the wire.

Step 5. Tie in the wing case material.

Step 6. Tie in a pair of rubber legs and dub half the thorax.

Step 7. This is the view from the top.

Step 8. Add another pair of legs and finish dubbing the thorax.

Step 9. Make a nice head, whip finish, trim any stray hairs and cement the head and wing case. Now is a good time to pick a few hairs out in the thorax to make the fly fuzzier.

Step 10. Side view of the finished fly.

Step 11. Top view of the finished fly.

Experiment a little with different colors and lengths of hooks for different insects. You'll find that you can do a good job matching any nymph that has large, thick legs. All you need to do is change the dubbing color, and leg color, and the size and length of the fly.

My favorite statement at this point is one you're probably a little tired of, but one I can't stress enough. "It's your fly, tie it the way you want it to look." ~ AC

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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