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Orange Hare Thorax Nymph
By Allen McGee

For fishing deep or fast currents where the fish are feeding on the bottom you have to get your fly to their level. Split shot alone will not always work to hold the fly at the proper depth so many times it's necessary to tie weight into the fly as well. In shallow-water conditions, a weighted wet-fly can also be fished by itself without split shot. This demonstration will show the procedures to tie a weighted Orange Hare Thorax Nymph. This fly has a shorter hackle collar extending only to the hook point and can be classified as what Leisenring referred to as a short-hackled thorax nymph.

Materials for the Orange Hare Thorax Nymph:

    Hook: Hook: Mustad 3906B, size 12.

    Thread: Brown 6/0.

    Underbody: .015 lead wire.

    Tail: Grouse.

    Abdomen: #5 hare's mask mixed with pink Antron.

    Ribbing: Gold wire.

    Thorax: #2 hare's mask mixed with pink Antron.

    Hackle: Grouse.

Tying Instruction for the Orange Hare Thorax Nymph:

    step 1

    1. Cut a two-inch section of lead wire from the spool. Wind the wire tightly without gaps around the hook to cover the front half of the shank. Trim the excess and slide the wire over the thorax position.

    step 2

    2. Start the thread behind the eye. Cover the shank with thread binding the wire to the hook. Create a smooth thread taper on both sides of the weight. Wrap the thread back to the bend. Tie in the grouse fibers to build a tail. Then tie in the gold wire for the ribbing.

    step 3

    3. Wax the thread and dub an abdomen of #5 hare's mask fur mixed with about 15% pink antron dubbing. Then counter-wrap and trim the gold wire.

    step 4

    4. Dub the thorax using #2 hare's mask mixed with 10% pink Antron dubbing and tie in a grouse back feather by the tip. Size the feather so that the hackle collar extends to the hook point.

    step 5

    5. Wrap the feather to form the desired hackle collar. Trim the feather stem.

    step 6

    6. Build a thread head, whip finish and apply head cement. The hackle collar may be fine-tuned by trimming any errant fibers with a sharp pair of fine-tipped scissors or by plucking the fibers out with your fingers. Trim them as close as you can to the fly.

    step 7

    7. For a buggier fly pick out some fibers from the abdomen and thorax with a bodkin.

As indicated there are many methods that can be used in tying the soft-hackled nymphs and flymphs. You can strictly tie them using a traditional approach or you can tie them using modern fly-tying techniques. But I suggest that you learn to tie the flies using all of these methods and then see which ones you like the best, or should I say see which ones the trout like the best. Even after you have found the ones you prefer keep experimenting. Be creative. Try combining the best traditional methods with the best modern ones, even one's of your own design. Soft-hackled wet flies have been around for a long time. Their history has seen many variations on strategies used to fish them and on new techniques for their creation at the vise. I hope you will continue that legacy and carry these patterns in your arsenal of flies because they scream to be fished as soon as you take that last wrap of thread. ~ AM

Credit: The Orange Hare Thorax Nymph is one of the many great variations of soft-hackle flies in his new book, Tying & Fishing Soft-Hackled Nymphs published by Frank Amato Publications.

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

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