So, what makes the extremely popular Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear the No. 1 “searching nymph.” First, hair taken from the hare’s ears are a combination of long, multi-toned, stiff hair and short, multi-toned, soft hair. Once made into a dubbing material, it is natural looking – rugged, soft and buggy! The color scheme represents many of the natural food items available to fish. Second, the pattern can be used at any time of the year and during most conditions with confidence. Third, the materials are easy to obtain, and the fly pattern is both ties easily and lends itself well to modification.
Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear (GRHE)
The Gold-Ribbed Hare's Ear is an old pattern referred to in many early fly-fishing journals. The origin of the Hare’s Ear Nymph is not fully known. Halford dressed the pattern as a winged dry fly, while more recently the GRHE has been tied as a winged wet fly, and as a nymph having a distinct thorax with wing case. An English fly tyer is believed to have created the first hare’s ear nymph body using hare’s ear dubbing in 1910 as simply a modification on the long-lived Gold-Ribbed Hare's Ear wet fly. It was tied with a fur tail and body and with a fur 'hackle'. In its original form the GRHE was fished wet or dry. The Hare's Ear nymph is a fly pattern that is fished below the surface; an older pattern that imitates a variety of aquatic life, including scuds, sow bugs, mayfly nymphs, and caddis larvae.
Some fly-fishers prefer to use a fly having a flat gold tinsel rib. You can also incorporate some weight under the body/thorax or use a gold bead (GRHE Goldhead). The use of different colored tying threads can impart subtle and useful differences of hue and tone – brown, black and the standard primrose are useful alternatives. You can also use dyed hare's ear for non-standard GRHE nymphs, olive can be very effective, while fur can be selected from specific areas of the hare's ear and mask to create a pattern with a colour to suit your needs.
Commercial variations include: Bead Head, Golden Bead Head or as the Aussie say “Golden-Nugget,” Tungsten Bead Head, Rubber Legged and Flashback in the dyed-black, dyed-brown, natural and dyed-olive colors using various gold wire, flat tinsel or oval tinsel ribbing. The Western versions are tied bulkier and in larger (size 8-14) that the Eastern versions (size 10-16).
Soft hair and stiff bristles from a hare are wound around the shank of the hook and fastened with gold wire that suggests ribs. Sometimes a bead head or a lead substitute wire underbody is added for weight and stability in the water. A few strands of hair or pheasant feather fibers is added for a tail. Traditional coloring is a natural Hare’s ear brown body with orange or brown tying thread.
The Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear (GRHE) is an effective pattern throughout the year because it covers a broad spectrum of prey that are active in every season. When this fly is immersed, the stiff fibers in the dubbing stand out and imitate the legs of an insect. Fish this lure below the surface with or without a small strike indicator and split-shot to help it sink.
The Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear nymph (GRHE) is used to represents a wide range of aquatic insect larvae. The pattern is especially good at representing lighter colored species of mayfly and caddis. It is very useful on still water and moving water for targeting numerous species including amongst others: trout, grayling, panfish, and carp. To imitate darker insect larvae, you might do better with a dyed-black, dyed-brown or dyed-olive variation of the fly pattern.
In still water present the GRHE using a slow hand-twist or use a wind drift. In moving water use standard nymph tactics (drag free drift, rising nymph, wet-fly swing).
Fly of the Month 3.18
Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear Nymph
There are numerous coloration and material substitutes when tying this pattern, while keeping the same concept as originally designed. The following includes both original and updated approaches. The traditional material is in bold type. The changes will expand this pattern ability to mimic dozens of insect in varying conditions.
Hook: Tiemco 100 or equivalent 12,14,16,18
Thread: Uni 8/0 or equivalent in color to match
Tail: Hare's Mask fibers, Hungarian Partridge, Pheasant Tail in color to match
Abdomen: Hare's Ear dubbing with gold ribbing ( oval tinsel, wire, or Flashabou) in color to match
Thorax: Hare's Ear dubbing in color to match
Wingcase: Turkey Tail, Pheasant Tail, Flashback material
Bead: Brass or Tungsten to match hook size
Location: Riverside Park, Mount Airy, North Carolina
Time: 8:30 AM, Saturday March 10th, 2018
Cost: $5 For Lunch
Join us at the Ararat River on March 10th for our next stream side. Newcomers should plan to be at Riverside park between 8:30-9:00A. We will fish the Delayed Harvest and Hatchery Supported water and then have lunch at noon.
Learn more about our Streamside Events here:
Thank you to everyone who supported the Rocky River Trout Unlimited chapter at the 2018 RRTU Annual Banquet. We are already excited for our next event at Riverside Park in Mt. Airy. Join us March 10th, 2018 for our next streamside on the Delayed Harvest section of the Ararat River.
Join our Rocky River Trout Unlimited Chapter at the 2018 F3T hosted by Jesse Browns. We will be meeting at the Visulite Theatre in place of our monthly meeting which are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month. Tickets are available at Jesse Browns and will also be available at the door.
Location: Visulite Theatre
Address: 1615 Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28204
Date/Time: 7PM, March 15, 2018
Bring: Friends, Family and Cash for refreshments.
Tom Adams and Alen Baker know their flies! When asked about their top five nymphs in the southeast, they will quickly share the Pheasant Tail, Hares Ear, Prince, Tellico and Zug Bug.
Below is the Rocky River's top 15 favorite nymphs for chasing Trout worldwide.
Join us 2/22 at 6pm for the 2018 Friends of Rocky River Trout Unlimited Annual Banquet. We ask that you bring a $10 donation to help cover the cost of the food. Bring your friends, family and loved ones to this awesome event. We will have auctions and raffles starting at 6pm. Believe us when we say, "You don't want to miss this event!"
Location: Covenant Presbyterian Church
Address: 1000 E Morehead St, Charlotte, NC 28204
Date/Time: 6PM, February 22nd 2018
Bring: Cash/Credit for Dinner, Auctions and Raffles
My first encounter with the “copper fly” was on a trip to the Pennsylvania spring creeks in the Carlie area. In the absence of a hatch, Mike Bullock handed me a “copper fly” to tie on as a dropper to my small thorax dun. It was a simple fly consisting of a copper wire, wrapped as an abdomen with a peacock herl thorax. Mike’s Copper Fly or what is better known as a Brassie imitates midge larva and pupa, caddis larva and pupa, and many other small nymphs. The Brassie is a fine example of how little it takes to entice some trout – even highly selective trout in a spring creek or tailrace.
The original “copper fly” was tied using wire extracted from an electronic power transformer for the abdomen and a piece of heat shrink-wrap tape for the thorax. The Brassie fly pattern is named based on this original fine copper alloy transformer wire which was a brass color. In the 1960s, Ken Chandler and Tug Davenport invented this early creation for use on the South Platt River near Denver, Colorado. My guess is that they were either electronics professionals or hobbyists with the give-away being the shrink-wrap tape. The shrink-wrap tape certainly made a highly imitative, durable fly pattern and they possibly intended the fly pattern to be an English like “buzzer” without the varnished coating. At some point though, peacock herl became the replacement material for the thorax as an even more attractive material for trout. The peacock herl thorax is irresistible to trout.
Using wire gives the appearance of segmentation. With the ability to create many different diameters or gauges as well as many colors of copper alloy wire using plating technology, the logical derivative fly patterns include many different sizes and colors of wire for bodies. Try out different colors of wire in this fly pattern, such as red, purple, green and black. There is now a wide variety of wires available on the market, and so there are no limits in your choice of colors.
Rick Murphy developed the 2-Wire Brassie or Two-Tone Brassie using contrasting colors of wire.
More variations of the fly pattern are Bead-Headed with a plastic bead, glass bead, brass bead, colored metal bead or tungsten bead. Synthetic ice Chenille and fluorescent Chenille have been used as substitutes for peacock herl. However, the original simple herl design is still hard to beat.
The brassie is a simple fly to tie, but as almost any fisherman will tell you, peacock catches trout.
The most typical Brassie sizes tied are size 14 to size 20. Actual caddis larva and pupa range in length from size 10 to size 16. Larger gauges of wire from 12-gauge to 20-gauge are needed to match these hook sizes. Actual midges range in length from size 18 to size 28. Small gauges of wire from 20-gauge to 32-gauge are needed to match these hook sizes.
A simple and highly effective fly pattern such as the Brassie allows the fly tyer to quickly and easily refill the fly box for the next fly fishing trip. The Brassie is useful for catching trout in any piece of water where trout are present, east or west, stream or lake. The hook and wire alone provide weight for the Brassie fly pattern to sink toward the bottom. The least bit of current provides for a water column presentation much like a real larva rising to the surface as it transforms into a midge or caddis pupa. It may be used on a variety of streams especially during the fringe months in the spring and fall. It can imitate a Chironomid or midge pupae that lives underwater and levitating the mid-water column. It catches fish under an indicator or retrieved behind sinking or floating line. It is deadly fished behind a floating line and a 9-foot to 12-foot fluorocarbon leader in a series of six short one-inch strips followed by a long pause allowing it to fall again then repeated. Imitating the natural rise of an emerging midge. The Brassie is a great addition behind any streamer when searching or trolling slowly. In the larger sizes it is a great caddis larva imitation in the western rivers.
Do not underestimate this fly, the Brassie is one of the best small fly patterns ever created. The Brassie is likely the most under-utilized "Big Trout" patterns there is. It fishes year-round almost everywhere because of its density. The brassie can also be used for hard water fishing in the winter months.
Fly fishing with a single Brassie generally requires an indicator, indicator fly, leading fly, a tandem presentation and 5X tippet. Although trout have keen eyesight, the visibility of a very small fly pattern may be enhanced with by the co-existence of another fly. An indicator or indicator fly will be highly visible and theoretically draws the attention of the trout. With such attention the tiny Brassie is there for a “bait and switch” presentation.
A similar, yet amazing technique is to tie on a leading wet fly, soft hackle or streamer with the Brassie as a trailer. First fly gets attention, Brassie gets the strike. The same is true for a tandem presentation using two Brassies. However, with a tandem presentation in the water column, either fly may receive the strike. Keep in mind that on tailraces and spring creeks a 5X tippet is too big, so plan to 6X, 6.5X or 7X tippets with the Brassie.
Fly of the Month 2.18
Fly of the Month - February 2018