Posts Tagged ‘guard hairs


Fly Tying: Hare’s Mask, Dubbing

Hare's Masks of Different Dyed Colors (MadRiverFlyTyingMaterials Pic)

As a beginning fly fisher or tier, you will note the GRHE or some variation of the very popular/productive Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear. The tying process often involves selecting a small plastic bag, off a hook, which contains rabbit fur or a blend of rabbit fur and a synthetic. The primary appeal of the fur is the guard hairs amongst the fur, which when applied or dubbed to the hook creates a spiky appearance. All this fur, in fact, comes from a Hare’s Mask. The fur is longer about the cheeks and quite short up near the ears. The masks are offered in dyed colors with the natural mask still the most popular. I am not sure there is any advantage to buying the mask as opposed to plucking that bag off the hook. But, if you like the more hands on effort at dubbing and blending, it is always interesting to buy a mask and see what you create. Store the mask where moths or mice cannot get at it (sound advice for all your materials).


Hare’s Ear Nymph by Switters B (Bearded Hippie)

I tied this one in a more ‘impressionistic’ way (less exacting) for the stocky clinger/crawler nymphs that are rough on the edges and drink too many beers. Hare’s Mask was used in this instance rather than the pre-packaged hare’s ear dubbing. Consequently, it was a more aggressive pattern with guard hairs abounding. I have only tried these on freestone streams tumbling in and below riffles and rapids and have found them to be enticing morsels. This coming year, I want to remember (I don’t write lists, so we shall see if I do) to use this pattern while Czech Nymphing..up close and personal near an edge of a riffle or rapids. I only use the bead for weight and tie the pattern on a size 10 or 12 straight shank nymph hook. This is a classic Hare’s Ear pattern from the tail to the thorax….only from the mask.



I have a mental block re certain patterns and the two that I am prejudice against are two of the simplest to tie and both are truly highly effective: Hare’s Ear Nymph and Pheasant Tail Nymph. There is no logical explanation…kind of like being against blonds with big gazaba’s… I mean why? Yet despite myself I fish this pattern and the PTN. It frigging works….they work! Re the tinsel. That is what the standard pattern calls for. I use it..yet I have never liked working with tinsel and would prefer gold wire. The reason is evident by my wraps..uneven and inconsistent. You decide.  The thorax can be much less spikey and comprised of dubbing and less guard hairs. I like it spikey…a road trip without shaving.     

Hippy Hare's Ear by G. Muncy

Hippy Hare's Ear by G. Muncy


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