Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear
It’s not made from Hare’s ear or ribbed with gold. I have a rabbit skin that provides the blue under fur for the body and guard hairs for the thorax. I also have a very long length of fine copper wire, given to me by a friend, that will out last me. The dressing is sparse and there is copper wire under the thorax to make the fly sink. It’s a cross between a Sawyer’s nymph and a GRHE. My preferred pattern when fish are not taking a dry fly.
I tie this pattern in two different styles, usually on a size 10 or 12 hook. With a slim body and sparse hackle or with a dubbed body, a thick hackle and extra long tail. The stiff hackle helps when I overcast, the fly usually bounces off the overhanging bushes.
I usually tie this pattern on barbless hooks or simply squash the barb with artery forceps after I have tied the fly on the tippet Otherwise I drop the fly !
These patterns imitate a variety of small flies and are good in the evening for wary trout.
This pattern sits down in the surface film and floats for ever. The body is cock pheasant centre tail, ribbed with silk. The wing is hen pheasant and the hackle soft ginger cock, tied long. It skates nicely. The hook is very fine wire, barbless. I return nearly all of my trout.
This is not the classic Iron Blue pattern but it is very effective. The body is tying silk open ribbed with a hackle feather stalk. The tail and hackle are pale iron blue cock tied extra long. The wing is sparse white cock hackle. The hook is a size 12, fine wire, barbless Tiemco 103BL.
These hooks are very light, sharp and strong. The odd fish slips away if it gets any slack line but I have found these hooks enable me to convert more takes.
These Mayflies are tied on size 8 long shanked hook with the barb squeezed. The hooks are quite heavy but the body is made from a strip of closed cell, high density foam. The foam is wound loosely and then ribbed with tying silk. This gives a segmented effect and helps with buoyancy.
Both patterns have a Blue Dun hen hackle tied in behind the main hackle. This gives the correct colour for the smaller of the wings. The patterns have French Partridge or Grizzle main hackles.
Male Mayfly Spinner
I walked into a column of Mayfly fluttering up and down and was surprised how dark they appeared. I was carrying my landing net so I swiped it through the cloud and caught one in the soft, knotless mesh. It’s wings were heavily veined in black and the body was brownish. I had never seen such a dark specimen. I put it in an empty film canister and took it home to consult my latest book, ‘Match the Hatch’ by Pat O’Reilly. The book and images on the internet, informed me that it was a male Mayfly spinner. As the Trout had not been very impressed with my French Partridge Mayfly I thought I had better tie some flies to match the one I had found. This is the end result of a morning by the vice experimenting with various materials. The hook is size 12, the body is closed cell white neoprene foam (a loosely ribbed strip) and the hackle is black cock.