Presented from Issue 112, October 2014
As the Spring bulbs flower, the willows bud up and turn to soft green, I get quite excited about what is to come. Last season was a little tough, but from what I have seen so far this season looks pretty good in the Highlands. Nymphs and dry flies are uppermost in my mind at the moment. For me October means mayflies on the rivers and that means dry fly fishing, which I look forward to.
But hatching mayflies also means nymphs rising through the water column. If I had to pick just one nymph it would be a Hares Ear pattern. Most importantly though is size, colour and shape. Small patterns for the start of the season and as they grown so do my artificials. I believe the nymphs vary widely in colour as well depending on the habitat.
The Hares Ear nymph does have a variation in colour if tied with hares ear and mask fur as the pattern stipulates. This pattern can be weighted with lead wire and it is also popular tied with a gold bead head. The guard hairs should be left protruding from the body as this will give the fly more life and the trout love that.
Hares Ear Nymph Hook: Long shank 16-10 Thread: Brown Tail: A bunch of nice straight hairs from the mask Rib: Gold wire Body: Hares ear and mask fur with guard hairs left in Wing case: Bronze mallard Thorax: Same as body
Method 1. Take brown thread full length of shank, tie in a nice bunch of hairs from the mask for a tail and tie in the wire rib. 2. Cut a couple of chunks of hair from the mask and mix it together, then dub it onto the thread and wind on the body, finish 2/3 to the eye. Wind rib forwards over body in nice even turns, tie down and cut away excess. 3. Tie in bronze mallard for thorax. Tie slip facing back towards bend. Then dub some more hares mask fur for thorax and finish behind the eye. 4. Bring the mallard slip over the top of the thorax, tie down firmly and cut away excess. Form a nice head and varnish. A gold bead head can be added for weight or lead wire under the body.
This is Jan’s last column and I (Ed.) sincerely thank her for sharing her flies. She has contributed this column since edition one. Jan wants to do more fishing and she would like to thank everyone who has supported her, applauded and even the rare criticism. Jan says it has made her a better tier.