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Hare's Ear Bug
This is the simplest and most generic fly you can imagine, and it's a killer and is also known as The Killer Bug
When I ran through
the step-by-step shots for this article I was a bit surprised that we actually managed to get as many as 12 different steps documented--me shooting pictures and my friend Ken Bonde Larsen tying. And I even had more pictures to choose from.
But then I thought
: why not? Some people have never tied a fly, and if this will be their first fly 12 steps is not too many. For the seasoned fly tyer I could just say: some teased out dubbing on a hook, but that wouldn't necessarily mean much to a beginner.
So I kept the large number of steps, but as you can see—even as a beginner—it is actually just some hair on a hook, and nothing more! But in spite of its simplicity, this is one efficient fly, and will serve well as an imitation of a lot of small and nondescript animals such as scuds (gamaruses), water cresses and even caddis larvae.
Small gray/brown and elongated?
Hare's Ear bug is it.
Where I live
we use it both in the salt and the fresh.
Fished actively over sea weed and its likely to be mistaken for a gammarus. Same thing in a lake.
Dead drifted or fished using a lift in a stream. Well it certainly looks like a tumbling scud or cress bug or even a hatching caddis to my eyes. What the fish think, I don't know, but it's a fact that they find it edible.
So get out
your hare's mask, your rabbit skin or any other soft, grayish brown fur you might have. Make sure it's not too coarse, and dub along as we tie one of the simplest flies in the world.
Some people might argue
that the fly would be better with a tail. You could rib it for durability. Add some hackle for legs. Use two colors to imitate a caddis. Add antennae.
Not on my shift!
The ease and simplicity of the fly is its strength, how weak it might ever be. And as I always say: it's way faster to tie two or three than to start fumbling with tinsel or copper for ribbing. And once it's teased out you have all the tails, legs and antennae you need.