Published Mar 15. 2009 - 15 years ago
Updated or edited Feb 18. 2019

Hare's Ear Bug

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, it looks like a tumbling scud or cress bug or even a hatching caddis. What the fish think, I don't know, but it's a fact that they find it edible.

Hare's Ear Bug - The simplest fly imaginable--hook, thread and dubbing
Hare's Ear Bug
Martin Joergensen

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.

Hare's Ear Bug
Pattern type: 
Short shank, wide gape. Carp hooks are great.
Tan, 8/0
Hare's ear dubbing
Skill level/difficulty: 
Very easy

Step 1 - straighten hook

Step 2 - hook ready

Step 3 - weight

Step 4 - start thread

Step 5 - dubbing

Step 6 - continue dubbing

Step 7 - form body

Step 8 - finished body

Step 9 - whip finish

Step 10 - cut thread

Step 11 - teasing time

Step 12 - varnish

Hare's Ear water - This type of saltwater is teaming with Hare's Ear Bugs!
Gammarus - This little critter is common in all waters: streams, lakes, ocean. And the Hare's Ear is the way to imitate it.
A handful - The Gammarus varies in size
Small fly, big fish! - Rainbows, even large ones, seem to love these small flies
Hare's Ear Bug country
Kasper Muhlbach - Martin Joergensen

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.

Another example - A member of the Gammerus suborder. Perfect for a Hare's Ear Bug imitation.
Hans Hillewaert


I Love the look for ...

I Love the look for this pattern, I will definitely be trying it on UK Stillwater trout.
I tied one last night with an orange dubbed "egg spot". I look forward to seeing how it performs.

Thanks for a great pattern.


This looks like a gr...

This looks like a great pattern for uk still water fishing and stalking. I tied one up last night with an orange dubbed "eggspot" I will see how it performs. Very excited to try it thanks for putting it on the site!


conratulations for t...

conratulations for this page i like very much dante

Martin Joergensen's picture

John, I'm not try...


I'm not trying to offend anybody, but adding dubbing to a hook can hardly be called an invention can it? Nobody's trying to steal the thunder from Walt here (I never heard of him or his fly before now!), but I'd be surprised if somebody hadn't done this before Walt... like Frank Saywer. Try googling Saywer's Killer Bug and you will find something very similar to Walt's Worm and somewhat similar to this fly.

Flies as simple as this one is nobody's invention. They have been "invented" and tied by thousands of fly tyers all over the world for hundreds of years.


Its a Walt's Worm in...

Its a Walt's Worm invented by Walt Young.

That's no trout -- i...

That's no trout -- it's a football!! Only bigger :)

Maybe now people sta...

Maybe now people start believing in the small flies we use for seatrout!
We've been using sizes 12, 14 for the last years with very simple dressing as well.
They have been picked up by a lot of big seatrout; they like to follow a big flies, but eat the small ones.

Instead of straightening a hook, I like to bend (forge) them on purpose. It will hook fish more easy, but that my believe

That's a killer fly!...

That's a killer fly!! A similar one in dyed olive fur works well for me.

I know that this is ...

I know that this is a good fly for seatrout, but I ad some flash in the dubbing.


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