There are several qualitites that a fishing fly pattern has to have before it can be considered a classic. It has to have had stood the test of time, it has to work in a variety of conditions, it has usually spawned many alterations and other patterns altogether. And it has to continue to catch fish. The Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear, passes these tests, any many more with flying colors.
The origins of this pattern are unclear, although it seems to have originated as a wet fly. But it is the nymph, today that has catipulted the pattern into a status virtually all alone. There are now numerous variations of the pattern, inlcuding dry files, emergers and beadheads.
The top selling nymph in the world, has spawned the adage 'when in doubt fish a Hare's Ear.' A good rule for any fly fisher to remember. The Hare's Ear stands out as an exact imitation of nothing, yet an impression of many things. It works as a imitation of the most common mayfly nymphs, such as Pale Morning Dun, Blue Wing Olive, March Brown, Hendricksons, and many more. It works as a shell building caddis imitation, and also a stonefly nymph imitation, especially in black. It is buggy and shaggy, and has the benefit of becoming even more effective the more it is fished. As fish strike this pattern its 'shagginess' and 'bugginess' improve. It's gold ribbing add flash for attraction, and body segmentation improves realism. The classic nymph shape matches both mayfly and stonefly nymph silouhettes, and the color and solid charactersitics make it a nice caddis imitation as well.
Beginning fly tiers will do themselves well to master this fly. For not only is it a great place to learn the art of dubbing, it is also the classic shape that will be replicated again and again. As mentioned above, another great quality of the Hare's Ear is all its varations. Natural, black and olive are commonly available. As is the extremely popular Beadhead variety. The Hare's Ear wet fly is an excellent emerger pattern. And as a dry fly the Hare's Ear rivals the Adams in all purpose utility.
No matter what your destination or intended pray is, we heartily recommend checking you boxes before heading out and make sure you are well stocked with these bugs. It is one pattern you don't want to leave home without.