Beadhead Soft Hackle Hare's Ear

Such a long name for a simple, effective fly. This little beauty just looks like a bug and is eagerly taken by fish everywhere. Arising from the long heritage of the hare’s ear nymph, it has the added traits of the copper bead and dark partridge hackle. The bead helps it get down to the fish and the partridge makes it come to life. It works great as either a dropper fly or on a traditional nymphing rig.

Beadhead Soft Hackle Hare's Ear

(Click image to enlarge)

The toughest thing about this fly is it’s name. What should you call it? Hare’s ear soft hackle bead head, bead head hare’s ear soft hackle, soft hackle hare’s ear bead head, or soft hackle bead head hare’s ear? It doesn’t matter. The fly will catch fish whatever name you choose.

Tying notes:

I fish a size 14 most of the time. If you like more weight, you could tie it with a tungsten bead or add some wraps of lead. I usually add 3 or 4 turns of lead to slip into the bead to anchor it in place. That also provides a solid foundation to mount the partridge collar.

This is a quick fly to tie. While it has several ingredients, they aren’t hard steps. I think this fly fishes better when it isn’t tied too pretty. You want it to be shaggy. If the body looks too smooth, take out your dubbing brush, bodkin, Velcro, or whatever you like and scruff it up!

If you fish a standard hare’s ear nymph, give this soft hackle version a try. It has worked so well for me that I haven’t fished the traditional version in several years.

5 comments to Beadhead Soft Hackle Hare’s Ear

  • […] I rarely resort to nymphs or droppers. But they didn’t want to look up, so I put on a #14 Bead Head Soft Hackle Hare’s Ear and began to catch fish. Click to […]

  • Soft Hackle Nut

    I am a soft hackle nut. I love looking at them, fishing them, tying them, and reading about them. I epecially enjoy coming up with my own patterns. Is there any literature out there dedicated exclusively to the soft hackle patterns? Thanks! I’d like to hear from any other SHN’s

  • Hi, SHN. Glad you liked the pattern. There is a lot of literature about soft hackle flies. The two I think are the best are “The Soft Hackled Fly Addict” by Sylvester Nemes, and “Tying and Fishing Soft-Hackled Nymphs” by Allen McGee. I think you will like either of these.

  • Soft Hackle Nut

    Thanks! I’ll give them a look

  • […] the only body material you can use. I’ve already posted about a pheasant tail soft hackle, hare’s ear soft hackle, crystal flash baetis soft hackle, and even that is just a few of the possibilities. Go crazy. Use […]

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