Harrop's Hairwing Dun

Harrop's Hairwing Dun

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I admit to being a big fan of Rene Harrop. I am always amazed by his mastery of the bugs and hatches of his home water, the Henry’s Fork River. The way he breaks down the stages and life cycle of the different flies and creates or modifies patterns to match each phase of the hatch is truly impressive. I am just not that committed and scientific in my approach to fishing. That’s why I have a day job!

But I have been fishing this fly for about three years now. It has become one of my go-to flies. I trust it to pique the interest of fish, large and small. And hundreds of fish support my belief that this is a great fly.

Hairwing Dun Recipe I tie this fly in a #16 most of the time. I’ve tried 14 and 18, but not been impressed that it made any improvement. Of course this is a style of fly, so it could be tied to match PMD’s and any other bug you want. I have settled on the Super Fine Gray Olive as my dubbing of choice when I am using this as a searching pattern.

The original pattern calls for split tails, but one time I tied up a batch and forgot to split them. The fish, being always the final arbiter of such decisions, told me it didn’t matter, so I’ve tied them with a fan tail ever since.

I’ve used deer, elk, yearling elk, bleached and dyed hair. I don’t think it makes much difference except that it is much easier to follow the lighter colored hair, so I use that. I am always surprised at just how easy it is to track this fly and how durable it is, too. I’ve caught 30-40 fish on a fly without the fly failing.

Give this fly a chance. If it works for me, it will for you. You can find the tying instructions here.