Hare’s Ear Flymph
Hook: Standard wet, sizes 8 to 14
Body: Fur from hare’s mask and ear, roughly dubbed
Collar: Soft, webby hen or partridge hackle
In modern fly fishing, the dominant subsurface insect pattern is the nymph. These highly realistic imitations are fished up and across stream in a dead-drift. But here’s what no one tells you: Nymph fishing is hard. Expert nymphers catch plenty of fish, but many anglers are left frustrated by the difficulty of achieving a drag-free drift, let alone detecting the near-imperceptible strikes. I also find typical nymph patterns a little static, lacking the subtle signs of struggle and life that turn on predators.
That’s why I love the Flymph, a deliciously vulnerable-looking hybrid of nymphs and old-timey wet flies. On the drift, I’ve found this fly just as good as more elaborate nymphs. It’s lethal when swung down and across stream like a traditional wet, and swims beautifully in ponds. The overall lifelike effect comes from the Flymph’s wiggly feather legs, and the fibres of the natural-fur body, which move slightly and capture tiny air bubbles, just like natural bugs. Whether you buy commercially prepared dubbing material or clip your own from a bunny face, be sure the body has a ragged, untidy look. In fact, this fly fishes better once it gets a little chewed up.