Friday, May 10, 2013

Plover & Hare's Lug Soft-Hackle

Plover & Hare's Lug tied by Steven Bird

There are probably as many versions of the Hare’s Ear Nymph as there are fly tiers. Literature traces its use in the British Isles back over 200 years, & I’d guess some version of it predates surviving literature by hundreds of years; & it remains a staple of anglers even now. Whatever the nuance of variation, there is no doubting the effectiveness of hare’s mask as the basic body material of the pattern. Some things are ideal in themselves; & these things do serve to connect us through the generations. Charred oak will always be better than plastic for aging whiskey in.

Our friend Bert sent me a generous gift of the golden plover hackle needed to tie the Plover & Hare’s Lug, an ancient pattern, still fished as an essential by many anglers across the water. The plover is beautiful, with fat hackle barbs that are very soft, gray with golden yellow mottling that translate to gold leg tips when wound. I’ve been tying a version of this hackled with a roughed grouse wing covert, which is similar to the plover (without the yellow tips), but I can’t wait to fish this traditional version.

Plover & Hare’s Lug

Hook: #10-#18 standard wetfly, or Daiichi 1150 caddis style

Thread: Yellow, orange, brown or olive – hard-core anglophiles & traditionalists will use Pearsall’s Tying Silk    

Rib (optional): Fine wire, & I’ve seen versions tied with tinsel

Body: Dubbing pulled from the ear of a natural hare’s mask – pinch the fur off with your thumb & forefinger – dubbed in a loop, split-thread dubbed, or twist-dubbed on silk

Hackle: One turn of golden plover wing covert – finish with a full, tapered head & apply a drop of Loon Hard Head.
Flyfish the Upper Columbia/NE Washington with Steven Bird:

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