Friday, January 21, 2000

Rosborough Hares Ear

Originator: James Ogden

Version: Polly Rosborough

Species: freshwater

Remarks by Catch Cormier:

The original Hares Ear is one of the oldest flies known, attributed to 19th century English tier James Odgen, but likely many decades older. This version of the classic nymph was by Polly Rosborough, author of the book "The Fuzzy Nymphs".  Rosborough was a proponent of flies that are suggestive in nature and which have a soft, buggy profile that displays motion even in still waters.

I saw this fly - minus the beadhead - tied by Rosborough at the 1993 Federation of Fly Fishers National Conclave in Livingston, Montana.  In addition to being the first to add a "gold rib" to the hare's ear fly, Rosborough used a dubbing loop of fibers from the mask of the rabbit to make an especially buggy thorax.  I later added a bead head, which at the time, was still fairly new to flies here in America.  It eliminated the need for adding lead wire to give weight.  The fibers of the tail, along with the spun fibers of the thorax, add subtle motion to this fly that is especially effective in enticing fish. While it's a great trout fly, it's even better for redear sunfish (chiquapin), bluegill, and Rio Grande Perch.  


  •  Hook: 2XL nymph, size 14
  •  Bead: small (5/64)
  •  Thread: size 6/0 or 70 denier
  •  Tail: Hare's Mask, short hairs found on the lower ear
  •  Abdomen: Mixture of hare's mask fur and antron
  •  Ribbing: small copper wire
  •  Thorax: Longer hare's mask fibers found on sides of face
  •  Wing Case: 4 strands of turkey fibers


  1. Start with thread base, then tie in bead head building up a thread ball behind the bead to secure it in place.
  2. Tie in tail fibers
  3. Tie in copper wire
  4. Get several clumps of hares mask and antron and blend it together with your fingers. Touch the fibers to the waxed thread and form a noodle of dubbing. Wrap the dubbing toward the hook bend. Then wrap thread back toward the eye.
  5. Spiral the copper wire thru the abdomen by wrapping opposite the dubbing wraps.
  6. Cut off turkey feather section. Bind in at thorax going towards tail.
  7. Form a dubbing loop at rear end of the thorax about 3-4" long and add long fibers. Tighten the dubbing loop by spinning with a dubbing spinner or with an electrical test clip. When tightened, palmer the loop around the thorax area.
  8. Once the thorax is formed, pull the turkey wing fibers forward and bind down with thread behind bead head. Then whip finish.
  9. Take a small brush and gently abrade the bottom and sides of the thorax to give the fly a buggy appearance.