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Adding bling to naturals: the Pearly Hare’s Ear

Making trout & grayling flies stand out by adding subtle flash and sparkle


Allan's Pearly Hare's Ear combines a silver bead with Microglint thread.
Allan's Pearly Hare's Ear combines a silver bead with Microglint thread.
Step 1 Slot bead onto hook then catch in pearl Microglint thread building up behind bead and doubling over at tail.
Step 1 Slot bead onto hook then catch in pearl Microglint thread building up behind bead and doubling over at tail.
Step 2 Cut tail fibres to length and tase out fibres with a dubbing brush
Step 2 Cut tail fibres to length and tase out fibres with a dubbing brush
Step 3 Take coq-de-Leon fibres to complete tail, tying over the top of pearl thread fibres.
Step 3 Take coq-de-Leon fibres to complete tail, tying over the top of pearl thread fibres.
Step 4 Take thread back up to behind bead and dub on grey squirrel.
Step 4 Take thread back up to behind bead and dub on grey squirrel.
Step 5 Dub down body, then rib back up with thread in open turns.
Step 5 Dub down body, then rib back up with thread in open turns.
Step 6 Form thorax with thread and ensure bead is tight. Note leave enough space to over-dub.
Step 6 Form thorax with thread and ensure bead is tight. Note leave enough space to over-dub.
Step 7 Form small 'dubbing rope' with grey squirrel, apply thin varnish to thorax wind on and whip-finish head as you go.
Step 7 Form small 'dubbing rope' with grey squirrel, apply thin varnish to thorax wind on and whip-finish head as you go.

Flash can enhance a fly's attraction, but it can be over done. In a major feature in the January 2021 issue, I show how I use flashy and sparkly materials in a manner of different ways to enhance a fly's appearance in the water and make it stand out, and catch the fish's eye, without 'over doing' the flashiness.

One of the patterns I show is the Pearly Hare's Ear, and here's the tying sequence for that fly. You'll see that it uses a silver bead and Pearl Microglint thread, yet it still maintains an overall natural look. Here's the dressing details:

Pearly Hare's Ear
Hook: Partridge G3A/L Wet Fly Supreme Size 14.
Bead: 3.2mm Silver counter-sunk tungsten.
Thread: Semperfli Pearl Microglint thread.
Tail: Tying thread fibres under Coq de Leon.
Body: Grey squirrel dub.
Rib: Tying thread.
Thorax: Tying thread under sparse overdub of grey squirrel.

Using the ‘Pearl Microglint’ thread lets the pearl colour show through the dubbed body under the more visible rib. As well as a good, general purpose deeper river nymph, this is also a handy fly without the weight of a bead, as a lighter weighted nymph for lochs and stillwaters.

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