Online Fly Fishing Magazine

Premier Patterns: Hare’s Ear Booby

Kieron Jenkins brings you a pattern that has been extremely successful for me over many years.

Comet Cat

HOOK: Fulling Mill Competition Heavyweight, size 10
THREAD: Black UTC 70
TAIL: Hare’s ear cheek
RIB: Medium gold holographic
BODY: Hare’s ear dubbing
HACKLE: Furnace hackle
EYES: 4mm Veniard Booby Eyes

Apart from early season when the fish are down on the deck, the Washing Line has to be one of the most used – and best – methods to use when nymphing. The buoyant fly on the point lets anglers fish close to shorelines and around or over weedbeds with ease, with the nymphs up the cast hovering in the taking zone. It’s also a superb method when targeting fish that are feeding on the surface in open water. The point fly acts as an attractor when stripped, and patterns such as a FAB are perfect.

This Hare’s Ear Booby is not a new fly by anyone’s standards, but a pattern that has been extremely successful for me over many years. I’m a firm believer in fishing flies that somewhat resemble what the fish are feeding on, and this is one of those flies that you can use in almost any situation as it looks like many food items that may be on a trout’s menu, such as damsel, buzzer, snail, shrimp and even fry.

Depending on what the fish are eating should dictates the way you should retrieve this fly; damsels for example swim quickly and in short bursts, so a short and jagged strip can be deadly. Buzzers on the other hand don’t tend to move (other than wriggle) close to the surface, so a static retrieve is best. This pattern is particularly effective on the likes of Rutland and Grafham where the Killer Shrimp is present and has been one of my top patterns in recent Anglian Water International finals late in the season. It’s definitely one I’d never be without when the fish are feeding high in the water.

Tying Tips

1) Allow enough space at the head of the hook to tie in your eyes. For those who don’t fish competitions and smaller patterns it shouldn’t matter so much, but if you’re tying on a size 10 hook and the booby eyes protrude over the front of the hook eye, you lose some length on the tail to fit inside the international fly gauge.

2) Secure your booby eyes with a flat thread such as UTC – foam is soft and can easily be cut through, a twisted thread such as Sheer or UNI thread can slice through leaving your eyes misshapen and weak.

3) Ensure you dub enough hare’s ear onto the body to allow it to be picked out. If you don’t pick the fur out yourself, after a handful of fish the body will start to lose some mass and become too skinny resulting in the rib slipping and looking worn.

Kieron Jenkins

Born and raised on the rivers and lakes of south Wales, Kieron Jenkins has become one of the leading competition anglers of our time. With multiple ‘Brown Bowls’ under his belt, along with a creditable fourth position at World level, fly fishing and fly tying has become his life, passion and obsession for Fulling Mill’s Digital Marketing Manager.

Written by