The Natural Grey Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear is very often referred to by the four initials GRHE. It is one of those flies that every Rainbow or Brown Trout flyfishing angler should have in their flybox.
GOLD RIBBED HARE'S EAR FLY PATTERNS. Hook size 10 12 14 16 18 20 - $US each
The Natural Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph Fly imitates many mayfly nymphs that are the staple food for these fish the scruffy appearance of these flies is a good thing. In fact I pull some of the fibres out on purpose. They give a life like movement to the fly and appear to the fish as moving side gills or legs. I remember my first time fishing the Madison River near Yellowstone National Park, USA. I did not know what fly to tie on to my line. In these circumstances in England I always reach for a Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear nymph. So that is what I did. I choose a hook size 14. The water was flowing fast and I would need to see it bob on the surface so I generously greased the fly. My first few casts yielded nothing but then I choose a new target area. A riffle that bubbled between two rocks. Within a few seconds I saw a snout of a trout suck the fly down and then I was in for a fight. I successfully landed a 3lb Madison River Brown Trout on a tiny speck of English fur on a hook. Most fish in rivers like the Madison can be found near the bank. Some can be found in the main stream where big rocks break up the flow and then form areas of calmer water. This is where the trout wait for something good to eat to float by. The distance from my boat was a longer distance. I needed to now use a fly that was more visible. I still choose a GRHE but this time the parachute version what had the white post on the top. My tally was a 4lb Rainbow and a 1 1/2 lb Brown
Shallow fishing with a Gold Ribbed Hares Ear nymph
You have to adapt your fishing technique to match the conditions you are facing. If you can see feeding fish or trout that are only a few feet below the surface then you need to use a shallow nymphing technique. A Gold Ribbed Hares Ear nymph is an ideal fly to use if you want to imitate an aquatic mayfly nymph that has lost its grip with the river or lake bed and is drifting in the current. You have to control the depth of your fly. I use a small indictor or dry fly that is buoyant enough to support my GRHE nymph dangling below it.
I prefer to use a dry as there is an additional chance that it might tempt a trout up to take it. I tie the dry fly to the end of the leader. Then I will tie a length of tippet to the ben of the dry fly hook using a clinch knot. The length of tippet is adjusted to match the depth at which I want to fish my nymph. I then tie on my fly. To save time on the river it is a good idea to have a number of dropper tippets already with a fly tied on but at different lengths.
If the trout are feeding close to the surface then I pick an unweighted gold ribbed hare's ear nymph with a dropper tippet of 18 inches. I try to cast this dry fly and nymph rig so that the dry fly is off to one side and the current drifts the GRHE nymph in to the trout's feeding lane. Most trout are lazy. They will layup in a place where the current is slower but near faster moving water that will enable them to see the tasty morsels that drift by. If something takes their fancy they just have to move a few inches to grab it.
So as not to spook the waiting trout it is essential to cat upstream from their position and let your flies drift down towards that location. This also has the advantage of allowing time for the nymph on the dropper to sink to the desired depth. As your rig drifts towards you, control the slack by lifting the rod tip up or stripping in excess line. Make sure that you leave a small amount of slack line so that your fly drifts down to your unsuspecting prey, drag free.
You do not want to scare the trout away by presenting them with a fly pattern that acts weird. A small natural mayfly nymph is not strong enough to swim against the current. If your fly line does not have enough slack your fly will remain static in the river current and start to cause a disturbance in the water. To the eyes of a fish, this is not natural. This is not the normal action he expects his food to exhibit.
Lake and Reservoirs Boat fly fishing tips
If you are going to go fly fishing in a boat very early in the season then make sure you wrap up very warmly. This time of the year the weather is changeable from sun to wind, rain and even snow. Here are a few tips. Always listen to the weather forecast the evening before you go and again in the morning before you step into any boat. You need to find out where the fish are feeding so look out for other anglers catching fish. Don't fish in open water. Keep your tactics to bankside drifts as they are normally the most productive but avoid other fly fishermen fishing from the bank. Shoals of fish follow the contours of the bank. Take short drifts along the shoreline to try and intercept the shoals of trout. Make sure you keep a wide berth from other boat users.
Any noise made on your boat will be amplified under the water so try not to make any noise. Use a good comfortable fishing boat seat and use a long handed landing net to prevent your boat capsizing. Spoon a fish to see what it is eating. Always always wear a life jacket and glasses to prevent hooks going in your eyes. For my nymphing set-up I put a natural gold ribbed hares ear on the point with two droppers, normally a heavy epoxy buzzer in the middle and a lighter weight epoxy buzzer on the top. Rod will be a 10ft 7-wt with intermediate or floating line and six foot lengths of 6lb to 8lb flurocarbon leader's
Gray Gold Ribbed Hares Ear Nymphs in size 16, 14 and 12 are in my top ten list of flies. Most of my fishing is on rivers and streams in Maine, USA. Occasionally I'll canoe a few ponds. Most noted are the rivers of Kennebec, Penobscot, Moose, Crooked, Rapid, Messalonskee, Kenebago, Grand Lake Stream, Magaloway, Dead River, Kenduskeag and Sebasticook. As always tight lines, Jeff Haresear
Two weeks ago I went fishing for two days in Germany in a nice stream (untere Argen). There are some nice brown trout, clear water. Natural Beaded GRHE Nymph #10 worked best. The black one (same size) worked too, but grey was best. Hans Metzler