The Olive Beaded Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph Fly is ideal for deep water fishing for trout using a dead drift to imitate a mayfly nymph drifting in the current near the river or lake bottom
BEADED GOLD RIBBED HARE'S EAR FLY PATTERNS. Hook size 10 12 14 16 18 20 - $US each
When fishing the early part of the season from a boat on large stillwater lakes and reservoirs I like to use a large hook size 10 beaded Olive Gold Ribbed Hares Ear nymph. It mimics the natural color of the insects found on the bottom and is heavy enough to get the team of flies down to the correct level.
You have to methodically fish different areas of the lake to find where the fish are holding. During the colder months they seem to group together in closely packed shoals. Once you have found out where they are do not move. Early season trout takes are usually felt by the hand as confident draws on the line rather than sudden movement. Trout in cold water take life slow and do not exert too much energy. I will put a winged nymph on my top dropper and a hackled dropper lower down. If I find that the trout are taking the hackled fly pattern then I will change the winged nymph for another similar hackled fly pattern. The reverse can also happen.
With a few dark colored imitative nymph fly fishing patterns, an 8-12 foot clear leader and a floating line I am normally confident in finding a few early season trout. If you are on the water when an early hatch is about to happen be prepared to change your fly to match the hatch as trout can become locked in to a particular type of food source. Keep your early season tackle box full of grey, olive, dark olive or brown nymphs. It is only later that red and ginger colored patterns become important.
I also like to use the Olive beaded gold ribbed hares ear nymph on summer evenings when I start to detect signs of sub-surface nymphing increasing, with even the occasional bulge of a fish taking on the turn only a few inches down, the rising nymphs heading for the surface to hatch into their adult form. I notice a few grey midge and some caddis are coming off the water. This is when I degrease the leader; 9ft of tapered nylon, 9ft level 4lb nylon and a few feet of 3lb point. I tie on my fly to the point. The weight of the hook and bead head helps pull the line at the correct angle. I tie on a two non-beaded GRHE nymphs on the middle droppers.
After casting I count 20 seconds sinking time for the fly but the leader has not cleared the surface by then so I may give it a bit more time. It is really important not to pull the leader and cause a wake. The nymphs can come back either as a very slow, steady figure of eight or in slow 2 ft pulls with a lengthy pause between. I prefer slow and steady.
On my last trip I managed to unhook and release a ¾lb rainbow without using a net. It took my point fly, the olive beaded GRHE. On my next cast I missed a take and then had to wait 20 minutes before two more rainbows of a similar weight fall to the same fly and slow steady tactics. My forth was a 2lb rainbow that wanted to explore the weed beds in an effort to get away before I managed to net him and release him without any harm.
A breeze started to pick up and cause big ripples on the water surface. Hatching activity now moved towards the dam wall and the weed beds. This environment is too risky to use a team of three nymphs. I would spend all my time trying to deal it snags on the weeds. I change my rig to a surface floating brown Goddard's Caddis and my trusty olive beaded gold ribbed hare's ear nymph set at the right depth just under the surface to avoid most of the weeds.
I cast alongside the dam rather than into the lake. I am soon into my fifth fish of the evening. Even though there are lots of caddis hatching on the surface the trout still hunt the rising nymphs and take my point fly again. This 1 ½lb rainbow takes off with an almighty tug and runs 20 yards of backing out in seconds. I have to hold it hard to keep him from getting entangled in the weeds near the island in the middle of the lake.
WHY USE A GOLD BEAD?
A gold bead head olive gold ribbed hares ear nymph does a great job at imitating a disturbed caddis pupa drifting deep close to the river-bed. So what does the gold bead at the front of the fly do for the design. Most people would come to the conclusion that this most unnatural shiny reflective feature would frighten away the trout not attract them.
The gold bead head has two main functions. First is that its additional weight gets the nymph fly down quickly to the level where the fish are feeding and expect to find drifting caddis pupa. The second is that under water the gold bead head loses some of its harsh glare. The gold plate takes on the underwater hue. It appears almost as an air bubble.
Many caddis pupae and mature nymphs rise to the water surface to hatch surrounded by a bubble or bubbles of air. The Caddis pupae adult form emerges from its pupal case and swims to the surface still enclosed in its pupal shuck. The space between the shuck and the adult is filled with air.
A number of fly dressers, aware of this phenomenon, have used gold or copper wire for ribbing in the hope that the glint of light coloured metal through the dressing suggests the natural presence of the air bubble within the shuck of a mature nymph. The use of tinsel in flashback variations of the Frank Sawyer pheasant tail nymph are another good example of fly tiers trying to imitate the bubble surrounding the hatching adult. It is important to remember that the gold coloured ball at the front of a beaded Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear Nymph is not part of the nymph or pupa as the trout sees it, just a natural air bubble.
I like to stop the forward cast quick, as if aiming to land the fly 3-4ft above the water; I find this ensures a more delicate presentation without undue splash and that the fly hits (or should not hit) the water before the fly line. It should sink rapidly without being affected by the drag of the floating line (especially in rivers). A weighted leader may help too, in deep or very fast water. This is a fly all fishermen should have in their fly box.
I went fishing this last Saturday and caught a good sized rainbow on one of your Olive GRHE. He absolutely slammed the fly and I had a hard time releasing him. It is nice to see a fly that fools the fish that well! When I finally did get him loose he held right at my feet for about five minutes before he swam off. What fun! - Dan in Georgia