At the Vise: Kelly Galloup’s Hare’s Ear

If you want to simplify your fly selection in the spring, a good tandem to fish is a Pheasant Tail and a Hare’s Ear.

The former mimics a swimming nymph (e.g., a BWO) and the latter can represent a clinger nymph (e.g., a March Brown), both of which are very common in the drift in the springtime. Have a Caddis pupa and a Midge emerger on hand, and you will have covered all the bases, IMO.

It could be serendipity, but I’ve had a lot of luck with Kelly Galloup’s version of the Hare’s Ear. It is unweighted, which lets it float freely, and features two dubbing loops filled with fur and guard hairs from an actual hare’s mask for an extra spiky look. The fibers create movement, a key strike trigger, and also entrap air bubbles.

This pattern isn’t one of those quick-to-tie guide flies (instructional video below). But, it’s a one fun to make and the pattern works well. I use a Stonfo dubbing loop tool, which makes for fast work.

Give it a whirl, and let me know how you do with it on the water….


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9 thoughts on “At the Vise: Kelly Galloup’s Hare’s Ear

  1. (LOL) I’ve been on vacation this week and watching a lot of you tube fly tying videos with my free time, and YES your right, Kelly Galloupe can talk.
    I found myself fast forwarding thru a lot of the beginning of his videos until it got to the majority of the meat and potatoes of what it was about. I did and do like a lot of what he ties with me being a beginner/novice, and him keeping it simple without a lot of complex materials and know how. I love his version of this hares ear. I then watched another video of him using it in a two nymph rig and he caught one and missed two on that particular HE
    Good Stuff!!.

  2. An oldie, but goodie! Back when I threw bobbers, I used to pretty much only fish p tails, hare’s ears, midges, and caddis pupa. They’re a bit generic, but seem to work well for most situations as you pointed out. Hare’s ear is a wonderfully versatile material because it seems to work no matter how it’s tied. A little trick I learned from a friend of mine is to use fur from a hare’s mask as dubbing rather than the pre packaged stuff. The fur that’s stripped off a hare’s mask gives the fly a very natural, lifelike appearance although it takes a little effort to dub. The pre packaged dubbing has a fair bit of underfur, which helps with forming a dubbing noodle but takes away from the overall “buginess” of the fly and gives it a sleeker profile. Sometimes that can be good, particular if you’re tying Walt’s worms to act as your point fly in a Euro nymphing rig. Fewer bristles sticking out means less material resistance and faster sink rate. However, in lightly weighted walt’s or while fishing unweighted droppers during a hatch, adding “buginess” to your flies can induce some ferocious strikes at times. That’s what I’ve found anyways, but I’m sure the mileage varies depending on who you talk to.

  3. Thanks for sharing about your success with this fly. I tied up four last night and can’t wait to use them. Maybe today….

    I was a little surprised that Kelly (I’m not on a first name basis but I can’t remember how to spell his last name), who seems to be all about traditional methods and natural materials, uses the silkie or crystal-flash material for the ribbing. I think it looks great on the fly, but was surprised he went that route.

    1. I could be wrong but he seems open to synthetics. All of his streamers seem to use artificial materials for flash.

  4. You are right.

    I tried out his hare’s ear on some stockers yesterday but they were more interested in squirmies and Y2Ks. I guess their culinary preferences aren’t refined enough yet for a Kelly Galloup designed hare’s ear. Kinda like me and $100 sushi.

    Or then again, maybe the trout’s indifference is more a commentary on my fly tying ability.

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