Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph
Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

A few fur nymphs form the core of any successful sunk-fly collection. I would be hard to imagine venturing out to any trout water without gold ribbed hare’s ear nymphs lined up in rows in your fly box. Like any of the best searching flies, they work so well because they are roughly the shape and colors of a wide variety of natural food forms. This is one of the greatest searching flies of all. Try tying it in olive also and with a bead head.


HOOK – Standard nymph sizes 10 – 16.
WEIGHT – 10 to 15 turns of lead wire (can use non lead instead) or a beadhead instead.
THREAD – Black 6/0 (140 denier) or 8/0 (70 denier).
TAIL – Hare’s mask guard hair –can use pheasant tail fibers.
RIB – Oval gold tinsel
ABDOMEN – Tan hare’s mask fur (can use light prepackaged rabbit dubbing).
WING CASE /SHELLBACK – Treated (see note below) mottled turkey feather section – omit on sizes 16 and smaller.
THORAX – Dark hare’s mask fur, with guard hair (can use prepackaged dark rabbit dubbing).


  • Can use a bead head instead of the lead.
  • May want to buy a complete mask.
  • May also use dubbing wax for dubbing material.
  • Prep the turkey feather with some soft-tex (spread on) or feather tuff (spray on) the day before you’re going to tie (should be dry) this keeps the feather from splitting.


  1. Debarb hook – if using a beadhead put this on first then mount in the vise – exclude lead if using a beadhead or wrap ten to fifteen turns of lead wire around the shank, center it between the eye and the beginning of the bend of the hook. Standard weighting calls for lead wire the diameter of the shank (can underweight one size) start your thread behind the eye and wrap a small tapered dam in front of the lead then jump your thread over to the rear of the lead by loosely wrapping rearward then form a small tapered dam to lock it in at the rear of the lead also. You can put some zap-a-gap on the thread dams if you feel a need to.
  2. Clip a small amount of hare’s mask fur from the cheek. Remove most of the underfur from the longer guard hairs. The tail should be rough so leave some underfur. Tie it in at the bend of the hook one-half or two – thirds the length of the hook shank. Layer the thread over the tail butts to the back of the lead wire, and clip the excess there. Tie in two or three inches of oval tinsel behind the lead wire then wrap the thread rearward over the tinsel to the base of the tail (this will be your ribbing later).
  3. Clip fur from various parts of the hare’s mask (lighter color), remove most of the guard hair’s, and mix it in a blender , or you can buy it premixed in a package then dub a noodle of dubbing (thinner and add another noodle as needed) onto the thread by taking a little bit of dubbing and twisting it onto the thread fairly tight between your thumb and index finger – some people like to use dubbing wax on the thread before putting the dubbing on as it helps the dubbing to stay on while you wrap it on the hook. Wrap the dubbing noodle from the base of the tail to just past the midpoint of the hook shank (tapered from the tail (thinner) to midpoint (thicker) let the fibers stick out don’t clip them off you want it rough. Now take the ribbing that you tied in on step two and take three to five evenly spaced turns over the fur but with reverse wraps (counterclockwise) to hold the fur in place and tie off at the front of the fur then remove the tag end by putting your thumbnail from one hand at the base of the wire and with the other hand grab a hold of the wire and give a tug while wiggling the wire from side to side.
  4. Clip a section of your treated turkey feather (see note on how to treat) about one hook gap wide. Tie the thicker or butt end of the feather in just in front of the abdomen and wrap back up against it with the shiny side or marking side facing down and later we will bring it forward and the shiny side or marked side will be on top. Wrap it close to the abdomen so you won’t have a gap between the thorax and the abdomen (the fur segments). Now clip off any excess butts of the turkey feather
  5. The thorax should be darker, fatter, and have loose fibers sticking out to represent the legs of the insect, blend a mix of hares mask fur that that includes more darker underfur than the mix for the abdomen, leave in most of the guard hairs or use the prepackaged darker rabbit fur. Dub a loose and fibrous section of this fur onto your thread but not too much on the noodle as you can just dub another noodle till you get the amount you want on the hook. Now wrap your noodle forward and start by making sure your thorax is up close to the abdomen (Abdomen = back of body & Thorax = front of body) going forward and with a tapper toward the eye – fat in the rear of the thorax (middle of the hook) and thinner to the front (behind the eye of the hook) stop about one eyelets space behind the eye to leave space to tie in the wing case and build a thread head.
  6. While gently using your fingers or bodkin to push up the wing case (turkey feather) at the base of the feather, slide it forward and along the sides, go slow so it won’t split and tie it in behind the eye of the hook-clip off the tag end – now form a nice slightly tapered (thin in the front and fatter to the rear) thread head-whip finish-clip your thread off then apply some head cement to the head. If the fibers of the thorax are not loose and spiky at this point, use your bodkin to tease out the fur to the sides and bottom, like legs on a natural insect. You can also tie it in an olive color too.