When one thinks of steelhead flies very seldom does the G.R. Hare’s Ear come to mind. That is unless you fish on the Rogue River. A dependable trait of the Rogue River steelhead is that they feed during their time in the river. The majority of the year what is available are the many mayfly, caddis, scuds, and stonefly nymphs that live in the fast water. I like my G.R. Hare’s Ear nymphs in size #8 and #6 to mimic the smaller bugs. I also like the gold beadhead which compliments the oval, gold ribbing and adds additional flash. I imagine I could tie the G.R. Hare’s Ear in larger sizes to approximate the stonefly nymphs, but the Carpetbagger patterns do that well. The deadly combination I like to fish is the Carpetbagger as the point fly with a G.R. Hare’s Ear as a smaller dropper fly.
I learned a good tip on how to get a consistent looking turkey wingcase on a G.R. Hare’s Ear. The tip comes from Al and Gretchen Beatty who tie a lot of commercial flies.
My application of the tip might be a little abbreviated from what I learned, but it gets good-looking results. After dubbing the abdomen and tying off the gold ribbing tinsel, tie down the turkey wing case strip with a couple wraps about midway in the feather strip. Pull both ends of the strip back towards the rear of the fly and dub a small hump around the shaft of the hook right in from of the “now” two strips. Pull the forward strip over the hump and bind the reminder down to just behind the eye of the hook. Now go back and dub the thorax as you usually do. You will not have to cover the whole area of the thorax as you will have already dubbed the hump section. Pull the rear, remaining section of turkey strip over the “hump” and all the dubbed thorax to create the wingcase. You should achieve a full, good-looking wingcase that will not collapse or disappear into the thorax material of your G.R. Hare’s Ear Nymph.