The Beadhead Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear…don’t leave home without one. Of all the small nymphs in my fly box, none matched the success of this old standby during all Rogue River seasons. A standard in most nympher’s fly boxes and even more so in my mine.
But a small Hare’s Ear for steelhead? Sure! Bugs are what unfailingly work here on the Rogue River. Look at the Ugly Bug or Rubber-Leg Stonefly Nymph . I call mine Carpetbaggers (aka…Selbicky’s “Magic” fly) because someone once suggested that the material they are made of looks like a piece of carpet complete with black and white rubber strands. And they bag fish! The general shape, size and legs suggest a large stonefly nymph of which there are many naturals inhabiting the fast, rocky, clean water of the Rogue River. Carpetbaggers work great in the early season when the water is warm and the fish are active. I’ll fish a beadhead Carpetbagger alone, confident that an active, fresh steelhead will move to intercept the big fly just about anywhere in the water column. When the late season water becomes cold, that’s when I add the smaller Beadhead G.R. Hare’s Ear as a dropper. During a fall with a very sparse bite, this can make a big difference. Why not offer the fish a choice all at once…a big fly or a small fly? A colorful carpet-like fly or a drab more natural fly with a tiny bit of flash?
And so much is my confidence in this old standby pattern, that I’ll often forego the Prince Nymphs, the Pheasant Tail Nymphs, the Copper Johns, and the small egg patterns. Taking the advice of an old American Express add…I don’t leave home without it. The Beadhead G.R. Hare’s Ear Nymph that is! Real steelhead candy!