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What's Jim Tying - Hare’s Ear Soft Hackle

What's Jim Tying - Hare’s Ear Soft Hackle

The go-to fly.  In most cases the Hare's Ear Soft Hackle is the first fly I tie for the season.  I carry these in a variety of colors and both weighted and unweighted.  I fish this fly starting out on a dead drift and then stop the rod high with the tip up to make the fly rise in the water column.  I get most of my takes at that point, so be ready.  It's likely you will have most of these materials on hand since they are fairly common. I’m using a Hen Saddle variant but Hungarian Partridge, Brahma Hen, or any soft webby feather will work.  If you are trying to match the hatch just simply change the dubbing color on the body.  I am tying this fly on the Renzetti Traveler 2300 w/ 6x6 base and using the Loon Core Fly Tying Tool Kit.


Materials Needed:

Hook: TMC 3769 #12-16

Bead: 1/8 3.3mm Plummeting Tungsten Beads 1/8" 3.3mm - Copper

Thread: UTC 70 or UNI 8/0 Tan

Tail: Ringneck Pheasant Tail

Rib: Ultrawire Brassie Copper

Abdomen: Hareline Dubbin Hare’s Ear 

Thorax: SLF Bug Dub Black

Collar: Metz Hen Saddle Variant

Let's tie a Hare's Ear Soft Hackle...

Step 1

Slide the bead on the hook (crush that barb!) and secure in your vise.


Step 2

Start your tying thread.


Step 3

Tie in your wire stopping at the barb of the hook. 


Step 4

Tie in a clump of pheasant tail for the tail.  A little less than half the hook shank in length.


Step 5

Create a dubbing noodle with the Hare’s Ear (add a little wax to the thread if you’re having trouble). Now take that dubbing noodle to about the ¾ point on the hook shank. 


Step 6

Add the wire rib using open spiral wraps to where the dubbing stops and secure the wire with a few turns of thread.  Helicopter the wire off.


Step 7

Create another dubbing noodle with the Black SLF.  Give it a few turns to create the thorax.


Step 8

Select a feather.  The fibers of the feather should only be as long as the distance from the tie-in point to the hook point.  Create a tie in point on the feather and secure it.  Grab your hackle pliers and give the feather a few turns towards the bead.  Secure the feather and trim the excess.


Step 9

At this point you can create a small thread collar.  I prefer to take a small pinch of the black SLF and fill it in that way.  Give it a whip finish or two and apply head cement if you like.


Thank you for reading my tying blog for the Hare's Ear Soft Hackle. Give it a try and let me know what you think.  Please feel free to reach out with any questions! 


Jim Natiello


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Jim Natiello - February 24, 2022

Thanks for commenting everyone! Look forward to hearing back.
James thanks for the feedback. I’ll make sure to include a pic of the hackle tied in next time. That small triangle at the tip of the feather is what you are going to use to secure the feather to the hook.

James DiDonato - February 24, 2022

Nice job with the step-by-step on this fly. I’m going to pick up the correct beads and follow your instructions. My one criticism is that I believe Step 8 needs another photo. I don’t understand how the feather is added to the hook. I’d like to see what the fly looks like with the feather tied in.

Al Moschetti - February 24, 2022

Thanks for sharing Jim nice soft hackle. Best wishes. Looking for more of your sessions.

Michael Kazik - February 24, 2022

Excellent job !! I’ll tie a few & let you know later how I did. But I’m pretty sure it’s going to be good !!

Michael Kazik - February 24, 2022

Excellent job !! I’ll tie a few & let you know later how I did. But I’m pretty sure it’s going to be good !!

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