the hare affair

the hare affair

t.z. | Friday, 30 March 2018

Over the years I have developed the habit of tying all sort of flies with only hare as main material. It started with hare’s mask and was completed once I found out about the material found on the hare’s feet.
Li or Lierne is the home of the “Jurassic Hare”. The fibres of the feet are used for the tail and wing of this fly. It can imitate a small mayfly or a caddis emerger … or simply put, fish food. These things are beyond catchy — trout come from nowhere to attack these.

The Hare fly series consists of several patterns, of which we'll look closer at Mayfly Dun (which started it all) the Spinner and the Emerger. It is quite amazing what one can do with so little material.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. 
- Leonardo da Vinci


The materials are all very similar. Fibres from the hare’s mask, the pelt and from in between the hare’s toes. Add a hook and thread and you are ready to go fishing.

However, the devil is in the detail and obtaining real good Arctic Hare, specifically the feet, is difficult. The supply is limited and you almost need  to know a hunter going after these animals. I simply adore this material for it’s almost magical attraction to fish. I am extremely lucky to know some hunters in the cold north of Norway. 

Very down to earth and honest people, which had a good laugh once I asked them to take care of the hare’s feet for fishing purposes. They were honestly thinking I was pulling their leg. My persistence was rewarded though and the feet I am getting from them have gained a small fame amongst the “connoisseurs” and are known as “Jurassic Hare”, obviously due to their size.

It all started with the hare mayfly dun Hare Mayfly Dun

The Hare Mayfly Dun, whatever you want to call it, is actually a more generic pattern than the name suggests. The intended imitation is highly dependant on the presentation. Fished in a dead drift it sure looks like a very freshly emerged dun, still sorting the wings. When damp and sunk in the film a little more it looks more like an emerger. However, it also works when fished wet, even stripped. Than the voluminous wing is folded backwards giving the perfect impression of swimming caddis pupae. 

Hare Mayfly Emerger

This fly in different sizes and colours should be in every fly box. You might want to read Bob Wyatt’s fantastic Book “What Trout want.”, should you feel the desire to get deeper into the matter. 

This fly’s simplicity and effectiveness in striking and almost an insult to those other flies one spend countless hours tying, whereas filling a box with these just takes minutes.

Hare Mayfly Spinner

Hardly anything beats fishing a spinner-fall in the evening. 

These rare occasions in life call for a fly which dries with one or two false casts after a fish. The hare fibres are proving to be invaluable for this pattern.

(c) t.z. - 2018

on a side note - I'll be hosting a weeks fly fishing fun @Skålestrømmen in Norway. Sign up quickly, there's only 6 rods total - here's the link


Written by 
Thomas Züllich, or - “t.z.” as most call him - is a German flyfisher & flytier living in Norway. His flydressing is based on old traditions as well as very modern and innovative methods of creating flies. 

Thomas is the author of "Fly Tying - Modern Classics for Trout and Grayling which is availbale on iTunes -