Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ode on a Hare's Pelt

Oh, Hares Fur, how can I use thee?
Let me count the ways...

The Hare fur has long been my favorite material, with only CDC Feathers coming close to its versatility. But unlike the CDC feathers which - wonderful as they are - are just one kind of a material, the Hare fur comes with several different types of hairs, all having their places in a fly tiers arsenal.

The dark and spikey hairs on the back of the hare are extremely scruffy, excellent material for a nymph body. This is the premium material on the hare, greatly desired by Czech fly tiers. Each hunting season I am able to bum at least one hare pelt from my hunting friends in exchange for a Ziploc bag of processed dubbing of this type.

The longer and lighter hairs on a hares's flanks are finer and much more mobile. Very good for larger patterns, such as this #8 Peeping Caddis.

The underfur of the hare is very fine and easy to dub into a tight rope. On the abdomen of this CZ Nymph it is seen in its natural greyish color, but it takes dye very easily and the range of its use on both wet and dry flies is limitless. Note the difference of the structure of the abdomen and the "legs" made from hair from the back of the very same pelt as the abdomen (the hot spot is rabbit fur).

Update: a very interesting article on the use of Hare can be found on blog pages of my UK based friend Alun Rees.


  1. Lovely ode on a hare's pelt! I agree with you that it is one of the most versatile natural materials. I love it too but for tiny flies I use Mole in different colors usually.
    Have fun fishing those beautiful flies,

    1. You are a quick man, the post was on line for like 10 minutes!

      Thanks for your comments, I really do like my hare. It is at its best at larger size flies, but with care it can be scaled down to size #18. Moleskin is a good material also (my favorite for spider kind of wet flies) in my humble opinion does not come nowhere close to the awesome scruffiness of hare fur.



  2. Beautiful photos and great display of the variety of uses for the hares pelt. I'm looking forward to another post over on The Backcountry Journal. Hope all is well in the Czech.


  3. Very good Nymphs

  4. I like hare, but I like grey squirrel even more, much the same attributes but more emphasised.

  5. Thank you! I have heard a lot about the American grey squirrel fur (said to be much unlike our European one); I will have to get hold of a whole skin.
    I got a small bag of dubbing from a friend, but it did not live up to my expectations.