Category Archives: FrankenDUB

Teddy Bear’s Ear by Paul J. Beel

Version 2 – tied by Justin Bowman

NOTE: This is a blog post I wrote for J.Stockard’s Fly Fishing blog. I wanted to share it here so even more people could read it. J.Stockard has selected both of these flies as their Fly of the Month for February, 2017.

In this blog post I want to concentrate on one of the most well known, effective nymphs that exist, the Hare’s Ear nymph. I don’t want to bore you with details of its history, but concentrate on a modern perspective and new ways to tie it. One thing to mention is that hare’s ear fur has been used for a long time, even as far back as the 1600’s. If you want to know more about its history, I recommend heading over to Flyanglers Online and read an article by Tom Travis where he delves deep into the history of the Hare’s Ear nymph.

The reason this nymph is called a Hare’s Ear is because originally this nymph was tied using the fur found in between the ears of a hare. These days, you can purchase a hare’s mask and get the fur by clipping the hair between the ears. Not only can you use the underfur in this region, but to make it even more buggy, you want to use the guard hairs as well. These days fly tiers will use all parts of the mask to tie a Hare’s Ear. Not only that, but tiers that push the envelope even further, use modern dubbing mixes to tie this popular nymph.

The advantages to using a modern dubbing is that it is already prepared for you and packaged. Ready for you to just take what you need and start tying. Also, many of the current hare’s ear type dubbing blends add a bit of sparkle to the mix, making it more attractive. On that note, most of the Hare’s Ear nymphs these days are tied as a Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear with a bead head. The gold rib is added by using copper or gold wire to rib the fly.

So you may be wondering why I called this article Teddy Bear’s Ear. This refers to my own modern dubbing blend that imitates hare’s ear fur, called FrankenDUB Teddy Bear Brown nymph dubbing. Years ago when I was beginning to learn how to tie flies, I was tying all kinds of flies so I would know how to tie a variety of styles and improve my fly tying. My goal was to be a good fly tier. I started with many of the classics, including the Hare’s Ear nymph. At that time, I had no idea where to get the dubbing I needed to tie it. After researching a bit, I just purchased a couple of dubbings that actually had the name, Hare’s Ear dubbing. If it had Hare’s Ear in the name, I would try it.

Version 1 – tied by Paul J. Beel

I still see this with other beginners and some tiers that haven’t taken the time to do research. They just buy dubbing that has this name to insure they are tying with the correct style of dubbing. So I wanted to reach out and let everyone know that Teddy Bear Brown Nymph dubbing was blended for this exact purpose. Of course you can use that color in other nymphs, but when I was creating FrankenDUB Nymph dubbing I wanted to make sure I had a blend that would work perfectly for a Hare’s Ear nymph. This blend is a great color for a Hare’s Ear and it’s very buggy. Plus it adds just enough sparkle. I almost called it Hare’s Ear, but I called it by a different name. In hindsight, I probably would not be writing this article, if I had just called it Hare’s Ear color. Oh well…

With the help of a terrific nymph fly tier, Justin Bowman, I have included two versions of modern versions of a Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear nymph. Version number one is the way I tie my Hare’s Ear nymphs and version number two is the way Justin ties his. We both use FrankenDUB Teddy Bear Brown nymph dubbing in our nymphs. The entire material list for each is included and the two photos that you see in this article are the nymphs tied by Justin and I. I have captioned them as Version 1 and Version 2 for clarity.

I hope you have gained some insight from this short article. One important thing to note, is that not all fly recipes are set in stone. You can usually find some kind of substitute for a material and use what you have on hand instead. However, some flies may not perform in the same way if you use a different material. You just have to use good judgment, learn by experience and fish your flies to see if they are performing the way they should.

Version 1 – Paul’s Hare’s Ear nymph

Hook: Partridge Sproat Wet barbless size 12 – or any wet fly hook
Weight: 0.015 Lead Free Wire
Head: 1/8” gold brass bead
Tail: Hare’s Ear fur or Pheasant Tail fibers
Body: FrankenDUB Teddy Bear Brown Nymph dubbing
Rib: Small copper wire
Wing case: Pheasant Tail
Thorax: FrankenDUB Teddy Bear Brown Nymph dubbing
Wing case is coated with Deer Creek Diamond Fine Flex UV Resin.
Thread: Danville Monocord 3/0 – Dark Brown

Version 2 – Justin’s Hare’s Ear nymph

Hook: #16 nymph hook
Head: 5/64 bead
Tail: Hare’s Ear fur
Body: FrankenDUB Teddy Bear Brown Nymph dubbing
Rib: Small amber wire
Wing case: Medium pearl mirage tinsel
Thorax: FrankenDUB Teddy Bear Brown Nymph dubbing 
Legs: Partridge – natural

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Filed under FrankenDUB, nymphs

Death Ray scores in Patagonia!

Kate Smith with large brown trout. – photo by Ray Schmidt

This is Kate Smith with a big ol’ brown caught on my articulated streamer, the Death Ray. The fish was caught in the Rio Mañihuales River, Patagonia, Chile. Kate and Ray Schmidt are friends of mine from Michigan. They are the owners of Double SS Outdoors and are consultants to the Fly Fishing Industry. They are also Temple Fork Outfitters representatives.

Close up of fish with fly. – photo by Ray Schmidt

How this started was that I had just made an order for new FrankenFly hats at the end of the year and Kate and Ray ordered a couple, so I also threw in a couple of my Death Rays for them to use on their trip to Patagonia. Kate sent me these photos yesterday. It was awesome to see her smiling with a big brown trout she had just caught on one. Really AWESOME!!

wet Death Ray with FrankenFly hat – photo by Ray Schmidt

The rods Kate and Ray are using are a 7wt TFO BVK and an 8wt TFO Impact. The Impact is the new rod out from TFO and you can see a banner ad for it on the side here at FrankenFly. Just click the banner to find out more about that rod. I have a BVK and it is a great rod that has a good feel to it.

a wet Death Ray – photo by Ray Schmidt

Another thing I want to make note of is the split tail on the Death Ray streamer. These Split Tails are made by Pat Cohen and part of his Cohen’s Creatures line of products. They are available on his website Super Fly. Back in the beginning of 2016 Pat had asked me to test some of these tails and one of the flies I designed used this Split Tail. I did a review on them in the April 2016 issue of North 40 Fly Shop Emag. I did not plan to use any of the streamers I played with when testing the tails, but after fishing the split tail fly through the summer I fell in love with it. It became known as the Death Ray.

By the way, the head on the Death Ray is made from FrankenDUB Monster dubbing and then I trim it.

Congratulations to Kate Smith on a beautiful fish and I hope she and Ray continue to have a wonderful time in Patagonia!

-Paul

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Filed under Fly Fishing, FrankenDUB, FrankenFly, Streamers

Dubbing Sale right now!

FrankenDub_Col_Final2

J. Stockard Fly Fishing has their dubbing on sale right now, so that means FrankenDub is on sale! If you are short on supply or haven’t tried my new dubbing yet, now is a good time to do that because they have it at a great price right now. Also, they are stocked back up because I just sent them more. Head over to J.Stockard to see the prices.

If you want to know more about FrankenDub, check out the dubbing page for more information. There is always a link at the top of the website to the dubbing page as well.

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Filed under FrankenDUB, FrankenFly