Posts Tagged ‘Tying with Snow Shoe Hare’

In my first piece on March Brown Emergers HERE, I neglected to mention three other soft hackle patterns that are very effective for this hatch. I use all three:




Hook: 2x Stout or 1X Fine

THREAD: Brown Gossamer Pearsall’s Silk

HACKLE: Grouse

BODY: Silk

THORAX: Hare’ Mask Fur, # 2

I like the Alec Jackson North Country hooks in # 11- # 17 for all three patterns.

Some anglers are of the school of thought that fishing the March Brown hatch can be a “hit or miss” proposition. Fortunately, that has not been my experience. On most Spring days, in the areas that I Fly Fish, on the Eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains, they are most often encountered between 1:00-3:00 PM. Warm days can tighten the hatch period and cloudy, overcast and drizzly days may prolong the emergence till later in the day.


Michael on the Upper Owens River…perfect weather…not an optimum location for March Browns…a meandering meadow flow with a limited rocky bottom…

The following patters are intended as an addition to, rather than a replacement for, the traditional soft hackle flies.All are suggestions from gentlemen who are much more gifted and experienced than myself. All are for use in the zone between the bottom of the water column and the surface…



R. Morrisoni and R. Hageni Emerger, Knopp and Cormier

HOOK: TMC 3761, # 12-#16, Daiichi 1560, #12-#16

THREAD: Danville 6/0, #47, tobacco brown or brown

WEIGHT: 10- 15 turns of lead wire or sub., diameter of hook shank

TAIL: Dark Dun hen hackle fibers

RIB: Working thread

BODY: Purple and black fur dubbing, mixed

UNDER/WING: Dark tan Zelon

WING: Brown deer hair, tied short

This pattern may be tied with less weight and the appropriate amount of weight may be added to the leader to meet existing conditions and the area of the column that the imitation is being taken. The Zelon under/wing is an addition I have added based on Craig Matthews research on emerging patterns for Epeorus Albertae…a clinger mayfly that also emergers sub-surface…present dead drift or swung…




HOOK: TMC 2312 #12-#16

THREAD: Danville 6/0, # 47, Tobacco Brown

TAIL/SHUCK: Brown deer hair and Olive/Brown Zelon

RIB: Lagartun Fine Wire

BODY: Turkey biot, Callibaetis

BACK STRAP: Brown deer hair

UNDER/WING: Tan Zelon or Tan Ice Dub

WING: Mottled Brown Medallion sheeting (Hareline) – Coat of Flexament on inside

BEAD: Copper, sized to hook

THORAX: Stalcup’s Micro Fine dubbing, Tan

LEGS: Mottled Brown Partridge

I have always liked Shane Stalcup’s patterns. It can be a little bit intimidating to tie with medallion sheeting until one gets the hang of how to cut, twist, shape and pull back this material. This pattern would qualify as a wet fly…it is meant to be fished as one…cast quartering upstream and let the fly swim down and across…


Michael in a good location to use the above fly…in a long pool running out of fast riffle water on the lower Owens River…


HOOK: TMC 2312, #12-#16

THREAD: Lagartun 70 Denier, Rusty Brown

TAIL: Lemon Wood Duck fibers

RIB: Lagartun oval gold tinsel, fine

BACK STRAP: Brown Scud back

ABDOMEN: Hare’s Ear # 2 -between the eyes on the mask

THORAX: Hare’s Ear # 3 – crown on the mask

WINGS: Matched natural Mallard sections, inside coated with flexament

LEGS: Mottled Brown Hen

This pattern is based on the Rene’ Harrop design for the Pink Albert Short Wing Emerger for Epeorus Albertae…works for him…works for me…



HOOK: TMC 2487, #12 -#16, Daiichi 1130, #12-#16, Mustad c49s, # 12-#14

THREAD: Danville 6/0, #47 tobacco brown

BEAD: Glass, small, rootbeer

TAIL: Lemon Wood Duck fibers

ABDOMEN: Natural Pheasant tail

RIB: Wapsi, copper/brown, small

THORAX: Hare’s Ear # 3 -from the crown

WING: Fluffy bottom from Ginger Variant Hen Neck stem, pulled over and tied off

A Tracy Peterson pattern that can be adapted to almost any Mayfly. I use this design for Baetis and PMD’s. It is one of my favorite patterns and I have not found running water where it does not produce. Fish it deep or off the bend of a dun or the next pattern…

WARREN EMERGER March Brown…Front view

HOOK: TMC 100 #12-#16, or your favorite dry…this is a Partridge E1A

THREAD: Danville 6/0, # 47, tobacco brown

SHUCK: Cream Antron or Zelon

RIB: Micro tubing, rust

BODY: Olive/Brown dubbing… I mixed Nature’s Spirit # 34 and Fly Rite # 10

WING: Snow Shoe Rabbit foot, Tan or Dun, pulled over thorax, tied off, cut and fanned into a 180 degree arc

A Schollmeyer and Leeson design that uses Snow Shoe hare instead of deer hair…this is a fly I can hang the other four off of. I tie a lot of these to mimic different emerging Mayflies…they all work and I have REALLY come to appreciate the qualities of this material over CDC for wings, loops and dubbing...It is suggested by the designers, that this pattern be tied on a straight hook so that it wil float in the surface film properly…

My son, Michael, “hogs” some of my favorite pool, early in the morning, on the Lower Owens River…

Here are some additional links on March Brown Mayflies:



NEXT: More Baetis/Bwo’s for Spring and UV Chewee Skin Caddis…


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Putting this Caddis pattern together today…some additional tweaking and it will be done…

New Gamakatsu hooks, Tan SLF Prism, Light Dun Snow Shoe rabbit’s foot, root beer krystal flash.gold holo tinsel,tan micro tubing, Coastal deer hair, Gordon Griffiths 14/0 sheer, white and tan…


Lemme’ see here…hmmmm…I went with scraggly

HOOK: Gamakatsu C-16B. #16-#18

THREAD: Gordon Griffiths 14/0 Sheer Tan and White

ABDOMEN: Gordon Griffiths 14/0, Sheer White, ( built with a pronounced “hump” at the bend)

TAG: Holo Tinsel, Gold

OVER ABDOMEN: Stalcup’s Micro Midge Tubing, Tan, Grey, Olive Chart. or Brown

THORAX: SLF Prism, Tan, Lt. Grey, Brown/Olive, Olive, Peacock or Chocolate Brown

OUTRIGGERS: Thin strands of Snowshoe Rabbit’s Foot, Light Dun, Medium Dun or Dark Dun

UNDER WING: Three strands of Krystal Flash, Root beer, UV Tan, Olive, Rust, Pearl or UV Gray

WING: Coastal Deer Hair, Tan, Natural or Darker Mottled Shades, tied “bullet “style

This Caddis Cripple/Emerger was meant to be messy. I wanted the abdomen to hang lower in the water. The abdomen is a proven design off John Barr’s Graphic Caddis. The Snowshoe Rabbit outriggers are for additional support and motion. I went with the full length of the fibers rather than clipping them. The KF under wing is for sparkle I really like SLF Prism for it’s translucent quality and sparkle…


Here are some places I would employ this pattern:

Right along the far bank about 6 inches out from those two big boulders on the Stillwater River, MT. That second boulder has a deep depression running parallel to it…big fish in there…

ANYWHERE…North or South of here, starting about 7:30 PM…

Again, uptight along the bank on the East Walker River, CA (especially under overhanging willows) when the sun has disappeared behind the hill… till dark. VERY BIG BROWNS move into this water from deeper and faster currents where they have been lurking most of the day…This is true of most waters that get pounded…Michael is kicking one in the tail right now…

Along the banks and over slots…it is surprising how many big Trout hold in very shallow water that is either stepped in or overlooked…

I subscribe to the DEAN ENDRESS philosophy of Fly Tying…”Make the SUCKA’ look alive and struggling”…. and when examining a capture for sizing, turn the bug over and go by the size of the abdomen. If, ‘ya go by the wings, a fly one size larger than the natural will end up on the tippet…

Ally testing the consistency and durability of a new dubbing material on the 4th. of July…2010

CASTERS FLY SHOP…added, 14 July, 2011…DESIGNED and tied by Luke Fastabend…Hmmmmm


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Some stuff I’ve been messing with. I use these patterns more than any other. Somewhere, every day of the year, these bugs will be present- trout prefer them and they will generally take these guys in multiple hatch situations…


Michael and Ally approve….two critics as harsh as TROUT!!!


BWO SnoShu Pull Over:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Olive

Hook: TMC 2487 or Daiichi 1130, #16-#20

Shuck: Brown Zelon

Abdomen: Stalcup’s BWO Goose Biot, fringed or Flat

Thorax: Olive Beaver

Wing: Dun Snow Shoe Hare, pulled over thorax

Good slow water, hanging body pattern. I prefer Snow Shoe hair to CDC. It ties up well on small patterns, floats extremely well and doesn’t matte and collect dirt like CDC…


BWO SnoShu Sparkle Dun:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Brown

Hook: TMC 100 or Daiichi 1130, # 16-#22

Shuck: Dun Zelon

Body: Stalcup’s BWO Micro Dub

Wing: Dun Snow Shoe Hair, clipped and pulled down at sides into a fan

Another good flat water fly. The wing is easier to tie and more durable than deer hair…


Bat Wing Baetis:


Bat Wing Baetis (Top View):

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Gray or Olive

Hook: TMC 2487 or Daiichi 1130, #16-#20

Tail: Dun Hen Hackle Barbs

Abdomen: BWO or Olive Goose Biot ( I use Stalcup’s)

Wing: Fluffy, butt end of a Dun Hen feather, mounted convex side up and pulled over Abdomen and Bead

Abdomen: Brown or Dk. Tan Beaver

Bead: Gun Metal Glass or Black Metal

I put this pattern up earlier. This is a better photo and the top view may assist in understanding how it is tied. This fly has accounted for more Trout than any other except for the KF Emerger, whih is one of the first patterns I put up. I fish this fly from the bottom to the top of the water column…it bangs ’em all the way…


BH Krystal Flash BWO:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Black

Hook: TMC 2488, #16-#22

Bead: Metallic Glass, x-sm

Shuck: Dun Zelon

Abdomen: 4-6 Strands of Olive and Black Krystal Flash, twisted into rope

Thorax: Peacock SLF Prism

Wingcase: 6 Strands Black Krystal Flash

Leg: Partridge, I cut out a V section in feather, tie in and pull KF over

A great searching pattern prior to a BWO/Baetis hatch. Colors may be changed to meet local inhabitants!!!


KF Baetis Nymph:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Olive

Hook: TMC 2457 or Daiichi 1120, #16-#20

Tail: 3-6 Dun Hen Hackle Fibers

Abdomen: 4-6 Strands Peacock/Rusty Brown or Olive/Black Krystal Flash, twisted into a rope

Wingcase: 6 strands Black Krystal Flash

Thorax: Dk. Brown Hare’s Ear, picked out

A Rick Hafele pattern that really works!!! I like the Peacock/ Rusty Brown for the Owens in the Spring…Bottom to top, it nails Trout…


Brown and Olive KF SnoShu BWO:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Brown

Hook: TMC 2487 or Daiichi 1130, #16-#20

Tail: 6-8 Dun Hen Hackle Fibers

Abdomen: Rusty Brown/ Olive Krystal Flash, twisted into a rope, 4-6 strands

Thorax: Dk. Hare’s Ear/ Rusty Brown Antron chopped and mixed

Wing: Dun Snow Shoe Hare

I like to use this pattern in the Fall on the Owens when it seems the Baetis run more to a Tan/Brown color. This came about after using Craig Matthew’s Tommahawk pattern which he originally created for PMD’s on the Madison. That pattern picked up some nice fish, this picked up more…


BH Olive Brown KF LEG Emerger:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Black

Hook: Daiichi 1560, #16-#18, TMC 3761, # 16-#18

Bead: Copper

Tail: 6-8 Fibers, Mottled Brown, Hen Hackle

Abdomen: Olive Goose Biot

Rib: Danville 6/0, # 47, Tobacco Brown thread

Thorax: Dk. Hare’s Ear

Wingcase/ Legs: 6 strands Black Krystal Flash, pulled over abdomen,tied down, separated and pulled back along sides

Another Fall pattern for the Owens that I fish deep…


BWO Emerger/Biot KF:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Brown

Hook: TMC 2487 or Daiichi 1130, #16-#20

Shuck: Olive Zelon

Abdomen: BWO or Olive Goose Biot, Flat or Fringed

Thorax: Arizona Peacock Dub

Wingcase/Legs: 6 Strands Black Krystal Flash, tied in, pulled over and separated

Another flash pattern that I fish through the water column. I have found this pattern useful on the East Walker in the Spring…

cdc-baetis-emergerCDC Baetis Emerger:

Thraed: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Olive

Hook: TMC 2487 or Daiichi 1130, #16-#20

Shuck: Brown/Olive Zelon, mixed, 12-16 strands

Abdomen: Olive Pheasant Tail

Rib: Pearl Krystal Flash

Thorax: Stalcup’s BWO Micro Dub

Wing: Dun CDC Puffs (2), clipped at an angle

A great emerger pattern for the Owens and East walker when it is freezing, cloudy and buckets of water are pouring out of the sky. KEEP THE WING CLEAN…


Flop Over Baetis…Neal Streeks…

Thread: Gordon Griffiths 14/0, Gray

Hook: TMC 101 or Daiichi 1110, #16-#22

Taik: Dun Hackle Fibers

Body: Gray Superfine or other Gray (Adams) Dub /Flyrite poly

Wing: Black Hi-Vis or Enrico Puglisi EP Fibers for existing light conditions (black,pink,orange or white)

A good expended/cripple BWO/Baetis Pattern that came from the Flyfishing & Tying Journal. I like this fly during a hatch along slower water near banks and especially in back eddys. The black wing helps me on cloudy days and yes, it is supposed to drift on it’s side…


Pheasant and Folded Foam (a ‘la McGee):

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Black

HooK: TMC 5262 #16-#18 or Mustad 9671 # 14-#20

Tail/Shuck: Dun Zelon

Abdomen: Olive Pheasant Tail

Rib: Green Metallic Wapsi Wire, x-sm

Hackle: Grizzly Dyed Dun, Rooster, tied behind wing at an angle

Wing: 2mm furniture packing foam, tilted forward

This is a John Gantner pattern that appears in the Winter 2009 issue of Flyfishing and Tying Journal. I have not used it yet but it looks real “fishy” and based on John Gantner’s rep. I believe it is a winner. The McGee part come from a BWO abdomen that Allen McGee uses for one of his BWO soft hackles. I will report on this flies’ effectiveness later…


Gamma SnoShu Hackle BWO:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Olive

Hook: Gammakatsu C15-BV, #16-#18

Shuck: Olive Zelon

Abdomen: BWO Turkey Biot, Fringed

Thorax: Stalcup’s BWO Micro Dub

Hackle: Grizzly Dyed Dun, Rooster

Wing: Dun Snow Shoe Hare


Gamma Olive Biot SnoShu Hackle Baetis:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Black

Hook: Gammakatsu C15-BV, #16-#18

Shuck: Light Olive Zelon

Abdomen: Olive Turkey Biot, Fringed

Thorax: Dark Hare’s Ear

Hackle: Grizzly Dyed Dun, Rooster

Wing: Snow Shoe Hare, Dun

These Gammakatsu hooks are recent arrivals, so I have not had an opportunity to fish these flies. I know exactly where I want to place one in a spot on the Owens…a full report will follow…


GB Hot Creek Baetis:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Brown or Black

Hook: TMC 3761, # 16-#20

Bead: Pearl, x-sm

Tail: Partridge Fibers

Abdomen: Blended Dk. Hare’s Mask and Olive Hare’s Mask, 70/30

Rib: Pearl Krystal Flash

Thorax: Same blend as Abdomen with Rusty Brown Angora Goat, Olive Angora Goat fibers Mixed, 70/15/15

Wingcase: 12 strands, sm Black Holo Tinsel

A Yvonne Gaines pattern. She uses the TMC 5263 hook in size # 16 and omits a wing case. I have tweaked it to more emulate a BWO/Baetis. I like her blend choices. We will see how this works…I’ll let Michael try this one – he loves Hot Creek…


Grey Olive SnoShu Puff Baetis:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Brown

Hook: TMC 2487 or Daiichi 1130, #16-#22

Shuck: Light Olive Zelon

Abdomen: BWO Goose Biot, Fringed

Wing: Dun Snow Shoe Hare, thick, clipped at an angle

Thorax: Stalcup’s BWO ( Brown/Olive) Micro Dub

This is a floater!! !And, it lasts so much longer than the same pattern with CDC…


Gun Metal HE Baetis:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Black

Hook: Daiichi 1560, #16-#18 or TMC 3761, #16-#18

Bead: Gunmetal

Tail: Brown Hen

Abdomen: Light Hare’s Ear

Thorax: Dk.Hare’s Ear mixed with Rusty Brown Antron, 80/20

Rib: x-sm copper wire

Wingcase/Legs: Black Krystal Flash or Pearl Krystal Flash, 6 strands, tied back and separated

An excellent searching pattern, fished deep…


Hare’n Hen Baetis:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Brown

Hook: TMC 3761, # 16-#20

Tail: Mottled Brown Hen

Abdomen: Lt. Hare’s Ear mixed with Rusty Brown Antron, 70/30

Thorax: Dk. Hare’s Ear

Rib: Rusty Brown Krystal Flash

Wingcase: 12 strands sm Black, Holo Tinsel

Good Fall Baetis pattern fished through the water column. I sometime use this fly as a trailer behind a Seal Bugger…


Matthew’s Sparkle Dun BWO:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Gray or Olive

Hook: TMC 900BL

Shuck: Dun or Olive Zelon

Body: Stalcup’s BWO or Olive/Brown Micro Dub

Wing: Coastal Deer Hair, Fanned

Craig Matthews classic slow water pattern…


Mercury GB Baetis:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Olive

Hook: TMC 200R, #16-#20

Bead: Glass Mercury

Shuck: Light Olive Zelon

Abdomen: Olive Biot, Fringed

Thorax: Olive Hare’s Ear with chopped Olive Antron, 70/30

Wingcase: 2 strands Geen Krystal Flash covered with Olive Swiss Straw (Raffia)

Legs: Olive Zelon

A Rocky Mountain fly that has caught several fish for me on the East Walker…heh,heh…


ML’s Floating DH BWO :

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Gray

Hook: TMC 100, #16-#20

Shuck: Brown Zelon( over entire body, helde in place by ribbing)

Rib: Largutan, fine copper wire

Abdomen: Pheasant tail Fibers

Thorax: Stalcup’s BWO Micro Dub

Wingcase: Natural Deer Hair ( Coastal)

Mike Lawson’s classic floating BWO. I also tie it with Olive Zelon, Olive Pheasant tail and green metallic wire…


Owens Red Thread BWO Nymph:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Black

Hook: Daiichi 1130, #18-#22

Tail: Pheasant tail Fibers (3)

Abdomen: Lt. Olive uni. 8/0

Rib: Largutan fine Copper wire

Bead: 1/16 Copper

Abdomen: Olive Hare’s Ear – picked out

Wingcase: 6 strands Black or Pearl Krystal Flash

Collar: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Red

Every so often, those picky Browns in the Owens River go for something with a touch of red in it, I created this for those occasions…


CB Hare BWO:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Brown

Hook: Daiichi 1130 #18-#22

Bead: 1/16 Copper

Tail/Shuck: Brown/Olive Zelon

Abdomen: Hare’s Ear – Medium (#3)

Rib: Wapsi, x-sm red wire

Abdomen: Dk. Hare’s Ear

Wingcase: 6 strands Black or pearl Krystal Flash

Something else with a hint of red for Mr. Brown…


SnoShu Sparkle Dun:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Olive

Hook: TMC 2488, #16-#20

Shuck: Olive Zelon

Shuck: Olive Goose Biot, Fringed

Abdomen: Rainbow Sow Scud dubbing mixed with Olive Antron (chopped) 50/50

Wing: Dun Snow Shoe Hare

Surprise for big Browns, love this hook it’s gap, it’s strength….


Wyatt’s Deer Hair Emerger BWO:

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Black

Hook: Daiichi 1130, #16-#18

Abdomen: Olive Hare’s Ear

Rib: Uni. 8/0, Black -tied in mid hook

Thorax: Spiky Olive Hare’s Ear, picked out

Wing: Deer Hair (Coastal)

Bob Wyatt’s DHE. Only wing and thorax should be treated with flotant. Abdomen hangs below the surface film. I’ve used this on the East Walker, below the dam with some success….

Want MORE …???









BAETIS / BWO’s # 7


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