Fly Tying 1 min read

[Video] Torrey’s Improved Hares Ear

Ken Sperry

Posted by Ken Sperry

October 9, 2009

How do you improve one of the most versatile and effect fly fishing nymphs ever created? Just ask Torrey Collins and Aaron Jasper who demonstrates how to tie the Improved Hare’s Ear nymph in this fly tying video tutorial.

It’s All in the Fly Dubbing

Torrey Collins is a self-proclaimed fly dubbing fanatic and when asked recently he shared, on, his secret dubbing recipe that makes this fly so effective.

It’s sorta like a French cooking recipe- the proportions are not exact or absolute. I’ll guesstimate the percentages, but feel free to tweak & make minor color adjustments.

  • 70 to 75% Hare’s Mask fur- I shave pretty much the entire thing with an electric razor
  • 10% Hare’s Ear Antron dubbing
  • 10% Grey Squirrel dubbing (for some extra “spike”)
  • 5 to 10% Ice Dub and/or Prizm Dub, several different colors, I like shades of browns, grays & tans (favorites include Ice Dub in UV brown, chocolate brown, UV tan, gray, olive-brown, Hare’s Ear Prizm Dub, etc .) Think of the different colors present in the Hare’s mask, and add in at least 3-4 complimentary colors, I often blend in 6 or more.

The Ice Dub/Prizm Dub is mainly for highlights & subtle flash, so don’t overdo it. I blend up giant batches of this Hare’s Ear blend, because I use so much of it in my fly tying in many different patterns.

Obviously Torrey has put a lot of thought into his dubbing blend and for good reason – it works!

A Bit About Torrey Collins

Torrey was born and raised in Connecticut and has been fly fishing for 30 years. Currently, he manages the UpCountry Sportfishing in West Cornwall, CT located on the Farmington River.

Fly tying classes and a friendship with master fly tier Dick Talleur have shaped and influenced Torrey’s personal fly tying style. A recent friendship with transplanted Welsh fly fishing and tying wizard Davy Wotton has also opened his eyes to European wet fly and nymph fishing methods and patterns.

Torrey has experimented extensively with the Euro-style (Czech, Polish, French and Spanish) nymph fishing techniques, and is rapidly becoming a convert to these highly effective methods. We will be featuring a number of Czech nymphs in our Friday Night Fly Tying Video series in the coming weeks.

Improved Hare’s Ear Material List

  • Hook: TMC 100 spbl, size 14
  • Thread:UTC 70, dark brown
  • Bead:Tungsten bead, 2.3mm, black
  • Underbody:lead wire, 0.010
  • Abdomen/Thorax:Torrey’s Hare’s Ear dubbing mix (see recipe above)
  • Wing Case:Thin Skin, black
  • Tail:Hare’s Mask guard hairs
  • Ribbing:Copper wire