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arctic hare foot

So nature has to really prepare the animals living under such circumstances. They need real high outdoor clothing. The area I fish in summer is that cold. They hit minus 40 and below every year. This created a very special breed of hare …

Ice. Snow. Cold. That is what one thinks when hiring the word “arctic” – the record in Norway is minus 50 or so C. That is technically speaking damn cold. Unimaginable cold. I was in minus 27. That was cold. But minus 30 and below is really way too much for me. Call me a wimp if you will.

The hares of Lierne grow really big. I call them “jurassic hare” … the T-Rex of the “Lepus” family. They are very strong and fast and have very good meat. This is why the people up there hunt for them in fall before the temps get too harsh.

Really tough men these hare hunters. Hard shelled and soft hearted amazing human beings with a real good sense of humor. However, when I presented them with the request for hare feet they laughed. They couldn´t see the connection to fishing. It took a few years until they started to take this serious and were so nice to keep the feet for me. They are of course compensated generously for their efforts.

The hare feet are huge. Twice or three times as much material one normally finds. The fibres are really long too. I use it for a lot of flies. It floats well and has a very interesting shine to it. – by the way – you can use thesearch function on sexyloops for “hare” so you find all the patterns.

Since I also had few front feet I dared to dye them. It worked really well. Thanks to all the good advice from the “seals fur guru” Claus Damsgaard Jensen. Thanks again for all the help.

Drop me a note if you are interested in some of the feet. I have few “on stock” now. This is really special stuff.

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foam hare klink

Following up on the emerger article from last Friday – here is the “foam hare klink” – the fly is an example for the use of fur fibres as hackle – or hackle substitute if you so will. It´s always interesting to practice all sorts of techniques. I have in later flies replaced the foam with fur fibres from the artic hares feet.
The Foam Hare Klink

Set the hook in the vice – I used a big Partridge Klinkhamer extreme.
The large size is chosen so the tying steps are easier to see.

fix the thread

cut a 3mm wide strip of foam

and tie in as shown

dub the thread

use the “reverse” dubbing technique

rib the body with the thread

use darker dubbing for the thorax

tie it around the foam post in a figure of 8 manner

turn the hook in or with the vice

split the thread

choose some longer fibres from a hares mask

and insert them into the split thread

twist the thread

and wind this “hackle” around the wingpost

nice  and soft hackle

now whip finish under the hackle onto the post


if you like you can color the post a little bit so it´s also visible in glary conditions

the finished fly

yum for the fish

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I believe fish are cynics. They love to eat insects which are trapped in a dismal state – the state of emergence. Tough moment for the little bug. He (or she) spend years (up to three they say) on the bottom of rivers and lakes when than all of a sudden nature calls and they are drawn up to the surface.
There they hang of the water film and have to perform quite a stunt. Crawling out of their outer skeleton to unfold as winged insect above the water. Crazy stuff. Konstanse and I can sit hours in our bellyboats watching this closely when the big Ephemera Vulgata put up their show. Fascinating.

Fish give a rats ass about such nuveaunatureandIamsofuckingconcious feelings. They see a good bit of nutrition lying on the plate. Bingo – so they rise up to the occasion and devour the struggling creature.

Following article is about the basic design principles I try to follow when tying such a fly.


Basic description: Insects in their emerging state.

Design criteria based on functionality

  1. imitate an emerging insect stuck in the water surface film
  2. make sure it does not drown competely
  3. it would be nice if the angler could see the fly
  4. there is no 4 – 4 is the new 5 (edited by Paul)
  5. make sure it lands correctly

So based on these parameters (apart from 1. – which is an interpretation) we can check the flies we tie. To me it does not matter so much which techniques are applied – the parameters 2. to 5. must be achieved.

2. and 3. (and even maybe number 1.)
Checking wether the stuff we tied works is easy. You need a glass with water by the tying desk. Put the fly in and see what happens. Do you see the fly from above? What does it look like from under (hence the glass). Does it drown?

number 5. – stand up from you tying desk and throw the fly in the air (make sure the cat isn´t around). Observe what happens. How does the fly land in your hand or on the floor. Does it rotate in the air (bad) and so on. Speed of decent and the “force” with which it hits your hand gives you an indication on the floatability. A heavy fly, or which becomes heavy by absorbing water would sink when cast on the water. Such flaw does not show so easy in the simple “water glass test”.

Here are some quick shots I did:


from left to right
Blue Bottle on CZ#18, Klinkhamer K4A/S #12, Carpet Yarn Caddis K4A/S #14, Hares Hair Emerger CZ #12

a closer look at the Blue Bottle (basically a black hares hair emerger)



and the beloved Hares Hair Emerger

You will notice that all flies show a mirror image in the water surface – and that to me is they key trigger making emerger patterns so successful. So choose a design that helps this impression.