Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hare-lug, wingless

This dressing of W. C. Stewart’s first Hare-lug , dressed on red silk for discolored water, leaves off the woodcock wings W. C. Stewart recommends.

This dressing of Stewart’s second Hare-lug uses a grayish-tan American woodcock hackle in place of the English woodcock undercoverts that Stewart prescribes. As with the first dressing, it leaves of a combination of wing and hackle in favor of a soft-hackled dressing.

This dressing assigns purple silk for the vague “dark-coloured silk” that Stewart lists for the pattern. It also leaves off the wing in favor of a greenish purple iridescent hackle from the shoulder of a starling.



Yellow, scarlet, or purple silk

Hare’s ear

Red hackle, woodcock, or starling

In The Practical Angler (1857), W. C. Stewart lists three patterns utilizing “the fur of a hare’s ear, or, as it is usually called in Scotland, ‘hare lug.’” Stewart describes the three dressings as flies, noting that “a fly is more difficult to dress neatly than a spider.” He gives the dressing for three flies:

“1st. A woodcock wing with a single turn of a red hackle, or landrail feather, dressed with yellow silk, freely exposed on the body. For fishing in dark-coloured waters, this fly may be dressed with scarlet thread.

2nd. A hare-lug body, with a corn-bunting or chaffinch wing. A woodcock wing may also be put in the same body, but should be made of the light-colored feather taken from the inside of the wing.

3rd. The same wing as the last fly, with a single turn of a soft black hen-hackle, or small feather taken from the shoulder of the starling, dressed with dark colored silk.”


  1. Norman
    I am so impressed with your work, do you ever attend fly fishing shows and display your work and tie as well while there?