Hare and Herl Bugger Tying Instructions
My Favorite Flies

If I could only fish a handful of sub-surface flies, this would be it

The finished product in a size 14!  Ingredients and step-by-step instructions below


Thread:  black Danville 3/0
Hook: size 14 3xl or size 12 2xl
Weight: 8-12 w wraps thin lead wire, .015" (or bead head)
Tail: Rabbit fur
3-4 peacock herls, twisted with strands of black Krystal Flash
Hackle: Dun hen neck hackle




The "Hare and Herl Bugger" is my favorite and most versatile wet fly.  Most fly-fishers will tout the attraction qualities of peacock herl, but I think the seductive action of a pulsating tail is just as important on this fly. 

A marabou tail will work, but I prefer rabbit fur for a durable tail material on small buggers.  It is durable and easier for me to handle with my rough fingers.



Hook: I prefer a size 14 3xl streamer hook for trout and a size 12 2xl nymph hook for panfish and smallmouth bass.

Thread: Black Danville 3/0.

Weight: 8-12 wraps of thin (.015") lead wire.  I like to keep the lead wire wraps forward of a horizontal line to the hook point (see photo below).  This fly fishes well with a bead head, too.  For deep fishing, I tie a few with both lead wire and a brass bead head.


Tail:  Clump of rabbit fur.  (For a fluffier appearance, use a bigger clump and pull out most of the guard hairs.) I like the tail to be about the length of the shank, in typical bugger style.  Start the tail approximately above the barb. Snip the excess hair, and tie down the butt-ends in the space to the rear of the lead wire wraps.  Below, a few more thread wraps and a smooth underbody will be created.


Body: Tie in 3-4 peacock herls and 2 strands of black Krystal Flash. Trim the butt ends.


Tie in hackle: Tie in a dun hen neck hackle, tip first. I like to tie it in about 2mm forward of the herl tie-in point, so that the herl can be wrapped once behind the feather before being wrapped forward.


Prepare hackle: Snip off the feather tip and tie it down.  Strip off one side of the hackle fibers.


Wrap herl:  Apply head cement over the top of the thread wraps.  You can see it shining in the picture below.  Twist the herl and Krystal Flash to make a rope. Spiral the rope forward with one turn behind the feather stem before continuing to the front of the hook.


Tie off herl:  Tie off the herl-Krystal Flash rope behind the eye and cut off the excess material.


Wrap hackle: Using 5-6 wraps, spiral the hackle foward and tie off behind the eye.


Head: Create a head with tying thread, cut the thread and coat the head with glossy clear nail polish.


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