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Thread: Snowshoe Hare Wings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    SE MN Driftless

    Default Snowshoe Hare Wings

    I really like snowshoe hare as a wing material for dry flies and emergers.

    I first used snowshoe hare for Ross Mueller's Fuzzball emerger pattern which is a BWO emerger pattern. In his instructions, Ross says to tie the wing a bit long and then clip the tips to length. This seems to make for a fuller and more bouyant wing.

    However it seems like most of the snowshoe hare flies that I've seen are tied without clipping the wing tips.

    So how do you use snowshoe hare as a wing material -- clipped or unclipped? Is there a "right" way to use it or does it depend on the fly and application?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Portage, PA

    Default Doesn't Matter

    I think snowshoe is a great material and I like it better than CDC. I've used it clipped and unclipped. I'd say the fish don't care either way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Orange City, Iowa


    I agree with Bruce, I prefer snowshoe to CDC personally, holds up better and easier to work with and floats very well, makes an excellent dubbing too. I really don't think clipping it makes much of a difference in my experience.

    "The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of that which is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope" -John Buchan

  4. #4
    AlanB Guest


    Sorry about this but my first reaction to the title was, "...but snowshoe hares don't have wings!" Just put it down to me being a cynical old Brit.

    I've made wings out of it in a dubbing loop. The same technique Marc Petitjean uses to make them from CdC. Tie in tail and body for your dry or emerger but leave the thorax section like you would for a nymph. Tie in a thorax cover as you would for a nymph. You can use floss, PT fibres or deer hair for this. Catch the hair in a dubbing loop and spin. A little, not too fine, dubbing helps the thread grip the hair. Then wind this over the thorax area. As you wind tease each turn upward and toward the bend of the hook with your other hand. This will create a mass of hair atop the hook shank and out to the sides, very little will be left below. What is left below trim out. Then pull the thorax cover forward splitting the clump into two wings. I've looked for a photo of this which I thought I had but can't find it. Here are some emergers tied using deer hair with this technique. For larger flies, size 12 and larger, I'd use deer hair. Medium sizes, 14 to 18 use snowshoe, then for sizes 20 to stupidly small use CdC.

    Last edited by AlanB; 11-29-2012 at 09:55 AM. Reason: My usual problem...can't speel

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Los Angeles, CA, / Pullman, WA


    I tie a lot of Jim Schollmeyer's snowshoe patterns and he clips them all...this is his "Snowshoe Mess" for BWO's:

    SNOWSHOE MESS (Knock Down Dun) ... Gray Baetis - Schollmeyer/Matthews-Variant

    HOOK: TMC 2488, #16 -#22

    THREAD: Danville 6/0 Gray - Abdomen...Tiemco 16/0 Gray - Thorax forward

    TAIL: Dun Snowshoe Hare's Foot

    WINGS: Dun Snowshoe Hare's foot

    THORAX: on #16 - #18 ... UV 2 Fine and Dry Adams Gray

    Last edited by planettrout; 11-29-2012 at 10:08 AM.
    Daughter to Father, "How many arms do you have, how many fly rods do you need?"

  6. #6


    The late Al Campbell was also a big believer in snowshoe for tying, you're all in very good company!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Woodland, CA USA


    Hap sent me some snowshoe a while back. Still using and loving its properties. Thanks again, friend.
    ‎"Trust, but verify" - Russian Proverb, as used by Ronald Reagan

  8. #8


    Here's one I tied the other day.... an Apple Caddis with snowshoe wing.

    Snowshoe Apple Caddis
    tied and photographed by Doug Korn
    Doug... a.k.a. 55dougie


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    New York


    This may sound like heresy because the method I'm about to describe, at least to my recollection, was demonstrated at a Catskill Fly Tyer's meeting about 10-15 years ago. The tyers' name is Bob Osburn. I'm not sure about the pattern, it may have been a 'Usual' or some 'emerger' type fly but this is how he tyed the wings or the 180* post: He cut a quantity of hair from the bottom of the snowshoe foot. First he'd get out the really short hairs. Then, by hand, he'd even out the hairs. Finally to prepare the hair he'd take 1/2 of the bunch and reverse the direction so that 1/2 of the hairs were pointed up and the other half down. Finally, he'd wrap the thread around the entire bunch in the center to the wing location, apply thread wraps to stand up the hairs and either flair the hairs to shape or divide and create wings. His flies were simple, durable, good looking, and very effective.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Mooresboro, NC, USA


    I actually tried that technique last year and it worked very well.
    This may be even more heretical but I discoverd this method earlier this year. I had died some feet gray and they were too dark for my taste ... thought I had ruined them. But the hair near the bottom of the foot was just the color I was looking for. I cut a small clump, cleared out the underhair, and tied in the clump that held the underhair, and trimmed to size, Made a great looking comparadun, and I had a chance to fish them last week and they worked very well.

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