This little badboy is a deadly assassin. The rubber legged hares ear nymph. It looks so unassuming that you'll likely pass it over when thumbing through your fly box for that go to fly. When tempted with the juicy offerings of a roughfisher swimming nymph, X Factor nymph, or the ominous Darth Clam, sometimes the subdued fly gets none of the glory, like the kid picked last on the playground. Unfortunately, for the fish, the RLHE is an effective fly pattern, especially when a strong front or colder temps move in.
Hares ear nymphs are great flies to use anytime, but are especially effective during the late season under cold weather conditions. Fish are typically put off during this period by big gaudy flies. That gargantuan crawfish pattern that was nailing the carp a month ago will likely send those fish fleeing all the way to Lake Winnipeg. A low-key fly like the RLHE will be subtle enough not to spook fish; it is small enough to cast with a minimal splash. The rubber legs are that little extra something, that extra piece of meat that will drive the fish to take the fly. It also provides for subtle enough movement in the current to appear lifelike.
This fly is a simple tie. I use the guard hair from a hares mask to form the tail. Dub on a tapered body using hare fur, or my secret weapon, dubbing from the hair brushed off the family brown tabby. I tie in a wing case using peacock herl, and some silicone legs, all on a heavy nymph (stainless salt) hook with a black bead head. If you need to add an extra bit of flash, you can tie in a wire rib, or use flashback for the wing case. I typically skip the flash as the subtlety of the fly speaks for itself.
You can catch just about any species of fish on this pattern, but it is especially effective on finicky carp and elusive quillback. On slow days when nothing is seeming to move fish, go subtle and tie on a RLHE nymph. It can make or break a day on the water and be the difference between a caught fish and the dreaded skunk. Sometimes more is less.