Fly Patterns - Burk's Hare's Ear Bottom Roller

                 Burk's Hare's Ear Bottom Roller


Last year Andy Burk treated 6 Granite Bay Flycasters members to a clinic on “Czech Nymphing,” which is very similar to the short line method that I teach in my clinics and during guide gigs. Once properly learned, these methods are extremely productive. Learning the proper drift technique takes time and patience, but it pays significant, real dividends in the long run.


Andy’s rig differs somewhat from the rig that I use; actually, I like his rig so much that I’ve modified my own in a few respects to include some of Andy’s concepts. I’ve learned a lot from watching Andy tie and talking to him about fly construction. Above all, he is a practical tyer — meaning that he ties flies that do indeed catch fish, and are not overly difficult to tie. His “bottom roller” series certainly meets those criteria. The flies are very heavy; consequently they sink quickly and stay down when drifted properly. One of my favorites among the various rock roller patterns is the Hare’s Ear Bottom Roller. That’s the one we’ll tie for this month’s fly. If you want to watch Andy tie this fly, check out his UTube video at


Tying Instructions

1.    Smash the hook barb unless you are using a barbless version of the scud hook. .025 lead wire from the middle of the hook bend to the bead. Push the bead and lead back from the eye slightly, because the fly will be tied off in front of the bead. Apply a thin layer of Flexament to the bead and lead.

2.    Tie the thread on in front of the bead and build up a small bump there to keep the bead from sliding forward. Jump the bead with the thread and cover the shank/lead with thread.


3.    Cut a piece of Sili-Skin approximately ¼” wide and 1” long. Cut the end to a point, but leave the backing on for now. Peel the backing back slightly from the point you just cut, and tie that point in, sticky side up. It should be tied in on the lead wraps, and stretched rearward while wrapping the thread over it to the rear. Continue to leave the backing on for now, and let the Sili-Skin hang there out of the way.

4.   Tie in the monofilament ribbing at the rear end of the abdomen and place it in your material clip for now.


5.    Dub a nicely tapered abdomen with the Hare’s Ear color dubbing material. End the abdomen approximately 1/8” behind the bead.           

6.    Dub a collar (thorax) of the Peacock color dubbing material.


7.    Pull the Sili-Skin over the top of the body, stretching it slightly over the top of the bead. Tie it down in front of the bead.

8.    Wrap the mono ribbing forward, making sure that the Sili-Skin does not move to the far side of the hook as you wrap. Tie the ribbing off in front of the bead and whip finish the fly.


9.    Using a small wire brush or other dubbing teaser tool, rough up the bottom of the fly somewhat to create a fuzzy look.




Tying Tips

1.    When you are ribbing the fly, start with close wraps at the rear, widening the gaps as you go forward. If you look at a living nymph’s segments, you will see this pattern.

2.  Visit the following web site for some color ideas for Czech nymphs, which are very similar to Andy’s Bottom Roller flies:


Fish bottom rollers in pocket water, using short line techniques.  Go rip a few lips, and….see ya on the creek!




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