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Ken Morrish's Dirty Bird Hares Ear - Umpqua Flies

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Size: #12


In the late 80’s, long before the beadhead reached the Americas and as my nyphing game came into its own, I became darn near a one pattern angler.

The fly of choice was a commercial rendition of Cal Bird’s Bird’s Nest. With a few #16’s, a spool of 5X and some BB shot, I felt unstoppable.

Once beads came forward I began working on my own version of the Bird’s Nest, and after a good deal of experimentation, settled on the Dirty Bird which was my first ever royalty pattern.

Today, after more than two decades of fishing it, it remains my go-to pattern. If I want to skip the careful observation period and just go fishing, this is my fly.

It is super generic and buggy and works as a caddis, mayfly and scud. The black bead is subtler and more realistic than other beads and the fly works great dead-drifted or on the swing.

Fishing Notes:  Fish it like any nymph but also fish it like a soft hackle and let sink and rise up in front of your target.