It’s probably New Zealand’s most popular nymph and probably the first nymph most beginner fly tiers will tie. Simple design and simple to tie but so very effective, the Hare and Copper catches fish through out the country in a variety of waters. The guard hairs used in the mix suggest legs and give the fly that life – that insect look.
The standard pattern is tied without a bead, but a bead such as tungsten adds weight which is needed in the style of fishing on the Tongariro in winter. It is such a versatile nymph and all hook sizes catch fish. In big sizes such a size 8 hook, a bulky hare fur body can suggest a drowned cicada.
Tie it in small sizes 14 and 16 and with a slim body and it becomes a mayfly nymph imitation. But its not a direct imitation, it’s a suggestive nymph, suggesting several types of trout food.
Some will often tie it rough and scruffy so that it has that “insectedness” look.
Some add a big copper or flashy tungsten bead head to get it deep down where the trout are.
The hare and copper is a very general pattern. It suggests anything from caddis to mayfly nymphs.
Don’t stick to hare fur. Use black possum fur to suggest a black creeper. Grey rabbit fur (or possum) suggests a sandy cased caddis. Some anglers go tiny. One friend says it is effective in a wide range of sizes from #10 to #20.