Whitlock's Hare Worm (Black) [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Whitlock's Hare Worm (Black)

Dble Haul
06-11-2002, 07:33 PM
This is one of Dave Whitlock's famous bass flies. It's great in a variety of colors, but my favorite is black. This fly is unweighted, and the overall length is about 5 inches.

Hook: Size 4
Thread: 3/0, black
Weed guard: Monofilament
Tail/Body: Black rabbit strip
Eyes: Plastic stick on or painted

The tail and body are all one continuous piece of rabbit strip. A slit is cut in the strip where the hook point can come through, and the rabbit is then secured. The original recipe calls for large plastic eyes, but I've come to paint mine on most of the time.

A fishing note: before using this fly, drench it very well in the water so that it will sink. If this is not done, it will take an unreasonable amount of time for the fly to start sinking by just casting and retrieving it. Once wet, it will sink slowly and wiggle seductively with every strip of the line.

I love it. :p

06-11-2002, 07:40 PM
I think that's a good striper pattern as well... I am interested in painting eyes as well... I would like to do a number of Borski's bonefish flys from Veverkas book and paint the dumbell eyes as he has done... Can you recommend the type of paint...hobby stores would be the place to get the paint?.... Do you use a brush to do the eyes or the little stick method?

Dble Haul
06-11-2002, 08:16 PM
The brand of paint that I use is called Testors. It's a gloss enamel that is sold in hobby stores, and I think that it's intended use is for coloring plastic toy models.

For the fly in the pic, I used a small brush to paint the yellow eye, but used the end of a very fine match stick to dab on the black pupil. When I paint clouser eyes I do the same thing, brush for background and stick for pupil.

By the way, I'm not sure if you're familiar with this trick, but painting clouser eyes in large numbers is done very easily with the use of an old comb that has large teeth. The eyes slide right between the teeth, and you can hold the handle of the comb in one hand and paint with the other. It's a little assembly line of sorts. It's also a convenient place to keep the eyes while they dry.

06-12-2002, 07:21 AM

I have a question about the way you tie on the rabbit strip. I guess I don't understand the part about piercing the strip and putting the hook through. Is the "body" portion tied with the skin against the top of the shank (opposite the bend) or bottom of the shank (same side as the bend)? If it's on the bottom, then I see why you need to pierce the strip. But it looks like it's along the top so I'm a little confused. :confused:

BTW, does this fly swim with the hook inverted?


John Desjardins
06-12-2002, 08:35 AM
John, For paints I've also used the testors model paint in the past. Look for it with the model cars in a craft shop, wally world, etc. If it has dried more than a day, it can be coated with epoxy. For painting I've used the butt end of a drill bit or tools made from a 1/4" dowel using a pencil sharpener. What I've found works for me is to shake up the bottle and then dip the stick or drill bit in the paint stuck to the jars cap. otherwise you get too much paint. I'll have to try the comb trick. I've used slits in pieces of corrugated cardboard to do the same idea before.

Mark, You've been a busy boy with the warm water patterns. They look good.

Dble Haul
06-12-2002, 09:39 AM
Quentin, the picture is a bit deceiving. The strip is tied in so that the skin side is along the bottom, requiring the slit in the hide. What gives the fly it's all around brushy appearance are two things:

1. This rabbit strip has some of the longest fur that I've ever used, so it flares all around the fly (this is good), and

2. The strip is tied in a psuedo-Zonker style, anchored near the bend and then wrapped intermittently (every 1/2 inch or so) up to the head where it's anchored again. By keeping the intermittent wraps spaced like this, the fur can be brushed back to hide the wraps and give an overall flow to the fly.

I'm pretty sure that this fly rides hook up, but this can be ensured with the use of bead chain eyes. Don't use clouser eyes....they'll make this fly sink a bit too fast. This is a shallow runner for thick cover. Of course if you use bead chain, you've limited your ability to paint any eyes.

06-12-2002, 10:31 AM
OK, thanks for the info... I will take this advice for paints.

06-12-2002, 10:32 AM
Hi Guys,

I'm new to this board but thought I'd offer my $.02...

I've had succeess with freshwater bass on this fly buy using a gunmetal colored brass conehead and simply tying the rabbit strip in Zonker style (palmered down w/ fine gold wire or mono). The brass makes the fly fall seductively slow in the water. A drop of zap-a-gap between the hide and the hook increase it's durability.

Also a great trout fly tied on a size 8 hook!


06-12-2002, 10:39 AM
Welcome, glad to have you with us.

06-12-2002, 11:56 AM
Thanks Mark. This type should be a little easier to cast than the ones I tied with the palmered body.