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.