Dorato Hare's Ear

From Halford's early dries to the Catskill dry and everything else that floats on the surface.
squish67
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Re: Dorato Hare's Ear

Post by squish67 »

One more thought on this, and we used to debate this at the Angler's Nook endlessly. Why we never asked Bill Dorato I don't know, but , did he actually pattern the DHE somewhat after Atherton's #5 dry? Bobbed tail, no oval tinsel rib, but???????????????????????????

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Eperous
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Re: Dorato Hare's Ear

Post by Eperous »

squish67 wrote:One more thought on this, and we used to debate this at the Angler's Nook endlessly. Why we never asked Bill Dorato I don't know, but , did he actually pattern the DHE somewhat after Atherton's #5 dry? Bobbed tail, no oval tinsel rib, but???????????????????????????
Rich... given your question/wondering aloud, I took the liberty of cutting and pasting your question, and sending it to Del Bedinotti, a personal friend of Bill Dorato, whom I have utilized as a source of information on the Dorato Hare's Ear... I mentioned to Del that you & I never met, but correspond on this bulletin board...

I've cut & paste Del's email response back to me--- on your "wondering"--- below...

Hi Ed I don’t know this fellow either although I may have met him on one of the few times we stopped in to say Hi to George…I assure you that Bill did not pattern his DHE after Atherton’s #5..Thanks for including me. Del

Ed

squish67
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Re: Dorato Hare's Ear

Post by squish67 »

Thanks Ed!

Like I said the easiest thing to do would been to have ask Bill. I don't believe I ever met Del either, but think he and George Schlotter's father in law, Miller Bondatti may have salmon fished together.

What made me think of it was that we were going to have one of our Vallahalla outings, except at Wally Murray's place (Mike's bonefishing I believe), which is the house Atherton built on the river in 1947. I ended up tying an Atherton #5 there (how many opportunities do you get to tie a guys fly in his room), which led to one of the other guys asking about a fly he had used in the Catskills, which the guys tied down there. Said it looked a lot like the Number 5 I had just tied, but he couldn't remember the name. Had a bobbed tail, and no rib. So I tied him up a Dorato's Hare's Ear, and that was the fly, which made him very happy as he had been trying to find a sample for years. Also tied him a Hare's Ear Caddis (the infamous Vermont Hare's Ear as named by John Merwin, so that John Harder would have a good name for it when he listed it in the Orvis Catalog). That fly, I am 99and 44/100th sure was a derivative of Dorato's Hare's Ear, but that is another story.

Another great day snowshoeing, although it seems we are just keeping our existing trails open. Maybe we will break a new one tomorrow.

Gene
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Re: Dorato Hare's Ear

Post by Gene »

Thanks guys, this is all so interesting to me. I love the history of our wonderful passion. Met Bill Dorato once while camping with Del Mazza in the early 90's. Very interesting gentleman. Great stuff thanks.

Gene

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Eperous
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Re: Dorato Hare's Ear

Post by Eperous »

squish67 wrote:Like I said the easiest thing to do would been to have ask Bill. I don't believe I ever met Del either, but think he and George Schlotter's father in law, Miller Bondatti may have salmon fished together. ... Another great day snowshoeing, although it seems we are just keeping our existing trails open. Maybe we will break a new one tomorrow.
Rich, if you know Dave Brandt, whom I was talking to this weekend about Guild stuff, he might know some of these folks... Dave was dropping names on me that sounded familiar, perhaps former members of the Clearwater Chapter of TU & Albany crew?

Been hanging close to the woodstove lately on meds for a sinus infection, no walking, no snowshoeing, not doing much... :cry: but, thinking about trying to fish Wednesday... :roll: :P

Gene, thanks for you nice comments...

Ed

Allan
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Re: Dorato Hare's Ear

Post by Allan »

Gentlemen,

This pattern, as is the discussion, is inspiring. So much so that I will be tying several in several sizes in the near future. I do have a question though that perhaps some of you who've investigated the origin by Mr. Dorato and the pattern itself can answer. In a response elsewhere, Mike Valla posted a photo of the fly that he said was actually tied by Bill Dorato. Then there is a photo here that, as I recall without going back, was attributed to being tied by Dick Talleur but a copy of the pattern. So my question is this: If the fly was meant to represent a caddis, would it not make more sense and would it not look more like the fly photographed by Mike Valla, with the body all picked out and the wings almost dead center along the shank, then the fly tied by Dick Talleur which appears to be more of a mayfly pattern?

Maybe someone who is capable of doing this can post those two photos side by side. I think that would allow those of us not familiar with the original to understand why the fly has such a good reputation as a caddis imitator.

Allan

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Eperous
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Re: Dorato Hare's Ear

Post by Eperous »

Allan wrote:This pattern, as is the discussion, is inspiring. So much so that I will be tying several in several sizes in the near future. I do have a question though that perhaps some of you who've investigated the origin by Mr. Dorato and the pattern itself can answer. In a response elsewhere, Mike Valla posted a photo of the fly that he said was actually tied by Bill Dorato. Then there is a photo here that, as I recall without going back, was attributed to being tied by Dick Talleur but a copy of the pattern. So my question is this: If the fly was meant to represent a caddis, would it not make more sense and would it not look more like the fly photographed by Mike Valla, with the body all picked out and the wings almost dead center along the shank, then the fly tied by Dick Talleur which appears to be more of a mayfly pattern?

Maybe someone who is capable of doing this can post those two photos side by side. I think that would allow those of us not familiar with the original to understand why the fly has such a good reputation as a caddis imitator.
Allan,

Without summarizing several posts throughout this bulletin board on the Dorato Hare's Ear, let me "suggest" the intent of the original pattern was to imitate the "motion" of active caddis by the use of spikey hare's ear... I have seen various DHE's tied by Bill Dorato over the years with varying degrees of a "spikey" body...

Here's a recent link with some photos of DHE's tied by the late Bill Dorato, and others... some tied by me...

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6627

Just scroll down and take a gander...

And, here's some of what I sent Bud for a December 2012 Gazette article... I hope you can find your answers among this "stuff"

William C. Dorato (1915-2000), known by Willie to his good friends, was a native of Albany, New York, an avid fly fisher, quite an accomplished angler and fly tyer. He was also a founding member and first president of the Clearwater Chapter of Trout Unlimited who fished with the likes of: Dud Soper, Dick Talleur, Art Flick, Frank Mele, Tony Bonavist, Del Bedinotti, and many other noted anglers. He frequented the Catskills, especially the Delaware system plus the Battenkill near his home grounds. And it was on the Battenkill that he conceived his Dorato Hare’s Ear in trying to imitate hopping caddis which were prevalent on that river. According to longtime friend Del Bedinotti, Dorato’s fly “created the illusion of movement due to the mix of wood duck wings and brown and grizzly hackle” that also included a body of hare’s mask “complete with spikes”, hair spikes which enabled twitching acting like additional hackle legs.

The late Dick Talleur thought enough of Dorato and his dry fly that he gave special mention to both in at least two of his many angling books including: Mastering the Art of Fly-Tying and Trout Flies for the 21st Century. In Chapter 26 of the former book, Talleur sang high praises for this fly tyer and his pattern calling Bill “highly skilled and astute” who can tie “classic patterns with the best” yet “his fly-box contains a vast array of nondescript, subtly seductive creations.” In Trout Flies for the 21st Century Talleur included three different variations of the Dorato Hare’s Ear (DHE) recommending that this dry fly is best tied in sizes 10 to 16. Included were the basic DHE originated by Dorato plus a Light and Grey Dun DHE, the work of Talleur’s creativity and love of the pattern.

Perhaps of special note regarding Talleur’s feelings about the fly was taken from an email he sent me several years ago. In that piece of electronic mail Talleur wrote, “The DHE is still one of my main go-to flies. A few years ago, on the Farmington in CT, I hooked a huge brown on a size 14 Light Dorato, just at dusk. I played it for quite a while, finally it wrapped me around a rock, and that was the ball game. I'm pretty sure it would have been the biggest trout I ever caught.”

Both Eric Leiser in his The Book of Fly Patterns and Terry Hellekson in Fish Flies include a little bit of material on this dry fly, but other than that the average fly tyer might be hard pressed to locate much information on the pattern. That said, I feel very lucky Dave Plummer introduced me to this dry fly several years ago; it is now one of my main “go-to” dry flies for finicky large surface feeding brown trout on tailwater streams like the West and East Branches of the Delaware River. It’s also produced hard to move trout on Catskill freestone streams like the Esopus and Willowemoc, and just this past summer accounted for its share of cutthroat trout out in Yellowstone. I like a Dorato Hare’s Ear when caddis are about, and on small hooks when BWO’s are active. I tie this pattern in sizes 16 to 20, but a number 18 is by far my favorite size under almost all conditions.

Both Del Bedinotti and Dick Talleur are in agreement on the pattern for a basic Dorato Hare’s Ear, and it is as follows:

Tail: Brown and grizzly hackle barbs, tied in very short
Body: Hare’s ear mask with spikey guard hairs
Wing: Wood duck
Hackle: Brown and grizzly mixed
Thread: Camel or brown

And, I’d like to add that my good friend Dave Plummer uses two grizzly hackle tips instead of brown and grizzly hackle barbs for the tails on his Dorato’s, so some variations of this pattern certainly exist as is the case for most successful trout flies. Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Tony Bonavist, Del Bedinotti, and Dave Plummer for background information used to pull this article together and introducing me to this highly effective dry-fly pattern. Good tying and better fishing with a Dorato Hare’s Ear in mind.


As I have stated elsewhere, based upon input from Del--- Dorato's good friend--- Bill Dorato only tied his fly one way, not the multiple patterns suggested by Dick Talleur in his fine books.

Ed

squish67
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Re: Dorato Hare's Ear

Post by squish67 »

Ed

Great stuff, especially the motion part, that is key.

Rich

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Eperous
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Re: Dorato Hare's Ear

Post by Eperous »

squish67 wrote:Great stuff, especially the motion part, that is key.
Rich,

Probably a topic for a totally new & different thread... BUT, I can't recall how many days I've stood knee-to-waist deep in a clear, icy cold East Branch of the Delaware, late-summer afternoons. By this time of season, these wild trout have probably been harassed by countless anglers and watched thousands of "bugs" float overhead. Long gone are the easier times when the season's first Hendrickson floats by and the gullible, hungry trout below slams it. Now I often watch numerous tiny motionless BWO & Sulfur duns drift past me and waiting trout, unbothered like small still sailboats. But then comes along a "bug" that's kicking and moving only to be taken by a fish. I am convinced that these seasoned wild fish key in on "motion" this time of the year. That's one of the reasons this damn dry fly is so darn good. ;)

Ed

tailwater
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Re: Dorato Hare's Ear

Post by tailwater »

I would agree with Del that Bill would not have copied Athertons pattern. As a friend of both Del and Bill I don't think Bill would have been bothered to read any books on fishing. Even though I have not seen Dave Brandt in quite some time I still consider him a good friend.

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