Snowshoe is not regular in South Africa. I was introduced to this funky dry fly material via Instagram (the platform may have its pros and cons, but the pros still outweigh the cons for me so far…Like spotting great-looking fly patterns and ‘new’ fly tying materials). Materials I came across on Instagram, which I really wanted to tie flies with, included chamois and snowshoe.

It was by chance that Pierre Joubert (from Stream and Sea) and I started chatting about ‘those other materials’ we never really get to see in our local fly shops or in locally-tied flies, but that look so good in ‘online’ fly patterns. Pierre managed to get hold of some special snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) hind legs from a North American source and I must say that although a perfect substitute for deer hair or klipspringer, the hind legs sent over were also surprisingly big pieces with lots of material (hence special). I’ve started tying and testing a few flies with the snowshoe and it is magic – a fine, light-coloured, ideal-wing-material…


Here is a simple, natural hopper pattern with snowshoe used for the forewings (the Snowshoe Caramel); I added a touch of Loon Aquel to the snowshoe before a fishing session and the dry floated all morning:

Fly recipe

Hook: Maruto 9288 #10

Thread: Gordon Griffiths Sheer 14/0 black

Body: Tan thin foam

Hindwing: Burnt orange CDC (Cookshill) covered with natural Egyptian goose CDC

Forewing: Natural, tan snowshoe

Legs: Veniard Centipede Legs Mini, speckled tan (I purchased this from the StreamX fly shop)


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