I used to tie and fish the venerable gold ribbed hare’s ear nymph, which was and is a very effective nymph pattern. If I remember correctly, it’s tied with gold wire, a wing case, a tail, and some hackle for legs. At some point I started leaving materials off of the thing, and it didn’t seem to make any difference to the fish—they still slurped it up. So now I tie it with just hare’s ear hair and fur.
I suppose I could fish part of the day with the traditional fly, and then the other part of the day with my more minimalist version, and I’d get an idea after a season or so which fly caught more fish, but for my money, the minimalist fly is effective enough so that it’s the only version of this fly that I carry in my box.
Here’s the recipe:
Thread: 8/0 tan or brown
Bead: any bead suitable for the hook
Body: hair and fur from a hare’s mask mixed with Antron dubbing
Fish this little guy on a dead drift near the bottom with a strike indicator.