Bassano's Shaving Brush - Hares Ear / Possum
The shaving brush is a favourite of many anglers across Australia. It represents an emerging mayfly, is easy to see, holds up nymphs in larger sizes and is at home as a point fly as well as any other slot on your leader.
This fly is a wonderful polaroiding fly when fish are eating emergers. It sits beautifully in the water with the post sticking up and is a rare breed of fly that is easy to see yet quite subtle in its appearance. Make sure that you have different sized Shaving Brushes as the only reason a selective trout may not eat it, is because the size is wrong.
In some light conditions and on certain days, trout will prefer the lighter or darker version of this fly. It may even be mayfly species dependent, but having a leader set up with one of each colour is a good way to search for your first trout of the day.
Early in the season, the fish seem quite keen on the lighter version and as the season progresses, their preference often switches but this is very much a generalisation.
The shallow, silty bottom of Tasmania's western lakes abound with light coloured nymphs and the Hares Ear version is my favourite here while the weedy water of Four Springs and such lakes across Australia, lend themselves to the claret version. On many occasions, it is hard to choose between them and that's why I carry and use both.
The Shaving Brush is equally at home on rivers and lakes and indeed some of my good friends use it as their number one fly when fishing the rivers of New Zealand.
Make sure that you don't put floatant on the body of the fly, only the wing. Barbless.