Morrish Dirty Bird

Hares Ear
In the late 80’s, long before beadheads reached the Americas and as my slack-line nymphing game came into its own, I became darn near a one-pattern angler. The fly of choice was a commercial rendition of Cal Bird’s Bird’s Nest. With a few #16’s, a spool of 5X, and some BB shot, I felt unstoppable. Once beads came forward, I began working on my own version of the Bird’s Nest, and after a good deal of experimentation settled on the Dirty Bird, which was my first-ever royalty pattern. After nearly three decades of fishing it, it remains my go-to pattern. If I want to skip the careful observation period and just go fishing, this is my fly. It is super generic and buggy and works as a caddis, mayfly and scud. The black bead is more subtle and realistic than other beads and the fly works great dead-drifted or on the swing.