Video: How to Tie a Simple Snowshoe Emerger

Try tying this pattern using different-color materials to match the naturals.

Back in June, we showed you how to tie Tom Rosenbauer’s Rabbit’s Foot Emerger, and here’s an even simpler pattern based on the same material. In this great video from Tightline Productions, Matt Grobert ties an attractive emerger using just three materials. This makes tying tiny versions—down to a size 22—more feasible.

          Simple Snowshoe Emerger
          Hook: Emerger hook (here a Dai Riki #125), sizes 18-24.
          Thread: Olive, 6/0 or 140 denier.
          Tail/body: 4 pheasant-tail fibers.
          Wing: Natural snowshoe rabbit’s foot.
          Head: Olive tying thread.

14 thoughts on “Video: How to Tie a Simple Snowshoe Emerger”

    1. George, you are correct. I tie them on the Dai Riki #125, and the TMC#2488 is a good substitute. Best, Matt

      1. Matt- thanks..great informative stuff..I’d love to see you tie in person. Question if you would indulge me…is anything lost by NOT using the CDC like in Rosenbauer’s version? I would assume not necessarily..I kind of like Weileman’s Elkhair/CDC caddis but Wyatt’s Deerhair sedge seems to be a simpler and cheaper tie and very effective as well. Also…do you store your emergers with nymphs, dries, or as a separate box?

        Thanks for your thoughts

        1. Mark,

          I don’t think anything is lost by not using CDC with SS foot, but others may disagree. If you feel it will add to the flies effectiveness though, by all means go for it, because that is what matters in the end. I have a thin 6 compartment box I keep my smaller flies in, the shallow compartments allow me to pick the flies out better. My larger emergers go in a larger box with my other dries. Good luck, Matt

  1. I’m going to have to start tying that little rascal. Looks like it will turn into about a 1-minute fly with a little bit of practice!

  2. Am struggling to find a source of snowshoe rabbit feet in natural. I can find various ones that have been dyed though, Orvis don’t seem to have stock. Is this a material that has seasonal availability?

    I remember seeing a picture of Tom Rosenbauer holding loads of them, is he stockpiling to drive worldwide prices higher?

  3. Alex, a Google search showed at least three suppliers of natural snowshoe rabbit’s feet: ebay, Feather-Craft, etc. Unfortunately, Orvis does not supply all you need to tie all the flies they show on this forum or in thier books. However, from personal experience, the materials they do sell are superior. I’m not affiliated with Orvis, just a fan.

  4. I often use a Rabbit’s Foot Emerger without CDC and it seems to work fine. Maybe even better, especially for smaller flies. I think it does help in flies bigger than size 14.

    The husband of a woman who works with us in Rod & Tackle is a big hare hunter. Every year I get a huge stash that I share with all the tiers in the office. The ones sold for fly tying today are not North American varying hare (snowshoe rabbit) but come from hares harvested in the Southern Hemisphere. As far as I can tell these feet are just as good as our native species–I use the dyed ones myself.

    The best thing about this material is that you can get a nice wing profile on a tiny fly without adding bulk to the head. The material is actually not as waterproof as you might think and a wing of deer hair or elk hare floats much better but I don’t think imitates the emerging wing of a caddis or mayfly or midge as well.

    1. Tom,

      Interesting stuff snowshoe rabbit foot. Have you ever looked at it under a microscope? The guard hairs have an unusual squareish cross section, and along the entire length there are tiny barbs on each of the four edges. I believe that not only gives the hair a lot of surface area to help it float, the tiny barbs capture and hold little air bubbles. Neat stuff…….

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