Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Fly Tying: Deer Hair

I have been tying flies for a long time. That doesn’t make me any sort of professional, in fact; I have been fly tying for long enough to know that I would probably make a poor professional fly tier. Yet I have some skills and I can make flies for my own use and some of them even turn out quite good. However I have always felt that working with deer hair is quite hard.

From Fly-patterns

Deer hair is an important material for many flies from small dry flies to big streamers and even salmon dry flies. It seems to me that the skill of fly tier can be judged by how he or she can work with deer hair. This is probably an oversimplification, but it might tell something.

From Fly-patterns

At times I have avoided tying deer hair flies, but that is about to stop. I’ll tie more of them and try to improve my skills. I have read many articles which aim to making of deer hair heads and bodies. Some of them give good tips, but the practice is most important thing here.

From Fly-patterns

Here are some common uses of deer hair in fly tying:
- Heads of streamers of dry flies (mainly Muddlers, Sculpins, Poppers, Hoppers)
- Wings of dry flies (X-Caddis, Sparkle Dun, Elk Hair Caddis)
- Body of a dry fly (Goddard Caddis)

Here are my top five tips for deer hair:
1. Use strong enough thread
2. Use ceramic bobbin
3. Experiment with lots of different deer hair types (I have about 10 different patches of deer hair)
4. Different deer hair might require different thread and slightly different tying methods
5. Have patience


Flytimes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flytimes said...

Here's the same link in two pieces.

Flytimes said...

Great lookin bugs there Olli.
The above link is for a hair packer which I've discovered is indespensable for spinning and packing deer and sculpin wool.

Anonymous said...

Great Post! Nice Fly pictures too.

Jay said...
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Jay said...

Olli, I LOVE tying with deer hair.
It's such a neat material. Very versatile.

I used to tie deer hair caddis for a shop.
I also love tying Bassbugs (hence my blog's URL) lie poppers, Dahlberg divers ( etc.
But also trout flies like Goddard, Humpy (

opax said...

Wyatt, thanks. That device looks simple like good things usually do, I have to check local tackle shops.

Bill, thank you. Also thank you for the post, I'll return the favor soon.

Jay, you pro - nice looking pike divers. Humpy is a pattern that I have somehow managed to ignore in my fishing and fly tying.

Jay said...

I'll tie you a nice Dahlberg diver & a Humpy.
If I ever decide to take fishing trip to Finland you show me around the best brown trout filled rivers! :)

opax said...

I think we have a deal here! :-)

Jay said...

Olli, check your Dahlberg Diver at my site!

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