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The aim of this blog is to connect fly-tyers all over the world, to share, techniques, patterns, information and knowledge.

Archive for January 18, 2013

European Roe Deer

Deer hair is normally described as hollow, This doesn´t mean that it´s hollow

like a drinking straw, but that each hair is built up of hundreds of small air filled

cells. This type of hair structure is most defined in deer from areas with an

extreme winter climate. The result, the colder it is, the better the spinning

qualities, with some exceptions. The hair from our own reindeer and the north

american caribou. In order to achieve optimal insulation, these hairs hold so

many air cells that they have a tendency to be brittle, and break under the

pressure  of tying thread.

A cross section of European Roe deer hair which I photographed with the help of a microscope at X40. You can see that the hair isn't hollow as most people believe, but filled with many small air filled cells.

A cross section of European Roe deer hair which I photographed with the help of a microscope at X40. You can see that the hair isn’t hollow as most people believe, but filled with many small air filled cells.

The winter coat of the Norwegian roe deer has many air filled cells and is ideal

for spinning, packing and clipping.  While the hair from the summer coat is

somewhat stiffer and extremely fine. A first class hair for tails and winging dry

flies.  The colour varies from light red brown on the summer coat to dark grey

with darker barred tips on the winter coat.  The best hair for spinning is found

on the back of the roe along the spine. This hair is extremely dense, not at all

brittle, and floats like a cork. The chalk white hair on the rump is excellent for

dying, or for patterns that require white deer hair.

You should also be aware that the roe mask has a diversity of hair that is

difficult to equal. Here you will find hair in many different lengths, shades of

brown and coarseness. Ideal for dry´s from # 10 and down to the very smallest

comparaduns. Anyone who ties caddis flies shouldn’t be without a roe mask.

If you know a hunter or a game keeper, try and secure yourself a whole roe

skin, you wont be disappointed.

Image

The winter coat of the European roe with its dense hair is ideal for spinning.

The winter coat of the European roe with its dense hair is ideal for spinning.

Although the summer coat from the European roe is much thinner it still has its uses for dry fly wings and tails.

Although the summer coat from the European roe is much thinner it still has its uses for dry fly wings and tails.

If any of you are interested I do have a few very nice generous strips of winter roe from December last year for 15 Euro each including postage for Europe: I only have a few so the first  to contact me at: barrycl@online.no

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Video

Video tutorial for tying the Gammarus Locustra.


Making a deer hair dubbing loop.

Recently I have had many questions regarding spinning deer hair and the best method of attaining a even open fibered body for deer hair flies. I use this technique on patterns such as G&H Sedge. The other technique is for making cork like bodies from deer hair. Once mastered these techniques can be applied to many patterns.

1The material used here is deer hair, select your material and prepare it so that all the fibres are straight. Attach your paper clip to the tips of the fibres.  You determin the length of the fibre you would like at this stage.

1
The material used here is deer hair, select your material and prepare it so that all the fibers are straight. Attach your paper clip to the tips of the fibers. You determine the length of the fibre you would like at this stage.

2Carefully cut along the edge of the clip leaving only a couple of mm in front of the jaws.  If you have more than this you will find that the spinning will be difficult and the material will fall out when used.

2
Carefully cut along the edge of the clip leaving only a couple of mm in front of the jaws. If you have more than this you will find that the spinning will be difficult and the material will fall out when used.

3Make a loop of tying thread at the rear of the area to be dubbed.  Be sure that the two strands of thread closest to the hook shank are tight together, ( Not open or the material placed between them will fall out ) this can be done by taking a turn or two of tying thread around the loop base pulling them together.

3
Make a loop of tying thread at the rear of the area to be dubbed. Be sure that the two strands of thread closest to the hook shank are tight together, ( Not open or the material placed between them will fall out ) this can be done by taking a turn or two of tying thread around the loop base pulling them together.

"4Hang

5Place the cut end of the material in between the two strands of the loop.

5
Place the cut end of the material in between the two strands of the loop.

6Now carefully open the jaws of the paper clip and remove it, letting the weight of the dubbing spinner hold the strands together trapping the material, and stopping it from falling out. Now you can carefully adjust the hair by sliding it up or down to distribute it evenly within the loop.

6
Now carefully open the jaws of the paper clip and remove it, letting the weight of the dubbing spinner hold the strands together trapping the material, and stopping it from falling out. Now you can carefully adjust the hair by sliding it up or down to distribute it evenly within the loop.

8You can now begin to wind the dubbing onto the hook shank just like a conventional feather hackle, combing the fibres back with each turn.

8
You can now begin to wind the dubbing onto the hook shank just like a conventional feather hackle, combing the fibers back with each turn.
8Repeat the process until the body is completed.

9
Repeat the process until the body is completed.

10For trimming the spun deer hair body, I find it best to use long straight serrated scissors for a more even finish.

10
For trimming the spun deer hair body, I find it best to use long straight serrated scissors for a more even finish.

11Start to trim the body on top of the hook shank from the rear and try and make each cut go the whole length of the body.

11
Start to trim the body on top of the hook shank from the rear and try and make each cut go the whole length of the body.

12The more even and singular  each cut, the more even the body!

12
The more even and singular each cut, the more even the body!

13Continue trimming around the whole body of the fly until the requiered resuls are achieved.

13
Continue trimming around the whole body of the fly until the required results are achieved.

14This is another technique if you would like a very tight spun body. As you cover  the hook shank with spun deer hair using a finger and thumb at the rear of the hair and at the front push and twist your right hand to pack the hair tight together.

14
This is another technique if you would like a very tight spun body. As you cover the hook shank with spun deer hair using a finger and thumb at the rear of the hair and at the front push and twist your right hand to pack the hair tight together.

15Once the body is finished brush out all the fibers with an old tooth brush before you start trimming. This is very important!

15
Once the body is finished brush out all the fibers with an old tooth brush before you start trimming. This is very important!

16Trim your body roughly to the correct size.

16
Trim your body roughly to the correct size.

17Now using a gas lighter, petrol lighters and candels give off too much soot. Carefully burn the surface of the hair body. Taking care not to set it on fire!

17
Now using a gas lighter, petrol lighters and candles give off too much soot. Carefully burn the surface of the hair body. Taking care not to set it on fire!

18The singeing of the hair will tighten the packing and coaterize the tips making it tight and even. Brush off the soot with a tooth brush.

18
The singeing of the hair will tighten the packing and cauterize the tips making it tight and even. Brush off the soot with a tooth brush.

19The result is a almost cork like body of perfect spun deer hair with a smooth even finish. That also floats like a cork!

19
The result is a almost cork like body of perfect spun deer hair with a smooth even finish. That also floats like a cork!

This is another trick for whip finishing large deer hair flies. If you have problems getting in to the hook eye to whip finish, before starting tying cut the end off a rubber washing up glove and make a hole in the finger tip with a dubbing needle. Place the glove finger tip over the bobbin as shown.

This is another trick for whip finishing large deer hair flies. If you have problems getting in to the hook eye to whip finish, before starting tying cut the end off a rubber washing up glove and make a hole in the finger tip with a dubbing needle. Place the glove finger tip over the bobbin as shown.

Once you have finished your fly the bobbin and finger tip are as shown.

Once you have finished your fly the bobbin and finger tip are as shown.

Now for a easy trouble free whip finish just slide the finger tip over the hook and deer hair. Remove the tip after you have whip finished and removed your tying thread.

Now for a easy trouble free whip finish just slide the finger tip over the hook and deer hair. Remove the tip after you have whip finished and removed your tying thread.