European Roe Deer hair tying material

STANLEY

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 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.

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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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