Deer hair is commonly used by fly tiers
and most fly tying shops will have a decent
selection. Deer hair can be dyed and
commercially available in several colors.
Deer belly hair is usually sold in patches
a couple inches square at reasonable prices.
It is used when tying spun deer hair bodies,
but can also be used for other applications
such as wings, tails, ect...
The fibers are coarse and porous. Deer hair
have hollow shafts that trap air and making
them well suited when tying dry flies.
Different species of deer can have different
characteristics. A whitetail deer might
not work as good in certain application
as a mule deer or the other way around.
FLY TYING BUCK TAILS
Buck tails are less porous than the belly hair.
FLY TYING ELK HAIR
Elk hair is similar to deer hair, but is
longer and stronger
Commercially available deer hair bought in a
fly tying shop will be clean and have uniform
color when dyed. If acquiring deer hair from
a hunter then precautions need to be taken to
avoid insects or other critters that could infest
your other fly tying supplies. Also wild deer
are notorious for having ticks.
When cleaning deer hair you can use warm
water and Woolite or a mild dish washing liquid.
A final rinse using hair conditioner can help to
rejuvenate the hair and add softness and luster.
Comb or brush the hair with the natural flow.
When drying hides or skins you want to prevent
them from shrinking or curling. You will need to
use a method that allows air to circulate around
and dry both sides of the hide or skin equally, such
as tacking them to a frame. Air dry about 24 hours.
After making sure the hide and hair are
dry to prevent mold, comb it one more time and
place in a sealed plastic bag for storage.
When buying any hair or fur that is on the
FLY TYING HAIR AND FUR CARE
hide, the hide should be soft and pliable.
The hide should be scrapped clean of any
Commercially available deer hair bought
in a fly tying shop should be clean and free
from insects. If acquiring deer hair from
a hunter then precautions need to be taken
to avoid insects or other critters that could
infest your other fly tying supplies. Also
deer in the wild are notorious for having
Also check the section on feather care
and storage for more ideas pertaining
to this subject.