Deer Hair explanation

R

River Fly

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Can someone please tell me when is it best to use either roe deer hair or coastal deer hair?

Is roe better for spinning and coastal better for say DHE's?

have just tied up a couple of the DHE 2.0 by Hans W and they sank in the sink:confused:

I thought all deer hair was buoyant?

Also have some veniards black deer hair that's just labelled 'deer hair' not roe or coastal, so what type is it?

confused.com :confused:

TIA

Rich
 

baztek1

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Can someone please tell me when is it best to use either roe deer hair or coastal deer hair?

Is roe better for spinning and coastal better for say DHE's?

have just tied up a couple of the DHE 2.0 by Hans W and they sank in the sink:confused:

I thought all deer hair was buoyant?

Also have some veniards black deer hair that's just labelled 'deer hair' not roe or coastal, so what type is it?

confused.com :confused:

TIA

Rich

That's a good question mate ...... And looking forward to see what people think
I have had the same problems ... But to get round it at the time I used lots of gink but I know that's not the answer
 

Mark Morton

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I almost exclusively use winter coat roe deer hair these days. I don't use many patterns with 'colour' but where I do I have some Veniards dyed hair from way back when. I also have some white/cream belly hair from fallow almost identical to coastal, plus main coat hair from Chinese and lots of muntjac hair. By far the most buoyant, is the Chinese Water deer, but needs gentle handling as it breaks easily. Fine once it is clipped short.
Maybe the weight of your dressing and hook is outdoing the floatation ability. Anything will sink if you put enough weight on it.

NOTE: Winter coat roe is far thicker than summer coat as it is with all deer other than muntjac which is fairly thin in comparison.
 
R

River Fly

Guest
I almost exclusively use winter coat roe deer hair these days. I don't use many patterns with 'colour' but where I do I have some Veniards dyed hair from way back when. I also have some white/cream belly hair from fallow almost identical to coastal, plus main coat hair from Chinese and lots of muntjac hair. By far the most buoyant, is the Chinese Water deer, but needs gentle handling as it breaks easily. Fine once it is clipped short.
Maybe the weight of your dressing and hook is outdoing the floatation ability. Anything will sink if you put enough weight on it.

NOTE: Winter coat roe is far thicker than summer coat as it is with all deer other than muntjac which is fairly thin in comparison.

Thanks Nev :thumbs:, which is your preferred brand of winter roe?
 

Mark Morton

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Personally harvested:D:thumbs: It will be at least November to December before I have any more, preferably December/Jan. I have given so much away to you lot I'm running short:eek:mg::thumbs::)
I don't buy any deer hair haven't for the past 40yrs, all of mine is personally harvested and I am now starting to have a crack at dying stuff as well with good results.
I have come to the impression that roe spins and packs the best and last year at the BFFI I got talking with a Pro tyer who had some Norwegian patterns with exquisitely, beautifully spun and packed salmon flies and I commended him on the quality. He produced a piece of winter roe deer pelt.
Mind, I notice that the muddler heads on almost all of the flies I see on here these days do not have 'packed' heads, they are far looser in their construction BUT Heh!! They obviously work which is what counts.
 

FunkyFlyTying

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Nice link Arthur.
I have Chris Helm sending me some descriptions over that will be going on the website and we are working on doing soe patterns with deer hair for the site as well.
The easiest thing to do is buy the Nature's Spirit products as they have been selected for the different types of fly.
So you have Comparadun hair, Humpy hair etc etc.
For the UK i think for winging its hard to beat the Select Cow Elk from nature's Spirit or the Early Season Cow Elk which is a little shorter and finer.
For spinning the Deer belly they do or the spinning deer hair is superb and available in a range of colours.

All available from the website funky fly tying and selected UK dealers.
 

Chris Reeves

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I stole the following of a US webpage that has now moved, I can't remember who wrote it but it a very useful guide. Apologies to the previous owner:-

Type of hair:-

• Fine - virtually no flare.
Good for up-right wings and tails. Comparable to being locked in a dark room with a nymphomaniac granny.
Medium - limited flare, up to 45º.
Useful for caddis, humpies and comparaduns. Good for drunken fun.

• Coarse - medium to maximum flare, up to 90º.
Perfect for muddlers, sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Using this scale each type of hair can be classified and linked to a specific use. I won't go through all types, but here are some of the commonest hair types along with the category they fall into.

Elk

Elk
Durable and buoyant, Elk in its various guises can account for a wide range of excellent patterns. It is available everywhere in both natural and dyed variations. My favourite hair, yes it is *that* good (highly recommended).
The most popular Elk Variations are as follows:

Yearling Elk -
A nice hair of fine to medium texture that has well defined tips and can be used for flies ranging from 12 to 20 such as comparaduns, humpies and small elk hair caddis. A good all round winging hair.

Bull Elk - A medium texture hair that is coarser than yearling and not quite as well suited to small flies. Will tie from 10 to 16 with ease and is generally considered to be the hair of choice for the elk hair caddis.

Cow Elk - a coarse hair that is more flexible than bull or yearling elk. Typically lending itself to wings on large flies (12 and below), it can also be an effective spinning hair.

Deer

Roe, red, fallow, whitetail and mule deer are all used in fly tying, however, most deer hair conforms to *similar* make up (distribution and climatic variation being the determining factors) so I'm going to be daring and lump it all together at first, followed by a few specific examples. (Gulp).

Deer hair isn't quite as durable as Elk and also tends to be slightly less buoyant due to its denser tips. As with elk however it is suited to all manner of flies and is available in a wide range of styles and colours.

General:

Mask
- short, fine to medium hair with very little flare. Good for wings and tails.
Back -
fine to medium textured hair that is fairly long. A good winging material.
Sides -
medium to course texture. A nice spinning hair.
Rump and belly -
coarse hair with a soft and hollow structure that displays moderate to maximum flair. Nice for muddler heads and extended bodies.
Legs -
very short fine hair that is good for small winged imitations.•

Bucktail -
long and fine, virtually no flare. Most commonly used in the tying of lures and streamers.


Specific:
Texas whitetail -
very fine hair that is suitable for tails and upright wings

Yearling deer -
quite fine with very little flare. Good for up-right wings and tails.

Coastal deer -
a very good medium texture hair that has a small diameter making it suitable for flies as small as size 20's. It is primarily used as a winging material on small and medium mayfly imitations. Comparaduns and such like.

Mule deer -
a medium to coarse hair. Prefect for spinning on muddler style flies, but not so great for winging. When you encounter stores selling 'deer hair' this is probably what it will be.

English roe deer -
a very coarse hair that is almost exclusively used for spinning.

I would like to point out that all this is pretty general; I have put down what you're most likely to have dropping on your doorstep after ordering from an average mail order company. A whole mule deer will have more variation than I've mentioned, so don't take it too literally.

Moose
Being rather dense and stiff, moose hair tends to have a limited number of uses. It will not flare to any great extent and is pretty crappy for most applications, but as with anything it does have its pro's. If you're looking for tails and antennae for example it is hard to beat. Plus, a little creativity with a patch of moose mane and some very good wound bodies can be achieved. There are two kinds of moose commonly available:

Moose body -
a straight, dense, stiff and very durable hair that makes a nice tail material.

Moose mane -
a very long (up to 8") wavy hair that is very flexible and durable. It has a nice black and white colouration that is very attractive when wound as a body.

Note: please do not get this confused with chocolate mousse, whilst it is very nice it is no good for fly tying and may clog up your humpies.

Antelope
A very coarse hair that flares easier than anything else currently available, antelope is almost entirely hollow, resulting in it also being the most buoyant hair. Just try pushing an antelope under water if you don't believe me. On the down side however it is a very fragile hair that does tend to break fairly easily and will most likely, due to the animals harsh home environment, possess broken tips upon purchase. Recommended only for spinning.

Caribou
Caribou has a fine to medium textured hair that is very soft and easy to flare. Good for small spun bodies such as those found upon irresistibles.

I stress this is not my work and the humour most certainly is the fault of the author. Enjoy

Chris
 
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beryl

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In my very limited experience.... Elk seems to work whenever its harvested. In natural, it is nice and conspicuous too. DHE, even in Elk always needs a bit of love through a session. The fibers are lying at quite an acute angle to the surface so more likely to be dragged under than if they were lying parallel, as in a CDC & Elk ( pretty much unsinkable) The dressing of the hook is usually dubbed with something that sucks up water and makes the fly heavy. Anyway, hardly a problem. A little pinch in the the bit of chamo I carry does the trick. But after a couple of hours I just change the fly. I presume the fibres take up moisture over time.

A body use peacock quill some member suggested. That seems a good idea as no absorbing weight issues?

I'm tying more flies than I use. Is this an early sign of illness?
 

Mark Morton

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forester_lodge does full roe skins on ebay you could try contacting him for a winter skin the darker the better if your tying muddlers with it.

Thanks for that. I have more than enough to last me this year and hopefully will be restocking come December. That stuff from Toby looks good as well. There are lots of ways you can use deer hair and lots of different species. My 'Muntie' dry pattern came 17th out of 26 entries in the Slovenia National Champs, which I was well pleased with considering I am no professional and this was my first entry in any competition. The pattern uses muntjac hair as the hackle as well as the tail and hare or squirrel for the body. Caught lots of wild browns on it in mayfly time.
 
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