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Thread: Fly Tying Material - Substitute for US Buck Tails and Elk

  1. #1

    Fly Tying Material - Substitute for US Buck Tails and Elk

    Not really a taxidermy question, but not a million miles away I guess.

    As the years go by the range of flies I tie and use reduces. Last year I only tied/fished Willie Gunn & Silver Stoat tube flies and CDC and Elk for river brownies.

    The cost of these materials is cheap compared to the cost of deer stalking however there would be something very satisfying about making the best use of a carcass. I am quite fond of the stoats who live in my garden and don't shoot shotguns, so will need to keep buying CDC and stoat/arctic fox hair.

    Does anybody have any experience of using Stag and Roe Buck tails in lieu of the US Buck Tails (think they are white tailed deer)?

    Do any of our deer species get close to having the same hollow hair properties (i.e. good buoyancy for dry flies) of the North Amercian Elk? (remember reading that elk and red deer were considered related not too long ago)?

    Any deer fur patches will always have a use for dubbing etc.....might stick them on evil bay.

    Maybe this is a question for "Wille-Gunn"

  2. #2
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRLA View Post
    Maybe this is a question for "Wille-Gunn"
    I don't quite follow why you've put but I'll answer anyway

    These days I buy most of my flies, at least I do with salmon flies. When I was tying deer hair sedges, however, I wasn't fussy on the origin of the hair and often used roe.

    Deer hair isn't actually hollow but is more of a honeycomb structure. You can read a good explanation on Mustad's website here: Fly of the month where they also suggest getting hold of a roe skin from a friendly hunter or game keeper.

    According to Mustad the fur on the spine is best to use for spinning, whilst the tail can be dyed or used as a substitute for patterns requiring white deer hair.

    I'd be very interested to see some examples of willie gunn's tied using roe hair.

    P.S. You may want to reach out to flytie on here, as I am sure he could provide good advice
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  3. #3
    Thanks Willie_Gunn.

    Not very good with emoticons, was supposed to mean "see above". Best not to use them if I can't use them properly.

    Well that was an encouraging little read regarding roe skins. When I finally get a skin I shall sift through it with a fine tooth comb...(pun intended)

    Just to think, I used to get complaints about the smell of salt petre.........she has no idea of what is in store.

    I will send you some pictures when I finally get round to putting some Willie Gunns together. CDC and Elk will be required first for brown trout.

    If the hens vs. stoats ceasefire does not hold, then there could be an abundance of silver stoat flies as well.
    Last edited by lambic; 22-12-2014 at 15:54.

  4. #4
    i use roe for muddler type surface lures for sea trout " being finer than shop bought deer hair, the heads can be tied denser and seem to float better, plus im tight and if i can improvise i do ! " i gave some light coloured roe rump patches to a friend who died them and they came out very well

  5. #5
    Sounds good! apart from your friend who died. Do you use summer or winter fur / doe or buck?

    Do you strip them quick, like a wake lure for the sea trout?,
    Looking forward to trying
    making some experimental CDC & Roe, as opposed to Elk.

  6. #6
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRLA View Post
    Thanks Willie_Gunn.

    Not very good with emoticons, was supposed to mean "see above". Best not to use them if I can't use them properly.
    No worries - it got my attention and I've never been able to figure out what all the emoticons mean either!

    It would be interesting, in a nerdy fly-tier sort of way, to try out hair from different species at different times of the year. I've got a little book that includes samples of deer hair from different parts of the body, supposedly to help identify which part you might have hit if you are following up a wounded deer, and it gets me thinking that gathering similar different samples of hair from a carcass might encourage me to get back to fly tying.

    Re: CDC I had always thought these came from, ahem, the ducks' "Cul", but I now learn they are from the area around the preen gland. Corporate internet filters notwithstanding, there are some useful links on how to harvest these feathers from suitably appropriated ducks, for example: DIY Fly Fishing: How to find CDC feathers on a duck | 3 Brothers Flies
    Now I regret all those ducks that I've shot and then simply thrown away the carcass
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  7. #7
    Good quality CDC is hard to find and quite pricy. Shame about those ducks.

    I think you should start tying again. In a nerdy (and frugal) fly tying way, perhaps it would be possible to replicate nearly all the different hairs out there by using summer/winter/buck/doe parts... The proof is the pudding I guess. Good challenge to have.

    I use a lot of Arctic fox tail for low water flies, so would be very good to find long soft hairs like those.

    How difficult would it be to take the mask off a deer? Body fur no problem.
    Last edited by lambic; 22-12-2014 at 16:59.

  8. #8
    Shock horror, i tie all my own flies, but buy all my Elk/Deer hair!
    It gutted me that the Elk i recently shot i couldn't bring any home.
    However, any duck i shoot i always pick the CDC and get to pick the best feathers.
    Cheers
    Richard

  9. #9
    Hi Richard. Were you not allowed to take the fur due ro environmental regulations?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by JRLA View Post


    Does anybody have any experience of using Stag and Roe Buck tails in lieu of the US Buck Tails (think they are white tailed deer)?


    Maybe this is a question for "Wille-Gunn"
    I hate to sound negative, but red stag tails and roe buck tails will not make very good flies! Can anyone guess why?
    MS

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