Fly Fishers' Republic

Deer Hair Body

June 18, 2006

by Raif Killips

Deer Hair Body

Deer hair, due to its buoyancy, is used in several dry fly patterns including the Humpy and Bomber. In these the hair is either spun or used as tail, shell-back, or wing. Here the deer hair is used to build an extended body. Many stonefly, mayfly, and hopper patterns use this technique. For this extended body you’ll need to mount a stout needle in the vice. The following sequence covers the dressing of the body for a Paradrake.

Tying instructions:

Toggle sequence Left/Right Handed ↔

Stage 1

1. After you’ve secured a suitable needle in the vice, tie in tails of pheasant tail or moose hair.

Stage 2

2. Directly over the previous wraps spin a single small bunch of prepared deer hair.

Stage 3

3. Make several firm securing wraps of thread.

Stage 4

4. Trim the short ends of deer hair close to the needle.

Stage 5

5. Next, stroke the deer hair forward around the needle, leaving the tying thread at the tie in point. It helps avoid taking the tails forward with the hair if your deer hair extends longer than the tails. You’ll see what I mean when you try this.

Stage 6

6. While still pulling firmly on the deer hair make several firm securing wraps infront of the tails, before making spiraling wraps down the length of the deer hair. Make several more securing wraps at the end of the spiral wraps.

Stage 7

7. Now take the thread in crossing spiral wraps towards the tails, and tie off to secure the thread.

Stage 8

8. Now treat the body with Dave’s Flexament to seal and strengthen it. When the Flexament is dry ease the body form the needle.

Stage 9

9. Tie the body on to a hook by the loose ends for a patternn like this Olive Paradrake.

This isn’t the only method of creating an extended deer hair body. Skip Morris demonstrates another technique that involves tying directly onto the hook. We’ll look at this in a later article.