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Old 05-07-2013, 12:31 PM
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Default Choosing Elk/Deer Hair

I recently bought a pack of bleach elk hair to tie some elk hair caddis. When I got home and started to tie, I noticed that the length of the hair was very uneven. This made it very hard to separate the under-hair because as I went to tease out the under-hair the shorter hair would come out at the same time.

When it came time to it, I would just cut a big clump and separate out the longer hairs. I would repeat that about two times to get the right amount to put in the stacker.

This was the first pack of elk hair I have purchased and didn't really know what to look for.

Is it normal for hair to be uneven like that? Is there some kind of trait in the hair I should be looking for?

In other words, what is the ideal pack of hair?
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: Choosing Elk/Deer Hair

I generally get my Elk Hair from The Spot in Van Nuys, they carry Nature's Spirit which offers some of the better Deer and Elk. The tips should be straight and as even as possible. One may steam those bent tips and it will help to some extent. If I travel to that place behind the OC, I go through each package to find what I am looking for in hairs - some of their Elk (and Deer) just doesn't make the grade...

Natural Spirit Elk Hair

Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone also carries some of the best Elk and Deer hair that I have ever seen...


PT/TB
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Choosing Elk/Deer Hair

Here is a guide for selecting hair.

Selecting deer or elk hair for comparaduns

I never buy prepackaged hair. I never buy hair I have not personally examined. If the only option is prepackaged hair, I open the package and examine the hair.

If you cannot do the above, call Blue Ribbon Flies and ask them to personally hand pick the hair for the flies you want to tie. Tell them the pattern you wnat to tie, the fly size, and the color of hair you want - dark or light natural, or bleached.

Go to BRF and look at the types of hair they offer.
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Choosing Elk/Deer Hair

That's a great guide to buying hair. I'm pretty picky with comparadun hair and need to pull it out of a pack to look at before purchase. I do buy hair from fly tyer's dungeon. Have gotten some pieces that weren't my favorite but for a buck for a large piece that's not a big deal. Great for deer hair to spin and also get elk for caddis and the like there. Have some moose mane from them as well that I like.

I do find with some hair that the short ones come out when I remove the under fur. I just cut a bit more off the skin to account for this and it's fine. When the hair cost a buck I don't mind cutting extra.
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: Choosing Elk/Deer Hair

Quote:
Originally Posted by planettrout View Post
I generally get my Elk Hair from The Spot in Van Nuys, they carry Nature's Spirit which offers some of the better Deer and Elk. The tips should be straight and as even as possible. One may steam those bent tips and it will help to some extent. If I travel to that place behind the OC, I go through each package to find what I am looking for in hairs - some of their Elk (and Deer) just doesn't make the grade...

Natural Spirit Elk Hair

Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone also carries some of the best Elk and Deer hair that I have ever seen...


PT/TB
I might have to make a sojourn out to Van Nuys to check that place out. The only thing really holding me back is that Valley traffic.

---------- Post added at 06:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:34 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
Here is a guide for selecting hair.

Selecting deer or elk hair for comparaduns

I never buy prepackaged hair. I never buy hair I have not personally examined. If the only option is prepackaged hair, I open the package and examine the hair.

If you cannot do the above, call Blue Ribbon Flies and ask them to personally hand pick the hair for the flies you want to tie. Tell them the pattern you wnat to tie, the fly size, and the color of hair you want - dark or light natural, or bleached.

Go to BRF and look at the types of hair they offer.
Thanks for that explanation.

Last time I was in the fly shop the guy picked out a good package of Comparadun hair for me. This time, I thought I'd go at it alone and came away with a sub par patch of bleached elk hair. At least I know better now.
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Choosing Elk/Deer Hair

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
Here is a guide for selecting hair.

Selecting deer or elk hair for comparaduns

I never buy prepackaged hair. I never buy hair I have not personally examined. If the only option is prepackaged hair, I open the package and examine the hair.

If you cannot do the above, call Blue Ribbon Flies and ask them to personally hand pick the hair for the flies you want to tie. Tell them the pattern you wnat to tie, the fly size, and the color of hair you want - dark or light natural, or bleached.

Go to BRF and look at the types of hair they offer.
I can't remember where I saw it, but I came across a post on one forum or another that recommended Deer Hair from Blue Ribbon Flies. I was in the market for some Elk Hair for CDC & Elk and placed an order over the net. It is by far the best piece of hair I've purchased, even considering the ones I've put my eyes on first. Highly recommended.
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: Choosing Elk/Deer Hair

Look for grab bags full of deer or elk hair. You'll get all of the deer or elk hair you need for a lot less than the actual prices. They're just the pieces that aren't the right size.
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: Choosing Elk/Deer Hair

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybo41 View Post
I can't remember where I saw it, but I came across a post on one forum or another that recommended Deer Hair from Blue Ribbon Flies. I was in the market for some Elk Hair for CDC & Elk and placed an order over the net. It is by far the best piece of hair I've purchased, even considering the ones I've put my eyes on first. Highly recommended.
+1 for Chris Helm at Blue Ribbon Flies and the quality of hair they sell.

If you know WHAT you're going to tie (pattern wise) and what SIZE you're going ot tie,m that helps greatly when purchasing hollow hair.

If you want to tie down wing flies, like Stimulators, Bullet head hoppers, or even EHCs, then you want hair that is 'less hollow' at the point where you'll be binding it down to the hook.. so for smaller EHCs, you'd probably want hock hair, and for Stimmys and hoppers, you'd want something form a bit further up on the leg, or close to the back. Try to avoid buying all long hair and then just using the tips, because you lose the buoyancy you're looking for.

Also, pay attention to the thread you're using when working with hollow hair. If you're using GSP, Monocord or any other thread with a "core" that can't be spun/counter spun to lay flat (like Danville's Flymaster) then your wraps can either 'cut' the hair, or force it to flare at the tie in point. By spinning your hair flat, applying enough but not too much pressure on your initial wraps, THEN spinning the bobbin and tightening up on the subsequent wraps, your hair will remain tight, but not flare tremendously.
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