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Old 09-25-2013, 04:39 AM
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Default Elk hair.

Hi.

I was at a tackle shop yesterday and I was looking for elk hair. There were bull and cow. For making elk hair caddis, what is the preferred?

Kim.
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:41 AM
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Default Re: Elk hair.

As an addendum, what is the practical difference between elk hair and deer hair?
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:12 AM
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Default Re: Elk hair.

I think elk hair is much thicker?

Kim.
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: Elk hair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krikau27 View Post
Hi.

I was at a tackle shop yesterday and I was looking for elk hair. There were bull and cow. For making elk hair caddis, what is the preferred?

Kim.
Good question, I didn't know the answer so I looked it up in Charlie Craven's book "Basic Fly Tying", here is what Charlie says: "Natural bull elk hair is lighter in color and slightly longer than cow or yearling elk hair. While this hair is hollow and buoyant, the wall thickness near the tips prevents this hair from flaring much. This thick wall makes the hair curable, and it is my hair of choice for many downwing patterns like the Elk Hair Caddis. This is a hard hair, particularly near the tips, but as you get closer to the butt ends of the hair it gains inside diameter and flares well along its base. Its longer length limits it to larger-than-average flies. Cow elk hair is slightly darker and shorter than bull elk air but also slightly bigger in outside diameter. The texture and color of a good piece of cow elk hair is similar to that of deer body hair, but the wall of the cow elk hair is generally much thicker. Cow elk can be used on patterns like the Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulator, and the Humpy. The overall diameter of the hair is bigger than both the bull and yearling hair, and I find this bair a bit large to use on smaller flies. A good piece of cow elk has tips that taper quickly to sharp points. Short tips make wings that end all in the same place and create a stark edge rather than longer wispy tips that result in a wing that just sort of fizzles out near the tips. Cow elk hair flares more than bull elk hair. Yearling Elk epitomizes what I search for in a piece of hair to use for wings on flies of all sizes. The soft texture coupled with the quickly tapered tips makes this hair great for nearly all winging applications. The somewhat thinner wall thickness and thinner overall diameter makes this hair easy to compress on the hook, yet it is still thick enought to keep the hair from flaring out of bounds when I apply thread tension. Yearling elk hair is longer than cow elk and often as long as bull, making it useable for a range of fly sizes".

Edit: The depth of information provided by Charlie in this book is just one reason why I always recommend to new fly tiers to pick up a copy, it is well worth the money!

Larry
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:29 AM
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Default Re: Elk hair.

In complete agreement with Larry, Charlie Cravens book is a great source for beginners and the experienced fly tyer.

Dave
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: Elk hair.

Here's a tutorial I wrote on selecting hair for Comparaduns and EHCs.

Selecting deer or elk hair for comparaduns

To add to what Charlie says, it should be noted that both deer and elk hair grow longer as winter approaches. So if you want to tie small flies, ask for EARLY season elk/deer hair. This is hair from an animal harvested at the beginning of the hunting season. The hair will have the short tips you want for the well defined wing edge of a well tied fly.

Blue Ribbon Flies has early season hair.
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Old 09-25-2013, 11:15 AM
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Default Re: Elk hair.

Silver: Lots of really good info there in your thread, I made it a sticky so it will be easier to find in the future, thanks for sharing.

Larry
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Elk hair.

Thank you Larry!
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Elk hair.

I didn't realize Comparadun hair flares so much. Then what hair should I use for small caddis flies? Costal Hair?

Randy
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Elk hair.

Choosing Elk/Deer Hair
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