Craziest Tying Materials [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Craziest Tying Materials

04-14-2000, 09:29 AM
I've dubbed the underfur from my golden / shepherd mix into summer steelhead nymphs and spiders. I've also read about classic salmon flies that call for human hair (specific colors from females only). As I mentioned, I use the ultra-thin foam packaging sheets for emerger wings (nothing new of course) and have tied my daughter's craft tinsel into silverside patterns. If you ponder ez-shape sparkle body, it's probably nothing more than glittery goop for fabric decorating. The shed feather's from my nephew's zebra finches have adorned my spey flies in the past, and I've tied tube flies on aerosol spray nozzle extenders.

Any wacky materials stories out there?

04-15-2000, 09:33 AM
How about non cling dryer sheets after a wash and dry, painted brown and splattered with black. Also used for the P&SSY Caddis was a blend of cat fur dubbing.

Royal Usual
04-15-2000, 09:46 AM
(It's amazing, but the hair just behind my tabby cat's ears is exactly the same colour as Ausable Wulff dubbing...)

I've just started to tie, but I have found that my past history of being a knitter and cross-stitcher is starting to come in handy. A trip to a craft store's stitchery section will yield some interesting blending filaments, originally intended to add a metallic gleam to cross-stitching.

My hubby also finds it handy that I can waltz into a fabric store and order a quarter metre of sparkle organza (pretty much a lifetime supply for a fly tier) without getting strange looks from the clerk.

My most recent purchase is a block of yellow Fimo clay, to try molding flies (saw a Boyd Pfieffer article about this recently). I don't expect this to be a really successful venture; I just like the idea of it.


04-17-2000, 08:56 PM
1- The whitest white comes from a skunk's stipe,
2- Try CDG, cul de goose
3- Your "never go anywhere without it" regular old Duct Tape

04-18-2000, 06:57 AM
My wife's a veterinarian, and she's supplied me with lots of really cool stuff.

04-18-2000, 07:23 AM
Dave -

Wow, what a connection! I often wondered if it is legal to have otherwise illegal materials if they are obtained through documented cases - like veterinarians.

One example - blue heron feathers. Since the abolition of DDT, herons seem to be everywhere. Now in the case of one coming to a vet and meeting misfortune, would the feathers be OK to use for flies if the paper trail supported it?

Anyway, I have been told that polar bear is legal if obtained through documented cases like old bearskin rugs. Obviously, jungle cock is legal if obtained from rearing farms in the UK, etc.

BTW - I saw a fisher cat roadkill recently. That tail was a thing of beauty! The animal officer collecting the carcass asked if I wanted the tail... but I wouldn't know how to cure it or otherwise treat it for use as a material source.

04-18-2000, 09:23 AM
throw the tail in a bag full of boraxo(after you microwave it fo 20-30 seconds(to kill parasites). this is what i was told by a longtime fly-tyer. Tom

04-18-2000, 09:30 AM
oh yeah, you may cet a nasty smell from the tail so make sure it is nuked when you don't have anyone around for a little while! and make sure to remove as much flesh as you can from the base of the tail. Tom

04-18-2000, 09:37 AM

I didn't mention specifics about what my wife has given me because I've got the same concerns about the law as you. Let's just say that she recently did some surgery on animals at a zoo in the area. Guess who got some of the hair that was shaved off to clear the area for the incision?

As for preparing skins, it's really easy. I save pieces of deer skin that I get on hunting trips for fly tying. I just stretch the hide on a piece of plywood or cardboard using heavy staples or small nails (fur side toward the board) and put lots of salt on the flesh side. I store it in a dry place for a couple of months and then put it in a ziploc bag with my fly tying stuff. You'll need to rub off the old salt and apply new once or twice as the salt pulls the moisture out of the hide.

05-02-2000, 10:03 PM
The second fly I tyed had a lock of my son's hair (auburn red). I caught pickerel with it earlier this year.

My wife says I'm crazy, but I'm still on the lookout for a way to use up all that dryer lint that accumulates.

My fly tying instructor told us the best way to treat a tail or skin is to wash it thoroughly in Woolite and then soak it in a dilute solution of bleach and water.