I'm looking for some polar bear hair to tie a dozen or so flies with.
My question is...is the stuff legal or just exceptionally hard to come by? And of course...where can I get some?
Never mind that crap of chasing one down and clipping it myself! Thanks.
12-03-2000, 08:34 PM
First the facts. Polar bear fur appears white because it reflects all wavelengths of visible light. However, polar bear fur does not reflect ultraviolet (UV) light, but absorbs it so well that the animal appears black when photographed with UV-sensitive film. Refer to fly line color thread if fish really see color. Talk to Al or Greg on that. Add to these facts the observations that the hairs of polar bears are hollow and that polar bear skin is black, and a tantalizing speculation can be posited: polar bears channel ultraviolet light through their hollow hairs to their black skin thereby warming the animal in the Arctic cold. The efficiency is such that no UV light is lost to the environment – polar bear hair thus possesses superior fiber optic properties.
Enough of the scientific facts. Polar bear is indeed illegal to hunt and tan. There is a tribe of Eskimos in Canada or Alaska that can legally hunt them. Most of this goes for food and winter protection. Most of the stuff that is sold as genuine polar bear hair comes from yard sales and old taxidermist mounts. People get a hold of these old skins and dye them various colors. I've bought some and I was not impressed with the quality, amount and the cost. It's too bad zoo's who loose animals could sell their pelts and generate some funds for their concerns.
Try this number 1 - 800 347-4654 Spokane, Washington. There are synthetics that closely resemble the hair.
12-03-2000, 10:07 PM
"Never mind that crap of chasing one down and clipping it myself! Thanks."
What's the matter Doug, slowing down a bit. I always heard navy seals were afraid of the bear. Not so with airborne rangers. http://22.214.171.124/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif
You can take your pick...I'm getting too old, too lazy, and overweight!! Any one of those reasons is good enough for me. That's all I have for "G" rated comments. :)
Thanks for the info!
12-04-2000, 09:50 AM
"It's too bad zoo's who loose animals could sell their pelts and generate some funds for their concerns."
It's funny he should mention this, the Polar bear that had been at the Stone Zoo for many, many years passed away recently.
Since that would be "legal" fur, I wonder what they'd say if.... http://126.96.36.199/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif" border="0" align="middle">
Doug - I have a contact for legal PB. If you are interested, it's pretty costly at about $10 per square inch. I purchased some in the length needed for classic PNW steelhead flies like the Skykomish Sunrise and "formally dressed" skunks and other white hairwing wets. It has an irridescence you don't get any other way. The coho salmon flyfishermen swear by it but I use synthetics for such abuse on my flies <img src="http://188.8.131.52/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif Them hooknoses are a bad-ass fish! Anyway I digress...
Let me know if you are interested in obtaining some long PB fur.
NOTE: On one of my recent trips back to Seattle Brian and I were driving to a river and saw a guy who looked like he came from an estate sale with old stuff in his pickup truck. Of particular note was a full PB rug! We nearly drove off the road.
As far as chasing and clipping... maybe we should work our way up from Cul de Canard! Those ducks are a lot easier except for that blood curdling quacking when you pluck from that area! http://184.108.40.206/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif
This 1 square inch of hair....any length on that?
BTW....someone from another board just sold me an LP-4 spool.
Per my email, lots of different lengths. He's out in the PNW and out there folks are more interested in short polar bear for steelhead wet flies. I've seen the long fur, so will contact him to see if he's got any in.