Tying Materials [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Tying Materials

01-10-2003, 10:26 AM
Does anyone in here go, or know someone who goes hunting big and small game?

If so, have you ever used hunted game for fly tying materials?
Squirrel tails, Duck feathers, Deer hair, ect...

My friend hunts for the meat, however, before he skins the game, he calls me and let's me reap the feathers, fur and the likes...
I can get almost anything I need, for FREE.

If you do this, fine...
If not, that's fine too...
There is no reason to waste any part of the animal if you can prevent it.

Keeping this in mind, I will pass along one of my best "FLY TYING" secrets for mayflies...
The BEST material for tails is..... SQUIRREL WHISKERS.:eek:

Thats right, good ole squirrel whiskers...

They are tough, light weight, and come in all sizes for the cutting.
(I know, this sounds weird, and I expect some repocussions... After all, It's cohocola.)
But I'm telling you now, this works the best...

The next time someone takes a few squirrels, clip some whiskers and try this before you judge this too harshly... (they are not going to use them anyway, unless they have the squirrel mounted)

Think about it....

01-10-2003, 11:20 AM
I've got a buddy who does the same. I've got more grouse and duck feathers than I know what to do with. As a bonus, he works at a taxidermist part-time so I reap some of those benefits as well. :D

01-10-2003, 11:48 AM
I keep on good terms with my duck, deer, and pheasant hunting friends and have to much stuff right now.

Don't know any trappers though.

Squirrel whiskers, yes I could see that for may fly tails

Use to hunt and trap them when I was a teenager.

PM Out

01-10-2003, 12:14 PM
H'mm, squirrel whiskers for tailing material. Thats an appropriate use for the critters who like to attack my peach tree.

01-10-2003, 12:20 PM
the Pooch could be in 'trouble.'

If Willie Gunn can 'denude' his dogs .... maybe the cats should be hiding under furniture too?;)

As a suggestion, all-be-it probably a pain in the a.. to do. If there is all this 'extra' stuff floating around perhaps we could have a 'for sale by owner' on extra materials of this nature.

God knows (and Joan) what I (and probably so does everyone elses Sig. Other) we spend on this stuff every year.

01-10-2003, 01:35 PM
You can also use the cat's shed whiskers. I find them on the blue rug and off they go to the bench :smokin:

01-10-2003, 04:33 PM
who shoots a duck now and then. He tries to "spread the wealth" when he can...

fly tying helps me maximize the pleasure and usefullness of the game I kill.

Anybody nwo the useful part of a goose - I hope to get one this season...

01-10-2003, 06:00 PM
I am shocked by the cruelty that you propose. KILLING squirrels? I have been trapping animals for years with a "haveaheart" trap. I just clip and shave the critters(in the summer of course)and let them go. "Thanks Eddie!", they say as they scamper off into the woods.

01-10-2003, 06:41 PM
My pesty squirrels appear to be gone since I got the two Siberian Husky pups. I am sure they will get him eventually if he dares to go for our bird feeder now. :D

PM Out

01-10-2003, 09:50 PM
I've been known to stop in (or perhaps it should be called prowl) taxidermy shops for elk, deer, moose, mountain sheep, and mountain goat hair. Most taxidermists are more than happy to give the scraps to you or they have them in galon sized zip locks for a buck or two a bag. Great way to get very good hair with the hide tanned to boot.

Deer tails, duck feathers (anyone got any wood duck- both barred and unbarred- or gadwall they don't need? if so PM me), grouse doy feathers (just about out of them too, anyone not need theirs?) grey squirrel tails, grey fox hide, ringneck rump and white neck feathers (need the white neck feathers too), and ground hog have all been utilized by myself from various hunting sorties and the generosity of others. I even had two yearling elk hides given to me by neighbors when I lived in Montana. Unfortunately, I don't have any of the yearling elk left, it is the best hair to use for elk hair caddis and comparaduns.


I's shocked that you would be so cruel as to deprive the poor little darling of their only means of protection from the elements. Shameful, simply shameful.

01-10-2003, 11:38 PM
One small note...
I never said that "I" killed the squirrels for their whiskers....

I simply said that I can not see letting a natural resource be wasted when it can be used to its fullest.
Just because someone else killed the animal does not make me guilty of animal cruelity, after all, did we kill the beef, pork and poultry we bought at the stores for dinner last night?

I'm sure that all of the FLY TYING materials in the catalogs and shops did NOT die of natural causes.

I have used SHEDDED cat and dog whiskers too, they are softer and break easier.

I have no problem with using synthetics also, I just don't like to see things wasted needlessly.

01-11-2003, 01:05 PM
FT, good point. It takes too long time to wait for them to die of old age(some rodents live for 30+ years), and I have been troubled by all the cruelty(not to mention that rabbits and Pheasants are being driven to extinction because of flytiers), so what to do? Synthetics are petroleum based, and Ossama and Co. don't need any more money. Besides, an antron crystal bugger is hardly biodegradable.
For the last few seasons I have been working towards tieing with materials sourced entirely from my own body. I am now working through the ethical questions with regards to scented flys. OH, BROTHER!

01-13-2003, 02:51 PM
I seen a bunch of bald squirrels running around last time I was in Maine. Guess I must have been near Eddie's house. :chuckle: