Out of a tradgedy came a triumph!!!
You know, really isn't a true flytying forum. So thought I'd add this to the flies area since the materials in question are for my steelhead/salmon flies.
Well, I was doing some organizing of my fly tying bench. My kids have started tying, and I've let them freely tie. But under conditions they reseal bags they use and put them back where they got them. Recently, my daughter had some friends sleepover, and all of them were tying. This was MY mistake, because I didn't recheck all the bags they were using.
Here's what happened. I have some blackbear hides and I have some silver tip grizzly hides. I use them, and keep them pretty much under wraps. I haven't used either since the sleepover. Well, went to pull out my grizzly (in same bag with blackbear) and found little moths in it. YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!! Luckily, I caught them before they did any damage. But I wanted to clean it ASAP. So did a simple wash in mild soap/water. I've cleaned hides before, and seemed if I air dried it, they fur would matt down. So, I figured since I got all the hides for free (though, I've found it hard to get the grizzly) I tossed in the drier with a static sheet. Figured the heat would bring the natural flowing of the fur back.
WELL, guess what?!?!?!?! Throwing the hides (tanned of course) into the dryer took ALL the underfur out. All that down fur was pulled off the skin and left the guard hair vibrant, exposed, and good as new. It was a miracle. Like most, I would have to pick out all the down fur out. Won't have to do it anymore. Seems like most of the natural oils are still in it. I took a small piece and rewetted it. Held up just like it did when I washed it (man those bears are waterproof lol ).
So, just a thought. I was really surprised it worked (plus all the eggs left behind floated out of the hide, so I lucked out and all the critters are gone too. Resealed in bags and am set to go.
Disclaimer: Don't try this just because I said so. I may have hit the right combo. Hate to see someone lose a prized hide because they wanted to get rid of the down fur. But worked for me in the method I used.
"Good angling ethic is not a monopoly practiced just by fly fisherman" - Bill McMillan