First Salmon Fly. Needs improvement.

FinLuver

Active Member
#16
When it come to calf tail on my steelhead flies, I take considerable time pulling as many of the bent fibers as possible before stacking (tips first); then I pull the clump out of the stacker and remove any short and stray fibers from the butt end (side of things); then restack; take that clump and again pull the wild/bent fibers...this usually gives me a much cleaner/straighter looking wing.

It takes time, but I like the results. ;)
 

PatrickH

Active Member
#17
When it come to calf tail on my steelhead flies, I take considerable time pulling as many of the bent fibers as possible before stacking (tips first); then I pull the clump out of the stacker and remove any short and stray fibers from the butt end (side of things); then restack; take that clump and again pull the wild/bent fibers...this usually gives me a much cleaner/straighter looking wing.

It takes time, but I like the results. ;)
Good idea. What % of waste do you think you get on a tail picking out all the good stuff on a decent quality tail?
 

PatrickH

Active Member
#18
I haven't purchased the calf tail. Is there any other cheap alternatives for this type of hair for what I need it for? Like maybe Calf body fur or deer belly hair? or something else? I was looking at squirrel tail, but the died pieces have too much dark in them.
Problem is that I like having a variety of colors, so If I bought the fox fur, its about $6 or $7 each piece and I'm wanting at least 3 to 5 colors, but I also feel there might be too much waste because of the underfur, even though I can use it for something else.
I mean if there is no good other options, I will probably just invest in the Fox fur, but I just wanna be sure that is my best option. I also feel the fox fur might be a little too soft?
 

FinLuver

Active Member
#21
Patrick... When buying calf tail, I pick thru what's on the rack to find the longest and straightest fur on the tails that I can find; and for white tails, I look for the snowiest of white (and sometimes, I'll look for transluscence in a tail...similar to polar bear).

As for what percentage becomes waste, after my pickiness, I would say about 40-45% hits the waste bucket.

I like to tie with squirrel, fox tail, and calf tail...I prefer it over buck tail, but I will tie with that if I get the urge. I mainly tie steelhead flies, hence the longer hair fibers.

Different furs react differently when exposed to water and current.