unusual fly tying materials


New Member
Theres an old fashioned fly called the Tups indispensable that's well over a 100 years old

it was dubbed with the urine soaked hair from rams testicles which apparently had a unique dusky yellow glow that was as the name suggests indispensable
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Active Member
Several years ago, probably late 90's, a student of mine dyed her hair purple and I asked her for a clump to tie some steelhead flies with. She did, I tied, i caught a steelhead with one of those flies :)

Jim B

Active Member
We have two boarder terriers, and I use their underfur too! We had a wire haired Parsons Jack that I used to take hair from too. His name was Potpie-great fishing dog-I called his flies "Potpie Flies"
A simple, deadly summer steelhead fly, very successful on the Deschutes:
hook: #6 or #8 steelhead iron
tail: border terrier guard hairs
rib: small gold twist tinsel
body: border terrier underfur
hackle collar: ginger or grizzly hackle
wing: border terrier guard hairs


Before fine wire was available for fly tying, I'd tear apart automotive relays to retrieve the different colors of coil wiring (it helped to work at an automotive dealership). To this day, I still have small spools of the relay wiring.

Another idea came from the dad of one of the guys who also worked at the dealership. The dad worked at a carpet shop and would cut the twisted fibers off remnants of antron carpeting, chop up the antron and use it for dubbing. Considering he was doing this before synthetic dubbing came on the scene, the idea was quite revolutionary.

I still use some of the carpet fibers he gave me but use a blender to create dubbing in a variety of colors. I call it rug dubbing.

Someone mentioned using paint brush bristles.. which does indeed work quite well for creating a sturdy tail for dry flies.

Way back before there were a lot of outlets for fly tying materials, I, as with others, would cruise fabric and craft stores looking for tying materials. ....I still do.

Speaking of dog hair, for the original Trude Caddis the wing was tied with the white hair cut from the fur of the ranch dog .... basically as a joke.

When the pattern worked, they took the fly more seriously and switched to white calves tail fibers for the wing.
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Nooksack Mac

Active Member
Chamois leech? Tell me more.
PhilR: pardon my reticence, but "For the good of the Order," I'm reluctant to reveal this pattern to the public, because while it doesn't always work, it is frequently as deadly as Hannibal Lector on drugs. My design is quite simple, but then, so are real leeches.

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