Alternative wing materials

Hey guys I have just returned from a camping trip where I was able to try out many of my fly patterns I dreamed up and I am happy to report that many of them were highly successful. However I have been using packing foam (the thin white foam that often surrounds the contents of the package) for wings on caddis, hopers, stones ect. In my success I found failure in this packing foam. The tiny trout teeth absolutely destroyed the wings of my flies after catching a few fish. Of course I don’t mind my flies’ wings falling apart as long as I am catching fish, but I would like them to be more durable. The majority of you are far superior at this art so I was wondering, in your experience what works best for wing material. Any advice would be very helpful. Thank you for your time:thumb:

Keep your ties simple and use either stacked elk & deer, foam or CDC for your winging materials. These materials will withstand the harsh teeth and will give your flies the added boyuancy to keep them riding high and dry.


Active Member
I fished alot of Lafontaine airheads when I fished for trout in streams. Used the same material you're talking about. He designed it so that when the wing was tattered you could just tie in a new one. In other words, the wing was the last thing tied on, so you could replace it easily. Hard to beat the brightness and floatation of that stuff. A beetle, with a fat peacock body and that winging... Awesome.