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NE LP fly tying materials

Discussion in 'FlyTyingForums.com, Fly Tying, Trout Fishing' started by Lamarsh, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. Lamarsh

    Lamarsh

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    How often I fly fish has ebbed and flowed since I was about 6 years old. First it was girls, cars, college, then various kinds of hunting and such. But I always come back. Been really getting the itch lately. Last night I dusted off my old fly tying equipment and was reading an old book on the basics. My fly tying experience never got much farther than tying simple nymphs and eggs, never quite got the skill to tie the dries and tougher patterns.

    I have pretty much all of the tools needed, but was wondering if anybody could provide me with a short list of actual fly tying materials that are sort of the "must haves" for tying the usual patters for northern michigan, mainly the NE LP. I mostly fish the Au Sable and the Manistee, but I get around to other spots a decent amount.

    Do any of you simply use deer hair from deer you've killed or taken from road kill? Seems more rewarding than paying for a cut of deer fur online.

    I was also wondering if any of you use birds you harvested. I'm going on a preserve pheasant hunt this weekend and of course can keep as many carcasses as I want. I've tanned and treated hides before, so I was also wondering if any of you do that, and if so, if you could let me know the good birds around here that are worth keeping, and also what you do to go about preserving the skin and feathers. Aside from pheasants, I was hoping to set aside a grouse or two this fall, along with a wood duck and a few goose wings. I was assuming just skin the bird, shave off all excess fat and such, then treat the inside of the skin with borax or salt.
     
  2. mfs686

    mfs686

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    I buy my deer hair because I'm allergic to it so I need the cleaned and treated stuff. As for birds I have saved both Pheasant and grouse feathers along with the flank feathers of every drake mallard and woodie I shoot. Used to save squirrel tails but I have plenty of those. A muskrat pelt would be good to have as well.

    I tie a lot of steelhead flies and streamers so I have more rabbit strips, marabou, schlappen and flashabou then I know what to do with. Oh and Ice dub and laser dubbing, can't forget that.

    When I first started tying 40 years ago I wish they would have had the kits available to tie a dozen of one fly. Would have made my life a lot easier.
     
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  3. Lamarsh

    Lamarsh

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    Thanks. A few of the starter searching dries I'm looking to start with only require deer hair and beaver dubbing, and hackle of I'm not sure what bird but I think pheasant feathers would match the recipe pretty good.

    I have a handful of synthetic fly tying materials already, but not much natural stuff like hair, fur and feathers--I need to acquire that.

    You ever just pluck things off road kill, like cut the tail off a dead squirrel, or maybe cut a square or two off a dead deer? Too weird?
     
  4. Lamarsh

    Lamarsh

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    Oh, one more question. Would it be better for me to buy a kit of dubbing in various colors, or just buy the colors I need as I go along?
     
  5. mjh4

    mjh4

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    Pheasant tails, turkey feathers,duck feathers, squirrel tails and rabbit strips are just a few good choices. I buy dubbing in tan olive brown and black you can tie a lot of flies with four or five different colors just get some fine copper wire and a couple spools of light and dark waxed thread and your good to go. I've always liked using pheasant tail nymphs and hares ear flies ( I've had good luck with those 2 flies also Woolley buggers are easy to tie and catch just about any kind of fish. )


    Sent from my iPhone using Michigan Sportsman
     
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  6. PunyTrout

    PunyTrout

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  7. mfs686

    mfs686

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    If you have deer hair and beaver dubbing tie up a bunch of Elk Hair Caddis flies. Pheasant feathers are more for nymph and wet flies. Good quality hackle is needed for an Adams or parachute type flies. Keep it simple at first until you get the basic techniques down. Google and You Tube are very helpful.
     
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  8. mfs686

    mfs686

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    And Muddlers
     
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  9. Lamarsh

    Lamarsh

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    Good thing, cause I have about 500 pheasant tails, and two turkey wings and a fan from years ago when I had intended on doing a mount but never did. I have an old button buck pelt and cottontail pelt I tanned myself years ago just to try it out, but I'd have to weigh the coolness factor of using materials I harvested myself against essentially destroying those items (not that they are displayed anywhere significant anyways, they just sit in my garage lol). This weekend I'm going to save a rooster and hen pheasant carcass from a preserve hunt and skin and borax them to use going forward, and maybe also set aside a chukar as well, they have some nice patterns on them. I'll do the same this fall with a woodie and mallard drake, and a grouse as well. It just boggles my mind how much tiny pieces of these animals sell for in stores! Most of the time, after I'm done processing them for eating, the feathers and such just go to waste!

    I think as far as dubbing goes I currently have a bag of olive and tan colored beaver dubbing, so maybe I'll order a bag of black and be good to go.

    Question regarding waxing thread--is it better to buy the pre-waxed thread or just wax thread myself with a wax stick?

    Thanks for all the help guys!
     
  10. Lamarsh

    Lamarsh

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    How interchangeable is deer and elk hair, i.e., if a recipe calls for elk hair how big of a deal would it be to use deer hair of the same color the recipe calls for?
     
  11. mfs686

    mfs686

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    Elk hair is better, deer hair works, just be sure to stack it and trim it down. You will find that as you tie you can substitute what the pattern calls for with what you have.
     
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  12. Lamarsh

    Lamarsh

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    Thanks. Oh man, I've harvested 5 bull elks and never once thought to cut myself even a single piece of hide except the one time I did a shoulder mount. Next time I'll have to save some. Is there a specific part of the fur (or multiple parts) that is best for tying? Elk have different colors on them, some of their fur is even black. The hides usually weigh at least quite a bit alone, so it's often real tough to get them out without horses, so we'll usually leave them for the bears and other critters.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
  13. mfs686

    mfs686

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    Don't know but the packages in the stores say Cow Elk Hair for a reason. ;)
     
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  14. Lamarsh

    Lamarsh

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    Hmm that's interesting. I know one thing I always noticed when dressing out bulls was that they STINK big time, they pee all over themselves during the breeding season, especially their bellies. Their fur REEKS lol, sometimes I've spotted elk nearby before hearing or seeing them, but rather by actually smelling the darn things. Not sure if this has anything to do with it tho.
     
  15. kzoofisher

    kzoofisher

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    If you have them grouse and woodcock feathers make awesome soft hackle. Pheasant shoulder feathers work too in larger sizes and iridescent turkey body feathers do interesting things as shell backs or legs.
     
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