Spinning Deer Hair

by Brian Zinger on February 22, 2016

Last time the club got together, there was much talk of problems with spinning deer hair. So at this weeks get together we will focus on doing just that. It’s important to be able to do this well as there are many productive flies that utilize spun hair. Mostly, deer hair is used on flies that float due to the buoyant properties of  hair from member of the deer family.  Other flies use spun hair to add girth to heavily weighted nymphs and streamers.

Goddard Caddis

Goddard Caddis

It’s easier to spin on a bare hook rather than a thread covered hook.   The thinner the hair the better it will spin.  Clumps of hair about the diameter of 1/2 a pencil are removed from the hide, then combed out to get any under fur.  To spin hair you’ll need heavy thread due to the tension required.  Hold the clump of hair over the the shank of the hook and apply two loose raps of thread right next to each other. As you come around on the 2nd rap apply tension upward to collapse the hair to the hook in the area you wish. Still holding on with the opposite hand, release some tension on the thread and on your hand as you make another rap over the the 1st two. Again, as you come around apply upward tension and allow the hair that you’ve be lightly holding to spin out of your hand.    Continue to release tension going around and add tension going up for a couple more raps.  You should see the hairs flare and separate around the hook. Start making close wraps forward through the now separated hair until you are out front again. Make a couple wraps to secure. At this point you can add anther clump if the pattern requires.

This week I’ll be working on the Goddard Caddis. This  caddis pattern is great to skitter in heavy riffles where a regular elk hair caddis won’t due.

Goddard Caddis

Hook: Mustad 94640 Sizes 16 -12

Thread:  camel 6/0 or heavier

Wing/body: Spun and trimmed VT buck body hair

Hackle: Furnace neck hackle

Antenna: stripped hackle feather stem, doubled then cut and  even.





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