Understanding Deer Hair

Age, climate, sex, region, species, and time of the year are some of the factors that influence the quality of deer hair for fly tying. One facet that has a huge impact on how a tier should use deer hair pertains to where it came from on the hide. If you use the wrong hair for the wrong fly you're not going to like the result.


1. Mask - Fine Hair for caddis emergers - not overly buoyant and difficult to stack.
2. Gretzen or Neck - Fine hair for tailing or wings (haystacks).
3. Body - Medium coarse hair ideal for spinning.
4. Rump - Coarse long hair for large bugs.
5. Tail - Bucktails for streamer patterns and bass bugs.
6. Belly - Coarse hair which is shorter than the rump but is useful for large flies.
7. Hock - Short stiff hair not particularly useful - Elk's better.