Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A ball of fur comes to life...

It was a fairly innocent remark. "Get on the vise and make some...." he said. Well I got on the vice and made one.

Armed with lots of rabbit fur, some deer hair, a book on tying deer hair bugs and the Warm Water Journal open in the background, I told the wife to get out the vacuum cleaner and keep the first aid kit ready.

Come prepared is my motto

It did not start of well.  The first few clumps of deer hair ended up on the floor and I was getting worried.  Once the first clump was successfully tied on however, things started to look a little brighter, and I was starting to spin hair like a pro. (Well, not quite) 

Tying on the fins proved to be a challenge, but soon even they were ready to flap in the water just like the real thing. Once all the material was on, my wife started to rev the motor on the vacuum cleaner and I was ready to start trimming my creation so that it actually resembles something else than a ball of fur. Now from previous experiences with deer hair, I know that I tend to trim too much. After the first few times tying Bass bugs, I realized that you should probably keep some of those materials that you have spun onto the hook, well . . . on the hook.

After the first few snips, I also learned another valuable lesson. Switch of the air conditioner that is blowing hurricane strength cold wind on you. Those finely clipped hair does look pretty fluttering in the wind though.

Quote from wife "Just look at that pretty face"
I snipped away carefully and slowly my ball of fur started to resemble something. I also quickly realized that my bug had some super sized fins on it. I am hoping that they will shrink when wet.

At the end it didn't turn out all that bad (that is my opinion and I'm sticking to it). The vacuum cleaner had a serious workout and luckily the first aid kit stayed closed. Those who know me will be aware that my flies always end up with some red "gill marks"when I start playing around with razor blades.


  1. Very nice work...but, that one is a lot of snip, snip, snip!!! Don't see any red marks... :)

  2. Thanks River Damsel. A day at the vice without red gills on my flies is a good day for me.

  3. I'd have to say that's not too shabby... better than I could have done on a first attempt. My first attempt at such a fly probably wouldn't have a "pretty face" enough for the camera. I'm sure it takes A LOT of practice to get as good as Pat... and you're well on your way. Keep up the good work.
    P.S. I'm pretty sure the bass will approve too... it looks like it will definitely catch fish.

  4. nice man...not bad at all...I am honored that you used my flies as reference...let's see more...

  5. That's awesome. I can't even comprehend the snipping to get that detail.

  6. Thanks guys. Pat I might have used your fly as reference but mine didn't come close to yours. Thanks for sharing your stunning flies as it has helped me get over my hate for tying deer hair flies.

  7. Nice looking. Pretty good work for a first try. I'm impressed.

  8. Nice work and WAY better than my first attempt. My first attempt never saw the light of day, but heck you did even better than my second try.

    I read somewhere to use a flexible straight razor to trim instead of scissors. Maybe Pat can provide some insight into that idea.