Dyed Deer Body Hair
Individual deer guard hairs are tapered hollow tubes. Being hollow gives deer hair a number of compelling properties. The air trapped inside the hollow hair makes it lighter than water. It remains so if the open end of the trimmed hair is closed of during the tying process, such as tying down the wing of an Elk Hair Caddis (which might just as well been called a Deer Hair Caddis, since many are tied with deer hair).
Between these guard hairs is a layer of fine under-fur, more in winter, less in summer. Deer like most wild animals shed or grow new hair seasonally to compensate for the average air temperature. Most deer hair sold for fly tying is a byproduct of State hunting seasons, which normally occur in the fall and winter. Therefore some furn will be encountered when using deer hair. For most tying applications it is better to remove the under-fur before it is stacked for wings. This is easily done with a fine comb by grasping the hair by the tips after it has been trimmed from the hide and combing toward the butts. The guard hairs are easily organised with a hair stacker for wings on dry flies used for fishing rough water.
Since deer body hair is hollow it compresses easily when thread is wrapped around a bundle of it. When compressed in the middle a bundle of deer hair tends to flare at each end. Often a number of flared bundles are wrapped around a hook and then compressed together to form a rough cylindrical shape. This rough cylinder is often trimmed and sculpted into a three dimensional shape of form the body or head of a fly.
These patches of soft tanned deer hide hold perfectly clean and bug free hair in optimal organization. The colors are vibrant clear to the skin and are earthy shades the that mimic nature. Now you can match the exact color of caddis wings, or frog bellies and backs. You can now tie muddler minnow heads in colors that steelhead find absolutely irresistible.