Deer Hair - The Magic Material

The Magical Properties of Deer Hair

Usually, at this time of year, it's pretty hard going on our northern rivers, with hatches very few and far between.

One river which fishes really well in the early season is a very local (and very small) river which runs off the North York Moors, there is a very small syndicate of anglers who fish it - there are only about 15 of us, but it's the one river where you are virtually guaranteed to see rising fish in April, no matter what the conditions throw at us!

I know that the recent weather has not been kind to us, and has played havoc with the early fly hatches. But don't despair, when there is a cold and wet spell followed by a warmer period (as is planned according to the our local weather forecasters), this is just the kick that the insects need to hatch - after all they don't know when the weather will be warm again - a bit like us!

A fly pattern which really pays dividends in exactly these conditions is an emerger style fly tied with deer hair.

TL;DR - Too Long; Didn't Read

As you may be pressed for time, I will get straight to the point - as we only have a few of these selections available!

This email is all about Deer Hair and how it helps in fly design. We have two selections which are Deer Hair specific, the Tom Thumb & Deershucker Selections which we are offering at a 20% discount (no discount codes or anything like that, just pop one in your basket at the discounted price), but only while stocks last: 

We are also making each of the above selections available with a Slimline Silicone fly box for only an extra £6 - bargain! Just selection the option on the product page and we will send you your selection and include the silicone fly box.

*** Go on, you know you want to! ***

So, read on McDuff and I'll tell you a story ...

But before I do, as you seem to like a bit of a deal, keep on reading to the end for a couple of cracking deals on our Deer Hair specific fly selections.

(Read this in the style of "Five Go Fly Fishing")

A long time ago ...

Once upon a sun-kissed morning by a sparkling Yorkshire beck, a young(ish) angler named Richard set out on a fishing adventure with his friend and fishing guru, Andy.

The air was filled with the songs of birds, tales of fish lost and the water glistened like a million diamonds.

"Andy?" Richard asked curiously, "Why do you always start fishing with a fly tied with deer hair?"

Andy smiled, his eyes twinkling with wisdom. "Ah, my little fishing buddy, do you not know about the magic of deer hair," he replied.

As they sat by the water's edge tucking into their early morning pork pies (the breakfast of champions) and checking for rising fish, Andy began to spin a tale:

 "You see, Richard, deer hair has a special charm that fish just can't seem to resist, especially in the spring and summer when there are lots of insects hatching. It has a secret power to mimic the looks of drowned insects, fish just can't help themselves but take the fly! If you look closely at the water surface you will see lots of insect shucks in the water, which look just like these deer hair flies."

Andy followed up, "And because deer hair is lightweight - each of the fibres are hollow and contain trapped air, the flies stay afloat without the need to re-treat them every cast."

"That's magic!" Richard pointed out - in his best Paul Daniels impersonation.

Andy nodded. "Indeed, it is! And when those cautious fish take the fly, deer hair is tough enough to withstand their playful nibbles, ensuring we have many tales to tell."

At the thought of a successful day to come, Richard couldn't wait to tie on a deer hair fly and put Andy's tips to good use.

So, fellow anglers, remember the magic of deer hair when you set out on your fishing quests this month. With its magic powers, you'll have the fish eagerly lining up to meet your delightful flies, even if the water levels are above the usual for the time of year!

All of the above happened quite a few years ago when there were not so many commercially available deer hair patterns.

Over the past year, we've added to our range of deer hair style flies with some stunning ones, taking huge inspiration from the rivers and stillwaters of Canada (where they know a thing or two about deer hair).

Think of this new style of deer hair fly as a close relative of the IOBO Humpy, but tied with deer hair and peacock herl, rather than just CdC.

In an attempt to cement Anglo-Canadian fly fishing relations, we've reproduced our own versions of very successful deer hair dry flies they use on the other side of the Atlantic - just slightly smaller and more suited to UK waters.

Both of the below selections have been out of stock for ages, but they're now back - and we've got a bit of a deal for you, since you like deals so much:

How about a 20% discount on these two stunning selections (Tom Thumb & The Deershuckers - sounds like a great band name!), this offer is only available until midnight tonight:

Tom Thumb Selection - only £17.60 (was £22.00)
Deershucker Selection - only £16.00 (was £20.00)

There's no need for any discount codes, just pop either one (or both) in you basket and you're good to go. We've even given you the option to add one of our Slimline Silicone Fly boxes for only an additional £6.

Grab yours now, before we run out (again), we've only got 30 of each.

There's much more info on both the Tom Thumb & Deershucker Selections below, including tips on how to fish emerger style patterns in the Spring:

The flies we've included in our own Tom Thumb Selection are:

  • Tomb Thumb - 2 each of sizes 14 & 18.
  • Klipspringer - 2 each of sizes 14 & 18.
  • The Cooper Bug - 2 each of sizes 14 & 18.
  • The Devil Bug - 2 each of sizes 14 & 18.

All are tied as close to the original patterns as possible, using the correct materials, and perfect for spring fishing on your local rivers or stillwaters.

Our Tom Thumb Selection is now available as a selection of 16 flies (4 different patterns - see above, 2 each of sizes 14 & 18). We are supplying all of these for today only at £17.60. All are supplied in our eco-friendly packaging. Just click on any image or button in this email to view the flies in more detail. This limited offer closes at midnight tonight.

Please Note: If you would like a set, please be quick, as we only have a limited supply of our Tom Thumb Selection, 30 to be exact.

Or, why not include one of our Super-Slim Silicone fly boxes (now back in stock) for an additional £6 (total £23.60):

*** Go on, you know you want to ***

For The More Picky Early Season Fish ...

As you can see the patterns are quite 'rough and ready'. Similar in design to the Deer Hair Emerger, the key to this style of fly is in the rough body and the deer hair used - it has to be hair from the winter coat of the animal as this is more buoyant due to the increased amount of air contained within each strand (each strand of deer hair is hollow and is a great insulator).

The key to fishing this style of pattern is how you treat the fly when dry - just apply a little gel floatant to the tips of the deer hair - both front and back. This will sit the fly in the surface film of the water, you need the fly to sit so you can only see the deer hair on the water surface.

For more tips on fishing emerger style flies, please check out the end of this email - as we've added a section on how to fish this style of fly.

We asked our guys who tie for us to come up with some classic Deershucker style patterns which will work for both Rivers and Stillwaters. We've curated this Deershucker Selection based on the flies which:

  1. We've found are the most popular colours on our site; and
  2. Ones which I use myself on my local river

To this end, we have created our Deershucker Selection which contains four colour variations - Olive, Pheasant TailDennis The Menace & Holo Red.

Our Deershucker Selection is now available as a selection of 16 flies (4 different patterns - see above, 2 each of sizes 14 & 16). We are supplying all of these for today only at £16.00. This limited offer is only available while stocks last.

We've also given you the option to include one of our Slimline Silicone fly boxes for only an extra £6 - bargain!

Please Note: If you would like a set, please be quick, as we only have a limited supply of our Deershucker Selection, 30 to be exact.

All are supplied in our eco-friendly packaging. Just click on any image or button in this email to view the flies in more detail.

Our Special Offer For Today Only

How about a 20% discount on these two stunning selections, this offer is only available until midnight tonight:

Tom Thumb Selection - only £17.60 (was £22.00)
Tom Thumb Selection (incl silicone fly box) - only £23.60 (was £28.00)
Deershucker Selection - only £16.00 (was £20.00)
Deershucker Selection (incl silicone fly box) - only £22.00 (was £26.00)

Spring Seasonal Conditions

Fishing in the Spring season (April, May & June) can be very challenging, depending on which part of the British Isles you are located. Generally, the further North you are the better the fishing will be at this time of year, as the conditions will be slightly cooler than those in the South. When the weather starts to warm, always try to fish either earlier in the day or late in an evening - and always fish where you can hear the water, there's more oxygen in it, and therefore the fish will be more active.

Dry Fly Leader Setup for Emergers

Firstly, when setting up your leader for fishing emergers, do not use fluorocarbon tippet, as this will sink and drag your fly under with it, use a thin supple mono (there are plenty to choose from such as Stroft & Orvis SuperStrong Plus etc). When building your leader, take note of the river size, if you are fishing a small overgrown stream, it's going to be difficult in most places to cast a 14ft leader, so try cutting back a 9' 6X leader by a few feet, and replacing what you cut off with your chosen tippet. All it means is you will need to wade very carefully in order to not spook any fish.

Spring = Faster Water

When fishing in the Spring the fish should be really active during the day, so when fishing in the daytime target the faster and more riffley water either to the side or below any obstructions (big rocks, bridge supports etc). As you will be fishing with an 'emerger style' fly which is not very visible you may struggle to see it (or it will sink) when in very turbulent water - in this case, use the 'double dry' technique:

The Double Dry

This technique is the same setup as the duo, but instead of using a dry fly and a nymph - use two dry flies, one larger and more visible; and one small, the trailing fly should be the smaller one. How to rig:

  1. Tie the larger more visible dry fly to the end of your tippet.
  2. Tie a separate length of tippet (usually around 2ft long) to the eye of the larger dry fly.
  3. To the end of this tippet, tie in your smaller fly.

Remember: When casting a rig such as this it is better to use a slow/medium rod and a wide casting arc - a fast rod will cause the loops to be too tight and will cause you no end of tangles. A slower rod (glass is ideal for this style) will allow you to cast a heavier dry rig with a wide loop at short distances.

Tight lines & have fun out there.