Upright Hair Wings
Hair wings, if properly prepared and tied on, are the longest-lasting form of wing that can be tied. If you think of the hurried way in which some fishermen attach a fly to the leader, you will understand why durable wings are sometimes so necessary! Deer, calf, and squirrel-tail provide the most suitable hair. Deer is a particularly popular choice because it floats so well.
The following sequence of photographs shows how to use deer hair to form hair wings for the Gray Wulff.
- Wind close turns of foundation thread halfway down the hook shank, then take the thread in wide turns halfway back again, to the wing position. (S)
- Cut a bunch of hair, prepare it, and match the tips for length (in the same way as described for "Hair Tails" in Chapter 3).
- Place the prepared hair wing on top of the shank, with the tips of the hair fibers pointing over the hook eye. Adjust for length.
- Thoroughly glue the hair at the point where it is to be tied in; work the glue into the fibers with the dubbing needle.
- Tie on the hair wing using the wood-duck (tails) method.
- Wind on two or three extra securing turns of tying thread. (S)
- Pull the hair wing upright with your left hand.
- Wind on several horizontal, clockwise, turns of tying thread around the base of the wing (you need to release the wing momentarily on each turn as you wind the thread behind it). Then wind one turn of thread in front of the wings. (S)
- If the hair wing is to be left unsp/it: Trim the surplus in layers (see also the "Note" in Step 6), and wind the tying thread past the wing down to the tail position, binding in the trimmed hair ends. (S) Complete the fly as the pattern requires.
- If the hair wing is to be split: Divide the hair into two equal wings with the dubbing needle.
- Pull the near wing toward you. Take the tying thread between the two wings and down behind the far wing.
- Bring the thread under the hook shank and up behind the near wing. Take the thread between the two wings and down in front of the far one.
- Repeat as many times as necessary, finishing with the thread in front of the wings. (S)
• Trim the surplus hair in layers.
Note: If a hair tail is to be added, taper the surplus to halfway along the shank, as shown.
- Trim the wings (if necessary). Take the tying thread past the near wing (not between the wings) and bind down the trimmed hair ends with close, even turns.
- Complete the rest of the fly as the pattern requires.
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