A buddy of mine has some horses. His wife just trimmed a bridle-path in the horse's mane. My buddy couldn't resist the temptation, and saved the hair. I'm assuming it can be used for tying flies. Is it a good sub for Moose Mane? Or are there any patterns that actually use Horse Mane?
I use horse for bodies on drys.
Yeah, my first thought. Don't use horse hair, but would imagine it would be similar to picary, and used for body wrap.
Originally Posted by narcodog
I was given several different colors of horse mane (and tail) from a friend that runs a ranch.
Horse is a lot more supple than the Collared Peccary I have. It's great body material for small dries in the 18 to 24 sizes. If you twist two pieces together it work for larger flies. Looks really good if you use different colors.
They used to use horse mane for Bunyan bug wings depending on what pattern it was.
Out of Mackay, Idaho, on the Big Lost river comes the Mackay Special - a pattern which incorporates horse mane or horse tail - for the semi-woven body as also for the wing.
White Water flies sells Icelandic Pony hair for streamers.
Hair from the tail of horses can be used to make nice ant bodies. [See A Modern Dry Fly Code, Vince Marinaro, Pg. 69]
Han is correct as usual. I've fished the Big Lost River on ranch owned by the son-in-law of my friend Jim Greenlee. The Mackay Special is a crane fly imitation and it was the best performing fly on that river. It requires horse mane tied using the Potts weave.
Originally Posted by Hans Weilenmann
Chuck Collins tied the above fly and posted instructions at a fly shop that apparently no longer exists. These are his instruction:
"Hook: Any good wet fly style hook is good. Sizes 4 and 6 are the optimal sizes for most fishing, but try others.
Body: Light to medium brown (sorrell) Horse mane which has a strand of orange embroidery floss woven in the bottom part. This is accomplished by Using 3 of the usual 6 strands found in the skein of embroidery floss. These can usually be acquired for less than a dollar at craft and sewing stores. The weave is basically an overhand of the floss around the hair each time the hair is wound around the hook, which has been built up in the middle to create a slight "hump".
Hackle: A palmered Brown or furnace saddle hackle is wound over the woven body.
Wings: The wings, if you want to call them such, are really the ends of the horse mane cut off to the hook length and facing at an angle forward on the top of the hook, Some tiers divide this wing into two equal parts.
History: This pattern is named after Mackay, Idaho. It is very popular and extremely effective in the Lost River Drainage and in great demand by local fishers. Even "non" flyfishers like to use this fly on a spinning outfit with a split shot. Speculation is that it is taken for a cranefly larva. Some tiers use a multitude of color combinations beside the original given here. It is best tied in bigger sizes like 4 to 8 on a heavier wet fly style hook. Roy Patrick lists it in his vintage book Northwest Fly Patterns . This fly is inspired by the Potts series of woven body flies. Some anglers fish this a s a "waking" fly in the current before letting it sink into the deeper runs. I have seen this pattern tied in a two part body with a wasp type shape and the hackles are out of the mid point waist."
Instruction for a Potts weave can be found on this pattern
Like this one, made famous in the movie "A River Runs Through It".
Originally Posted by Mark Vendon