Fly Of The Week
Horner's Deer Hair
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Horner's Deer Hair
By Deanna Birkholm

Horner's Deer Hair is the origin of several fly patterns. Jack Horner of San Francisco, CA, came up with this method many years ago, it has been copied, with floss, thread or chenille added for body color to match local conditions nationwide. What makes the original so unique is using the same material, a bunch of hair, to tie the whole fly (not including the hackle.) Horner's Deer Hair fly has no other body material, and works exceptionally well. You can use the same method for a large variety of humpies and the Goofus Bug.

Materials: Horner's Deer Hair

    Hooks:  TMC921 or DAI 1330, sizes 6-14

    Thread:  Black.

    Tail:   Coastal blacktail deer body hair.

    Body:   Coastal blacktail deer body hair (optional add the colored floss or thread in here.)

    Wings:  The ends of the body material pulled up and tied upright and divided.

    Hackle:   Grizzly. Wrap two turns behind and two turns in front of the wing. Keep this hackle sparse as this is what makes the fly effective.

Tying Steps:

1. Tie in the tail. Select hair which is hard and fine so you will have less flare.

2. Return the thread to the front of the hook shank and tie in another bunch of hair. This bunch of hair should be long enough to form an underbody, overbody (shell) and the wings. Being able to determine the correct length of hair will take some time and practice. (Optional, tie in and cover the underbody with floss, tie off and trim.)

3. Pull the hair over the body and tie it down. Pull the remaining natural hair tips upright and tie a divided wing.

4. Tie in one grizzly hackle. Hackle need not be the best dry fly quality. Wrap two turns in back and two turns in front of the winds. The hackle is not intended to support the fly on the water. The deer hair floats the Horner's Deer Hair in the surface film and not above it. A natural simulation at it's best.

Fishing Tip:

While this fly was created for big western rivers, it is effective anywhere. It is fished as a dry fly. ~ DLB

Credits: Information, drawings of tying steps from Fish Flies, Volume 1 by Terry Hellekson, Published by Frank Amato Publications Inc. we appreciate use permission.

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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