Fishing Fly tying

Fly tying: Tying hair wings

If you’re like me, you’ve resorted to buying hair-wing attractor dries like the Ausable and the Royal Coachman, or you’ve learned new tying techniques to avoid using hair wings at all. I tie my Royal Coachman pattern “renegade” style, using hackle tips rather than hair wings. It’s faster, easier and results in fewer curse words crossing my lips during the tying process.

As usual, though, Tim Flagler has a fairly easy remedy to the hair-wing challenge. In the two videos above—parts one and two—Tim walks through the best way to tie in hair wings using calf body hair. It certainly does look easier than it really is, particularly the first few times you try it, but it’s also a practical approach to this method of tying.

Will I use it? I’ll try it. But my frustrations are deep-seeded with hair wings. My Renegade Coachman patterns work just as well, and they’re faster to tie. But it’s sure good to know that hair wings can be accomplished without an old priest and a young priest on hand to exorcise any fly-tying demons.

If you’ve struggled with hair-wing flies, give it a go. I’d be interested to hear what you think.

— Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt.