5 Top Tips For Selecting Best Elk Hair For Fly Tying

image1 1

Sometimes, it takes creativity to catch fish. Instead of using the everyday fishing essentials, you can opt for fly fishing. There is a greater possibility of having a better catch when using insects than worms. However, in this case, you need an artificial insect instead of a real one. 

Therefore, you must make an artificial fly using elk hair and other accessories. Begin by searching for the perfect elk hair to make the fly. 

So, what does perfect hair look like? It should be long, hollow, uniformly colored and flexible. All these features are significant for making the perfect and buoyant parachute Adams fly. 

Before you select the best elk hair for your fly-tying venture, here are some tips to help. 

1. Select Best Type Of Elk Hair

Before you decide on the best elk hair, you must focus on the type of elk you are targeting. This is an important consideration since elk have different types of hair based on the type and location. 

Bull elk hair is shorter, blunt, and coarse, with cream tips. One disadvantage of such hair is its stiffness. It tends to be harder and less flexible, making it challenging for fly tying. 

However, if you successfully tie the hair, you are assured of durability because it hardly breaks. Due to this durability and color, the bull elk hair is perfect for making colorful elk hair caddis. Besides that, it is paler, making it easier for the fish to notice.

Another option is to consider cow elk hair, especially that from dark elk. If you are looking for longer elk hair caddis, this is the perfect source. Additionally, they are easy to outsource and are coarse. They tend to be tan and darker than that of the bull elk. 

If you want to make smaller caddis, this is the perfect hair for trapping small fish or tout. It is very flexible and can compress when tied with thread.

Finally, you have the option of getting calf elk hair. The one advantage of these hairs is their length and size. Since they are longer and thinner, you can use them for longer,  large and smaller caddies. 

Beautiful deer isolated

2. Choose Perfect Color

Before you select the perfect elk hair for the fly, consider the color banding. Pay attention to the color intensity and variations, especially around the tip. Your perfect choice should be darker, making it easier for the fish to spot. 

The tip and base should be slightly different to achieve perfect color variations. For instance, the base can be tan and darker towards the tip. This resembles a perfect fly, and even the fish will easily get fooled. 

A uniform color may not work since insects flap their wings; the inner parts are paler than the outer tips or edges. The color variation also symbolizes hollowness and quality, which are key features you should consider when making a parachute Adams fly.

3. Focus On Diameter

How long should a perfect parachute Adam fly’s wings be? This depends on the size. You can make small and large flies. Either choice is perfect for targeting different types of fish. So, before you select the elk hair, you should know the type of fish you are targeting. This will help you decide on the perfect fly size. 

Bull and calf elk hairs have longer diameters, making them perfect for making larger flies. This makes them perfect for creating full-body flies without joining or using multiple hairs. The calf hair is thinner, fragile and can break easily. You can still use the calf hairs to make bigger caddies, but you need time and skills.  

Use the calf hair for smaller flies; you need something that can float easily. You need the bull elk hair to catch bigger fish since they can withstand stronger bites. The bigger ones can also be suitable for use in lakes and oceans.

Man fishing by the lake

4. Focus On Elk Hair Consistency

Uniform hair is essential to replicating the insect and making it look real. If the hair has too many spots, it could be hard for the fish to take the bait. 

Remember, fish love insects, so some have a good mastery of exact insect colors. Too many spots are not perfect to make the best insects.

Another option is to get straight hair that can easily wind around the insect’s body. Ensure the hair is longer and wavy, making winding around the entire insect body easier. Straight hair is handy when creating the wings.

Close-up of man holding fishing bait

5. Focus On Elk Hair Tip

A hollow is one of the best hairs for tying the fly. It should be hollow, making it flexible and perfect for winding. 

The hollowness is also significant for boosting buoyancy, making the insect float whenever you dip it into the water. The hollowest elk hair is the calf or yearling elk hair. 

Additionally, they have abrupt tips and are wispy, making them perfect for the fly.

Wrapping Up

Before deciding on the perfect elk hair, you must consider the features. These features vary based on the type of elk you target. Generally, you should get long, colored, uniform and flexible hair. You can choose from the bull, cow, or calf elk.