Processing buck tails for fly tying - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 11-20-2019, 06:13 PM   #1
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Default Processing buck tails for fly tying

How many of you do this? I've boned out the tail, scraped as much fat off as I could, and salted the hell out of it. How long does it usually take to dry out? I'm thinking I'll put it in a bag and store it in the freezer until I need it
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:25 PM   #2
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i used to cure and dye bucktail when i was tying fly's and fly fishing every weekend at doc's ponds. i got the tails from a deer processor in selma. scraped them, dried them, and then put them in a solution of plain no-brand coolaid and vinegar. i forgot the ratio but i think it was one pack per cup of vinegar. chartreuse was my fav. color which is lemon lime and blue, i think.
check the web for the color combinations but this is def. the best way to dye buck tail. i caught a hellava lot of crappie with clousers.
don't put the tails in the freezer. it will break down the cologen in the hair and make it brittle and not float. remember: deer hair is hollow, so it floats.
good luck with the dying. pm for more info.

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Old 11-20-2019, 07:28 PM   #3
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I can't address the buck tail, but in the 1950's my uncle make a killer fly from squirrel tails. I still have some for memories. I can't imagine it would be any different. Fishing ponds, I caught a ton of fish as a kid. That is when "nothing" went wasted in a kill. I remember the pelts hanging on the clothes line and the squirrel and rice was delish.
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Old 11-21-2019, 01:01 AM   #4
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I’ve used borax and baking soda with some success. Split, scraped and tacked down to a small board then bagged to cure
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Old 11-21-2019, 09:30 AM   #5
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Default Ice cream salt finely crushed with a mortar and pestel

Don't use iodized salt. I split the tail, wipe out several times with paper towels to remove as much grease as possible then rub in the fine salt. Really work it in. Next day, wipe the tails with more paper towels then add more salt. Run the tails through the washer with your dog towels then dry thoroughly.

One package of lime and one package lemon cool aid in a cup and a half of vinegar makes a good chartreuse. Usually, I dye a couple of tails, pat them to remove excess dye to avoid streaking, then hang them to dry. If they look a little light, run them through the dye a second time. BTW, there are commercial dyes available that give a more fluorescent color.

I also use grape Koolaid for purple and Raspberry for deep pink. (not in several years, though.)

Watch out using endangered species hair/feathers but, for your information, Manatee makes the best pork rinds. (no kidding)Spotted Owl makes fine flies too. I'd use Egret feathers too if it was allowed.

Re: Squirrel tail flies. My Uncle AV Walters introduced me to squirrel tail streamers. I've always supposed they were mistaken for Dragon fly larva. I'm sure I have caught more fish on these flies than all other artificials I have ever used--probably by a huge percentage. Hook, squirrel tail and a little thread. Nail polish to secure the thread if you want. Now days, I often just snell the hair on with 6-8# mono and eliminate the nail polish. Easy one minute tie.
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