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Tup's Dubbing Blend

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2 hours ago, chugbug27 said:

It can be hard to tell when someone's pulling the wool over your eyes

True, chug. 

But I imagine its easy to tell if someone is pulling the dubbing from between your .... well, we won't even go there. 

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On 6/8/2022 at 6:44 AM, flytire said:



The "recipe" for original Tups reminds me of when I moved to Wisconsin from Utah and read that the "Hendrickson (E. Subvaria) Hatch" was the first major hatch of the year. So I found the recipe which called for the urine stained fur of a vixen (female) fox.



“Art Flick’s version called for using, urine stained fox belly fur from a vixen fox. This has been the most popular version of the fly for many years.”


 Many anglers believe that Steenrod used the urine-stained underbelly from a vixen red fox, because that amazingly descriptive material is so memorable. But it was Art Flick who later suggested this material in his writings, not Steenrod.”

https://www.flyfishersinternational.org/Portals/0/FlyoftheMonth/PreviousIssues/1998-12 December - Hendrickson.pdf?

“Interestingly, this classic Catskill pattern includes one of the most unusual materials: urine-stained belly fur of a red fox. I don't know how you can tell if the fur is properly stained and I have even heard of some fly tyers trying to accomplish this critical step on their own. Who knows where they obtained the fox urine. The staining requirement was not part of the original Hendrickson, but came to be the standard based upon the colorful imagination of famed fly tyer and author Art Flick.”

So being a new fly fisher and fly tyer, I bought an entire female fox pelt

The urine stained fur is actually the lower abdominal pelvic fur of a vixen (female) fox that is indeed stained urine. It has a pinkish cast. So I went and bought a female fox pelt and hung in from the some of the pipes in my basement. It scared the cr*p out of the lady who cleaned our home. But I digress.

Anyway, it turned out that the Hendricksons in Wisconsin are not the same color as that of Art Flick. This was before I got to know Gary Borger and it was my first lesson about regional differences in identical insects. So I still have the urine stained fur and I have yet to use it to tie a fly. Can you imagine buying an entire female red fox pelt for a 6"X6" piece of urine stained fur. Such was my initial diligence as a beginning fly tier.


Unfortunately my E. Subvaria the natural did not look like this


But this


So what do I as a dark Hendrickson dry fly? I use the most popular dry fly sold in the USA, a parachute Adams. Although the body of the natural looks dark, remember that the abdomen of the natural is what the trout see and it is a lighter color.

Here is the belly of a dark Hendrickson male from Troutnut.









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I was just noticing that belly pics are few and far between, oddly enough, in fly tying books. Harder to capture and not as nice a pic to look at, but really that's the useful angle.

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3 hours ago, SilverCreek said:

 Who knows where they obtained the fox urine. 

It's actually available in some garden supply store as a deterrent to rabbits and such. Coyote urine is also available as a deer deterrent. Both are for sale at my local hardware store.  Neither ever worked for me.

No subvarias are truly pink.  The females are mostly olive and the males are reddish.

I don't use Flick's version, either, but I do use Steenrod's version, which uses muskrat, so it's similar to an Adams.

I do find Flick's Red Quill to be useful, though.

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I now use the stained fox fur for tying Epeorus albertae (Pink Lady) spinners on the Madison River. Image below from Troutnut.com



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