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Deer hair bullet-head

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2 replies to this topic

#1 CaddisCowboy


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Posted 21 November 2009 - 03:10 PM


This is my first post on this forum, and admittedly, it's a bit embarrassing. I have been tying for 2 years now, and for the most part, I believe I have become a fairly competent tyer (my flies catch fish). However, not until recently have I attemted bullet-style deer hair heads on large terrestrial patterns. Currently, I have been taking a crack at John Barr's/Charlie Craven's extremely bouyant and somewhat complicated BC Hopper. Following Craven's online tutorial I can whip up a pretty decent looking bug.......that is........... until I reach the deer hair bullet-head. I have made several attempts to perfect Craven's "Bic pen" method to compress the hair, but it still never turns out. The most frustrating problems I have encountered are:

1. When I threadwrap the head/collar, the thread ends up sliding down the bullet-head towards the eye of the hook, leaving a pretty small/pitiful/mishapen looking head.

2. When I do make a successful threadwrap at the collar, some shorter hairs flare out near the eye of the hook.

3. The juncture point of the collar and the foam body is uneven.

Any advice you all are willing to offer is much appreciated. I'm sick of wasting materials on "test" flies. Not to mention, a lot of hair-pulling and head-slapping at the vice.


#2 rstout


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Posted 21 November 2009 - 08:05 PM


When I am tying bullet head flies, I make sure my deer hair is even using my stacker. All short hairs are removed. I then tie it in first leaving the hair extended over the eye of the hook the whole time I am tying. This makes for a smooth transition for the rest of the body. I then tie the body. Once the body is done and I am ready to fold the hair back, I fill the gap between the eye and the body with some wraps of antron material making a bullet head out of it so when I fold the hair back over the antron, when I wrap the deer hair down the thread stays at the back of the bullet. The pen method words but you want to make sure the hole is big enough (not to tight).

Hope this helps.
Somebody just back of you while you are flyfishing is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl. Ernest Hemingway

#3 Dezod


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Posted 22 November 2009 - 02:40 AM

I have not really tried this technique a lot, but I would think the BC is a pretty rough starting point. My advice might be to try something like a madame x, or a henry's fork hopper to work up to a BC hopper... That fly has a LOT going on. Charlie's online tutorials are second to none.