Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > dying deer hair

PartsmanJune 7th, 2018, 2:36 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 315
Im wondering if anyone here has any experience dying deer hair? Specifically im looking for color match for rustys white not, its a iso colored deer hair, and I have not been able to find it at my local fly shop. Any experience with dying deer hair would be greatly appreciated. Im thinking a maroon, would rit dye work? Thanks, Mike.

RogueratJune 7th, 2018, 3:59 pm
Posts: 452

Back in '94 or so American Angler ran a series on dyes, methods, and materials so you may want to try and look these up somehow. It was pretty concise and informative, but I missed the first X installments since I began my subscription my first issue was with the last article.
Be careful with how hot you get the water for Rit, as I've heard high temps can break down the proteins making up hairs...I've also heard of anglers using Kool Aid to dye with, but maroon could be problematic. Maybe use a Pantone pen on lighter hair, see if this works?
This is subjective but I've also mixed different deer hair colors to come up with a hoped-for shade; in your case black, red, maybe grey and brown mixed in a hair stacker might work. I've achieved some interesting variegated wings with this method and it could be worth a try.

Lots of posts from MI anglers!


'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
MartinlfJune 9th, 2018, 11:05 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3017
I've dyed deer hair with Rit, and it's worked well for me. Mostly I've dyed to get a grey/dun for comparadun wings, and black for ant and beetle patterns. I haven't noticed any break down of the fibers so far. It does take a while for the dye to really penetrate at times, especially when dying hair black. I just let it soak, warming it in the microwave from time to time. A long boil there might not be a good idea, though. I've dyed lots of feathers this way too, along with various other furs, and cotton chenille yarn. I've played around with kool-aide some too, but haven't done enough with it to have an opinion.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
PartsmanJune 9th, 2018, 4:16 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 315
Thanks for the replys guys im going to study this further, this looks like a project for next winter. Rogue, im trying to post some fish pics I took, you wouldn't believe how long it took me to the goofy looking face pic on here! Hope your season is going well.

RogueratJune 10th, 2018, 12:07 am
Posts: 452

A pretty good season so far...I haven't made it 'north' (the PM, Big Manistee, Upper Big Man etc.) yet so I'm on the Muskegon and Rogue weekly.
The avatar? pic I've got was taken at The Forks on the Upper Boardman, couple years back and its a reminder of one of my favorite streams.

tight lines,


'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: I hope all of you doing well!
In General Discussion by Partsman
4Apr 2, 2020
by Jmd123
Re: Streamer Hooks - Large Stremers
In Fly Tying by Al514
7May 1, 2016
by Entoman
Re: Glass rods
In Gear Talk by Leakyboots
8Feb 26, 2017
by Leakyboots
Re: Does anyone remember the Sage SPL Center Axis rod?
In Gear Talk by HistoryCap
10Dec 19, 2017
by Wbranch
In the Photography Board by PESCATORE
2May 24, 2016
Re: What's everybody Tying
In Fly Tying by David82nd
7Jun 2, 2017
by David82nd
Re: Leader set-up for a sink-tip line with weighted flies
In Gear Talk by Jmd123
2Apr 25, 2016
by Afishinado
In General Discussion by Roguerat
1May 13, 2020
by Jmd123
Re: The best fly fishing gear
In Gear Talk by RiseUpDagon
2Jul 18, 2016
by Wbranch
Re: Double Surgeons Knots Are Breaking
In General Discussion by Mshumrick
12Aug 15, 2017
by PABrownie
Most Recent Posts
Re: Fearsome
In Drunella grandis Mayfly Nymph by Martinlf (Troutnut replied)
Re: New stream side friends
In the Photography Board by Rfberan (Jmd123 replied)
How to tie a fluttering stonefly dry fly
In Fly Tying by Coha
Ray Bergman’s Gravesite
In General Discussion by Adirman
Re: When the hatch don't match
In General Discussion by Red_green_h (Troutnut replied)
Re: Ray Bergman quote
In the Photography Board by Adirman (Partsman replied)
Re: Armstrong & Nelson's Spring Creek
In Fishing Reports by Wbranch (Adirman replied)
Re: Long-time reader, never-time poster? Start here!
In General Discussion by Troutnut (Martinlf replied)
Re: Trico Spinner, as requested
In the Identify This! Board by Gutcutter (Partsman replied)
Re: any tips on the UP of Michigan?
In General Discussion by Roguerat (Partsman replied)