The May Fly – Spring Tide-The Angler and His Friends, George Akerman, London, (1852). A commons image.

Learn to spin deer hair and earn the “First Chair”

By Skip Clement

It’s a tough admission, but I’ve never done well-tying anything that called for spinning deer hair. Hence, while in this present state of emergency lockdown due to ’19’, I decided it was high-time I exhibited some intellectual spine, seek and learn what it is about spinning that drags my tying grades down along with shear dislike.

The natural places to look were my library of books and videos 

I played videos produced by famous regional guides and fly fishers of note, and finally, where I should have stated in the first place, Google/YouTube. There were the usual suspects that I knew about and liked, Kelley Galloup, James Spicer, Tim Flagler, Dave Whitlock, Capt. Andrew Derr, Bob Popovics, my friend Steve Hudson, and many, many more, and their videos about spinning are all good, but I wasn’t catching on.

Golden Stone Nymph Stonefly, found Beaverhead River, Montana. By Award winning watercolorist Thom Glace.

Then, at lunch with my oft time angling partner, Angie Roth, she suggested a YouTube video by Gunnar Brammer, Fly Tying: Spinning Deer Hair

He seemed to sense the one thing that I hurried through and found failure just about every time or at the least some “bald spots” on the heads that required a tight cluster and scissor and Wilkinson razor sculpting.


In his video on spinning deer hair, he mentions Kelley Galloup and a screen session on the types of deer hair and the pros and cons of each.


Click here to learn the “one” trick in spinning that makes all the difference . . .

Selecting the Right Deer and Elk Hair for Fly Tying with Kelly Galloup . . .

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