Hunting for Fly-Tying Material

If it's hunting season, then it must be time to start thinking about fishing--especially if you like to tie your own flies or bucktail jigs. Many commonly (and not so commonly) hunted birds and animals provide prime fly-tying materials, as long as you know what to clip, pluck, or cut, and how to store and maintain the stuff. To preserve hides, you simply need to salt the patch of fur you wish to keep. Deer tails require boning out. If you're saving bird feathers, store them in a zippered plastic bag or screw-top jar. To keep matched feathers from curling or getting smashed, tape the quills together, and you'll have a perfect pair for streamer tails. --T. EDWARD NICKENS

ANIMAL FLY MATERIAL FLY PATTERN
Elk Bull body hair Elk Hair Caddis and parachute wings
Whitetail deer Bucktail, natural or dyed Body and wings for Clouser and Deceiver patterns; tails for bucktail jigs
Rabbit Fur strips Leech, Rabbit Candy patterns; guard hairs for white streamer throats
Gray squirrel Tail hairs Dry-fly tails and wings, crayfish legs
Red squirrel Red, black, and gray tail fur Collar on tarpon streamers
Wild turkey Secondary wing quills Wings for caddis, hopper, and Atlantic salmon patterns
Wood duck Barred body feathers Classic streamer patterns, tails on dry emergers
Ringneck pheasant Rooster tails Knotted grasshopper legs, Pheasant Tail Nymph tails
Sharptail grouse Body feathers Patterned body on tarpon flies
Ruffed grouse Neck feathers Hackles for wet flies
Hungarian partridge Neck and body feathers Soft hackles