Only A Fly Tier – Part II

Last spring in late March I wrote a post about my brother’s comment on the fact that a little cubbyhole in my car contained a bottle of Grif’s head cement in it, instead of gum, or lifesavers, or Altoids. Could have been loose change, paper clips, AAA batteries, aspirin; anything but head cement. I thought it perfectly normal, because I’m a fly tier. Well, I have another installment to make along the same topic. In other words, I’m confessing another habit that is normal only to fly tiers.

To understand what I’m talking about, please view the photo below:

My laundry from earlier this week.

What is so unusual about this? A load of bed-linen laundry hanging out to dry. We all know, or at least those of us who have ever had the privilege to sleep on freshly-laundered bed sheets that have been hanging in the open air – there’s no smell quite like it. Or not much that compares to the sensation of falling into bed, tired and clean, when you doze off to the soothing aromatherapy of this fresh, natural scent. And I use scent-free detergent and no softener. It’s au naturel. Some of you won’t even know that I’m talking about. No matter. This is not about what your laundry smells like. Or should smell like. This laundry on the line is all perfectly normal, and would not cause passersby to raise an eyebrow. Look closer:

Buck tail laundry.

Yup. You’re eyes are not playing tricks on you, unless perhaps you have been recently exposed to a large container of weapons-grade blackberry-flavored head cement thinner. That’s a natural, not-dyed deer tail. Why is it on my clothesline?

I was tying some streamers with white bucktail bellies, and I like to stack my bucktail bellies just a little bit. Even the tips, not to perfection, just clean ’em up a bit. This tail was contrary. It felt tacky. The hairs didn’t want to let go of each other and stack nice and orderly as they should. I finally had enough of it, remembering my issue last March tying Footer Specials with dark blue bucktail. I had one that was tacky to the point of being hopeless as far as any loosening of the hair to stack. At that time I’d had it with that tail, and threw it in my brother’s kitchen sink and gave it a good wash ‘n’ rinse in hot water. Stood it to dry on his porch railing. See the post – Washing Bucktail and Cleaning Hairstackers – or something to that effect. You can also click on the tags at the end of this post.

I was watching a bunch of AK Best videos with my friend, TG, the last time were were at my cabin. AK says, “Never let a feather run your life.” Good advice. And I expanded that to include bucktails.

In the sink, wash it, rinse it, no need to repeat, shake it and hang it to dry. It cleaned up good! Nice & soft, like your hair is when you’ve washed it and used creme rinse.

In fact it worked so well that I just might take the next step and empty the contents of my bucktail drawer into the washer and do a whole load. A hot water wash ‘n’ rinse will do wonders for any bugs too. And the hide stays soft. And, they come out smelling better than before. Must be the outside air…

Think about it…if you don’t stack but rather align and try to even the hair tips by hand, it takes you  30 – 45 seconds to do that. Clean bucktail stacks in 3 seconds. You’ll save yourself time and aggravation.