Dirty Deer Hair Emerger Tutorial
Following last week’s blog, here is another favourite fly of PRO-Team member Allan Liddle, The Dirty Deer Hair Emerger (DHE). You can find him tying this one and many others at Glasgow Angling Centre’s open weekend!
Despite the love I have for often omitting materials where I can, I am not shy towards adding something in, especially when I feel the pattern might really benefit as a result.
Many know I like a sparse and thin Deer Hair Emerger, but I also like to add in a tiny ‘shuck’ on some to give the added trigger point that compliment ‘Emerger’ style flies so well and the DHE is no exception to this. However, I need to be clear, not all my DHE flies are tied this way, however it’s good to have a variety on hand for times when the additional focus can really switch fish onto your imitation.
Adding the shuck in on a curved style half below and half above the surface can add a problem in that it can affect the ‘keel’ on the DHE and in effect prevent it from ‘cocking’ correctly when landing, preventing the hook point penetrating the water surface and either falling on its side, or riding kind of nose down. Ok yes, this doesn’t happen all the time, but I have found it to happen and had fish refuse the dry as a result.
Tying in a heavier wing does help but then so does the simple addition of a cock hackle around the wing and for me there can only be one choice, grizzle and of course trimmed ‘level’ on the underside.
Creator of the Deer Hair Emerger, Bob Wyatt, also came up with a lighter and smaller fly in a similar vein called the ‘Dirty Duster’ where the deer hair wing is omitted and instead a grizzle hackle tied in and is a pattern I love and have adapted several times over the years.
Finished Dirty Deer Hair Emerger tied on a Partridge K4AY/SE
So you could say this is just that, another adaptation on a theme, but I also like the idea that I am combining two of my favourite dries hence the name ‘Dirty Deer Hair Emerger’. Reason for adding in the hackle is simple, add a little more ‘bulk’ but without going out of proportion with a very heavy wing (I do have these but tend to reach for them in very heavy water situations and keeping towards a sparse lighter version for everything else.
Using a hackle to ‘bulk’ the wing is an obvious solution, and it serves a simple function, ensure the fly ‘sits’ correctly every time, with or without the ‘shuck.’ It’s also handy to help you track the fly when the light isn’t good, something I’m finding harder to do as I get older, so every little helps as the slogan goes.
As with the standard Deer Hair Emerger you simply wet the abdomen (and in this case shuck) with some saliva and add floatant gel to the wing (and hackle) section only making sure it will adopt the correct posture every time. That said don’t be afraid to sink the fly and swing it back through a bit of water you already covered, especially if you might have turned a fish without it fully committing, another ‘Dirty Trick’ to add to the name.
As for the shuck, I use Semperfli Pearl Microglint and then tease the fibres open with thumb and fingernail once tied in which gives a bit of sparkle but not so much as to turn the fish away. Craft fur or even a pinch of calf tail works really well also, just remember to ensure you keep it sparse.
|Partridge K4AY/SE Barbless Grub and Buzzer #12 – 16
|Semperfli 8/0 light olive waxed thread
|Semperfli 8/0 light olive waxed thread
|Natural Roe Deer hair
|Grizzle cock hackle trimmed ‘level’ below
|Sparse amount of medium olive hares mark / guard hairs.
Dirty Deer Hair Emerger Step by Step.
Catch thread and run to about a third down hook from eye. Apply wax to help secure the deer hair.
Take a bunch of Roe Deer hair and stack to even tips.
Grip the deer hair tight on top of hook shank and secure with a few tight thread turns, then lift tag ends and cut tight to hook shank.
Secure the tag ends of the deer hair with tight thread turns
Catch in the Microglint and form the abdomen with thread turns taking thread round hook bend.
Trim the Microglint and then tease it well out using thumb and fingernail.
Prep and catch in grizzle hackle directly behind wing.
Dub the Hare’s Mask onto thread and wind directly in front of wing to form thorax.
Wind the hackle, one turn rear of wing and three to four turns in front.
Secure the hackle, trim off stem and whip finish the head.
Trim the underside of the hackle ‘level’.
Finished Dirty Deer Hair Emerger
Based in Moray in Scotland's North East, Allan has specialises with the wild trout from the rivers and burns, lochs and lochans throughout Mainland Scotland and the Isles.
A strong passion for fishing simple dries he feels there's nothing better than to see the fish take off the top, but isn't slow to fish a range of different styles when mood or conditions dictate. Although trout is his first love Allan occasionally chases the Salmon, Grayling stocked fish and even dabbles in salt water when the chance arises.
More from Allan:
In his latest blog, Allan Liddle discusses a personal favourite, the Hedgehog Fly Pattern.I love Hedgehog flies and have written about this pattern many times and no doubt will do so again. For me, this is the most successful loch pattern I know and one that is both...
Partridge ambassador Allan Liddle discusses a recent favourite fly of his; The Deer Hair n Grizzle Fly tied on a Partridge L5A Superdry Supreme.Often, as the hatch progresses, Trout can ‘lock onto’ the flat profile you get from a ‘Comparadun’ style dry instead of...
Written by Allan Liddle Sometimes you need to get down to the riverbed and quickly and when I need to do this, I tend to reach for a double tungsten beaded PTN as this certainly sinks like a stone. Pheasant Tails are a ‘Go To’ pattern especially for Spring for me on...