Our Man From Canada


Dale Sanders (iaflyfisher) - November 9, 2009


I have not seen a pattern for the Christmas Tree so I set out to create one. The Christmas Tree is a seasonal fly but should offer up an opportunity to practice hair spinning techniques throughout the year on your other flies.
It is by far my most productive fly to use during Christmas season, it casts well as a great gift pattern


the Christmas Tree Fly


Tying Steps: Christmas Tree

Mount the hook in the vise. Tie a small blocking dam over the bend of the hook with the dark brown thread. This will serve as an anchor for spinning the deer hair.

the Christmas Tree Fly

2. To create the trunk of the tree, select a clump of natural brown deer hair (pencil diameter) and clean the under fur from it with a comb or bodkin.


the Christmas Tree Fly

Place the hair on the hook at a 45-degree angle. Make two snug wraps of thread at the center of the clump of hair and hook.

the Christmas Tree Fly

Spinning Deer Hair:
While completing the second wrap, pull the thread firmly straight down and release the hair. The hair will ‘spin’ around the hook. Make two wraps of thread around the point you made the first to lock the hair to the hook.  You can pack the hair back with your fingers as it is not necessary to tightly pack the hair.  With your fingers pull the hair back towards the bend of the hook and make two wraps and two half-hitches in front of the spun hair. This will lock the hair in place. It is also a good idea to place a couple of drops of head cement on the half-hitches to hold the thread and hair in place. 
This method can be universally used to spin deer hair for all types of flies.


Spin two more small clumps of brown hair onto the hook to build the ‘tree trunk’.

the Christmas Tree Fly



Next add a separator. This will keep the brown hair from mingling with the green.

the Christmas Tree Fly

Attach the olive thread to the hook ahead of the separator. Now select clumps of green deer hair clean and spin like you did for the brown.


the Christmas Tree Fly

7. Continue to spin the green hair until the hook is completely covered. 

the Christmas Tree Fly

8. When the spinning is completed the hook will look like a fuzzy ball. The separator can now be removed. To finish the head, put super glue or Zap-A-Gap on one inch of thread and wrap the thread forming a neat head. This will securely lock everything in place. Cut the thread to remove it from the hook.

the Christmas Tree Fly

9. Next trim the hair using a razor blade and sharp scissors to form a Christmas tree shape.

the Christmas Tree Fly      the Christmas Tree Fly      


10. Once trimmed, small beads or pom-poms can be super glued to the tree to decorate it. Attach a hanger wire or piece of tinsel to the hook eye to hang the fly.

the Christmas Tree Fly

11. You can also carefully insert the tree in a glass ornament ball for display or hanging. These are available at craft shops such as Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.

the Christmas Tree Fly


For more great info, check out:
Fly Tying Terms
Beginning Fly Tying | Intermediate Fly Tying | Advanced Fly Tying.

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