THE CHRISTMAS TREE
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
- Hook: Your favorite streamer hook 6X-10X, 2/0 or larger
e.g. Mustad CS15
- Thread: Uni BigFly B, dark brown and green
- Body: Premo green and natural brown deer body hair
- Ornaments: Craft shop pom-poms or brass/glass beads
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.
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.>
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.
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’.
Next add a separator. This will keep the brown hair from mingling with the green.
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.
7. Continue to spin the green hair until the hook is completely covered.
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.
9. Next trim the hair using a razor blade and sharp scissors to form a Christmas tree shape.
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.
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.