What fur is this?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing' started by mistercameron, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. mistercameron

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    While looking through my dad's kit for something I could make a foxy clouser with, I found a baggie of this fur. It's unlabeled. Any ideas what it is? There are several clumps on small patches of skin - this one about the size of a golf ball, for scale.

    Either way it looks like it could be good small clouser material.


    IMG_7761.jpg IMG_7762.jpg
     
  2. FoodGeekFish

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    Possibly Arctic Fox tail
     
  3. CraigSmith

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    Hard to tell from the photo but I agree with arctic fox as a strong possibility. Looks like a piece from a tail.

    Another possibility is that it is from a polar bear hide. Polar Bear fur is very desirable but very difficult to obtain legally since the 1970’s. Polar Bear is usually obtained in square patches but I have seen some low quality trim cuts like this.

    Polar Bear is hollow and slightly translucent so light shines through it which makes it highly desirable as a streamer material.

    Given the smattering of dark hairs I lean towards natural (not dyed) fox but I have some polar bear with a few dark fibers. I would have to see it to be certain but I think most probably fox.

    Arctic Fox is good stuff too.
     
    #3 CraigSmith, Oct 8, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  4. mistercameron

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    Thanks for the input! I was thinking arctic fox as well, but that's based off of two dyed hair "foxy clousers" I have in my box. It doesn't seem like light is shining through, so probably not polar bear.
     
  5. Joel

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    Based on the texture, thickness of the hide (leather) and timeline I would say polar bear. Artic fox is a reletively new material.
     
  6. mistercameron

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    It’s probably 20-30 years old!

    The fur is somewhat coarser than rabbit - not quite as smooth.
     
  7. William Ritchie

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    Looks to me to be a section of badger from a less variegated area of the pelt or possibly Fox . The examples I have of Polar bear are about 3 to 5 inches in length of hair , very fine and silky . The hide is also black on the pieces I have from the old days . The hide under the fur is black for solar absorption on a Polar Bear . ( note ) the pieces I have were not tanned per say but are rawhide pieces that were Boraxed and salted kind of like jerky and stiff .
     
    #7 William Ritchie, Oct 9, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  8. CraigSmith

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    Yes, the fur side of the four squares of PB (legally obtained by the way) hide that I have are dark - sort of brownish. The interior side of the pieces are various shades of tan though one is almost white. The darker pieces are very stiff. The very light colored one is almost as soft as tanned deer hide but it is most definitely PB.

    The interior side of the badger pieces that I have are about the same color as the PB but softer.

    Despite having roughly 24 square inches of PB when when I add up my pieces I have only tied two flies with it and fished neither of them yet. The pieces I have have hair ranging from 2.5 to 5 inches long.

    A legally obtained six square inch patch of 4 inch long PB hair will cost around $100 now and there may be issues having it shipped to CA.

    While we were going through some stuff in Stroud Tackle’s storage a few years ago Rick and I came across a big, sealed, heavy metal can with “PB” written on the side. Many decades ago shops would buy bulk materials and cut up or divide up the stuff and package it themselves. We had already found several pristine large sections of prime deer hide. I figured “PB” on the can meant polar bear and we had found the mother lode. We opened the can. It was polar bear. Unfortunately at some point in the last 40+ years ( the shop opened in 1970) some moisture had gotten in. The fur and hide was coated in dried mold and the hide was rotten. It was unsalvageable

    The primo deer has been cut up and sold.
     
  9. mistercameron

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    Let’s be honest, though. Any spotty in mission bay would still attack it. :emoji_joy:
     
  10. CraigSmith

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    Yep. Any bass at Barrett too. But it was really too disgusting to work with.
     

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