Fly-tying with Big Game, Waterfowl and Upland Bird Parts?
Question: My friends that hunt big game and waterfowl often give me deer hide or duck wings and body feathers, which I use to tie flies for fishing. In the past I have given them flies in return for the hair, fur and feathers. In addition, I have sold flies to a few local sport stores, which may contain materials provided by my hunter friends. Would I be violating Fish and Game laws by trading (bartering) or selling these flies? Granted, these hunters provided materials that make a very small portion of the fly materials used to make flies. However, I grew up among sportsmen in a culture that encouraged the sharing of the harvest (taken by hunting or fishing) and an ethic of utilizing the harvest to the fullest extent (meat, fur, hair and feathers). Please let me know. (Terry T., Davis)
Answer: Yes and No. If the flies you tie are made only with the deer hair your friends have given you, then you may sell them (Fish and Game Code, section 4303). Any of the flies you tie that contain bird feathers from birds lawfully taken in California may not be sold as this would be a violation of multiple sections of the Fish and Game Code (including sections 3039 and 3504).
The law does provide some exceptions for mammals that are taken under a Trapping License or that are raised under a Domesticated Game Breeding License.
Buying and selling parts of bird and mammal species that do not exist in the wild in California are not restricted under this law. For a list of the species that do exist in the wild in California, please go to: www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/genplantsanimals.html
We lost a couple of fly-tying innovators; Bob Quigley and Harry Lemire. Bob passed away June 12, 2012 after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer he was 62 years old and his most significant contributions to the fly tying world were his transitional flies that imitated specific stages of emerging aquatic insect life. Harry passed away June 4, 2012 after a brief illness. He was well known for his steelhead flies and also for his in-hand tying of classic Atlantic salmon flies.
They will always be a pillar of our sport. So in their memory pass along your knowledge of fly tying and fly fishing on to others so the art of fly fishing and tying is not lost.
Quigley Cripple (green drake).
By Bob Quigley
HOOK - #8-12 Tiemco 200R
THREAD - Brown 8/0 UNI
TAIL –Amber Z-Lon topped with brown ostrich tips.
RIB- Brassie size green UTC ultra wire.
ABDOMEN- Brown ostrich herl.
THORAX- Green Antron dubbing.
WINGCASE/WING- Natural deer hair.
HACKLE – Grizzly.