Yak Hair

Yak Hair for Fly Tying
Yak Hair for Fly Tying

Yak Hair, also called saltwater yak hair is a great material to use on big streamer fly wings and for saltwater bait fish flies. The Hairline Saltwater Yak comes in a 12″ length and is similar in translucence to polar bear hair. While the length of the hair is wonderful for tying large streamers, it can be a little bit of a hassle for smaller flies. You can use a clamp to keep extra hair organized. The hair has a nice crinkle along it’s length that helps with light diffusion. The only other real downfall is that you do not get a natural tapered tip on the hair as you would with something like polar bear, but this is similar to what you find with most synthetics. This material works great for long wings on bait fish patterns, feelers for shrimp or tails.

You can combine the hair with synthetic materials like crystal flash and Flashabou to give it more light bouncing effects. The hair usually comes packaged in a hank as the yak hair is harvested without harming the animal. Most fly patterns that call for Enrico Puglisi (EP) Fibers can be tied with the yak hair.

Some people find the yak hairs to be quite thick, but you may be able to find baby yak, which has a finer diameter and even more translucent than the adult hair. This is quite hard to find though, and if you do manage to find a source, you may want to stock up. I have a feeling that the majority of this stock gets used in the wig trade because of its softer feel and resemblance to human hair.

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