Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo
18th Annual
 Boise Valley Fly Fishers Present

2019 Expo Logo Fly: Deer Hair Diver

Creator:  Mike Kingston, BVFF


This all-purpose deer hair fly is my version of the Dahlberg Diver.  I like to keep it simple on my working flies.  I use Allen 8200 or TMC8089 hooks in size 2 to 14.  For this sample fly I used orange Sili-leqs, gold Krystal Flash and yellow marabou for the tail. The body is spun yellow deer belly hair and red deer belly hair for the front.  The 3D eyes give it a life like quality.  The secret to tying with deer hair is to clean out the short hair and under fur with a comb.  Packing the hair tightly with a tool like the" Fugly Packer" will make a better floating fly.  Stacked deer hair produces a beautiful example of the fly tyers art, but a simple two tone colored fly is my first choice for my personal fishing. With that being said, I have been known to fish elaborately stacked deer hair flies when I want to impress or mess with my friends.


Fishing the deer hair diver.  Larry Dahlberg did an excellent job designing his deer hair diver.  The tapered front combined with the deer hair collar causes the fly to dive just below the level of the fly line it is being fished on.  Just below the surface with floating lines and deeper with sinking lines.  Deer hair traps air and will release a bubble trail when retrieved.  The collar on the fly is stiff enough to create a popping sound when retrieved on the surface. These attributes allow the fly to pop and dive with a bubble trail when retrieved on a floating line. You can stiffen the collar with Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails for a more pronounced pop.  When fished with a sinking line and long leader you have time to get one or  two pops before the fly goes under creating a short bubble trail. Once you  stop the retrieve the fly will float upward. Leader length and water depth will  dictate if the fly will reach the surface and recharge its bubble supply. The diving and floating upward combination is very effective. Think frogs and other creatures that go into the water. Fly size and wind conditions dictate rod size more than fish size since the average bass caught by most fishermen is under 3 pounds.  I use my trout size equipment most of the time while fishing for bass.  That being said, I do fish 7 and 8 weight rods in heavy cover or with big flies.  Tie your diver to the leader using a non-slip loop knot. Forget the 6X tippet, this is a big boy game. I use 3X to OX fluorocarbon tippet for my bass fishing.

Tight lines



Mike Kingston bought his first fly rod nearly 60 years ago when he was 15.  The fly fishing bug bit him hard and he has been a life long proponent of the sport. Mike has been tying flies for the last 48 years.  When asked if he preferred tying or fishing, he responded; "I'm not sure if I, tie so I can fish or fish so I can tie".  No matter the answer, Mike has done a lot of fishing and fly tying. His friends in the west think he is a trout fisherman and his friends from his 11 year stay in Tennessee are sure he is a warm water fly guy.  Mike enjoys fly fishing for anything that swims. He has caught trout, bass, bluegill, skip jack herring, long nose gar, red fish, black drum (50 pounder on a six weight rod) and other salt water fish including striped bass.  Today Mike mostly fishes for trout and small mouth bass. He has been heard to say "trout may live in beautiful places, but bass eat flies I can see" .

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