View Full Version : muskrat pelt question

06-13-2012, 10:39 AM
i have a coworker who used to fish in the park, but his legs can't do the work anymore. he loves hearing about my fishing trips, and looking at the flies i've tied even though he only tinkered a bit with flies. i was telling him i would love to find some muskrat or opossum to make my "thunderhead" a little more original. (more of an adams wulff-have been using synthetic or beaver dubbing) well he brought me a whole muskrat pelt the other day, said it had been hanging in his barn for a year or two. i love the color variations in the pelt, there is light and dark brown as well as a couple different shades of grey. my question is, is it just as simple as trimming a little off and twirling it around some thread, or is there more to it than that? do i need to do some sort of processing to the fur or entire pelt? when i got home i immediately ziplocked it and have it seperate from the rest of my tying materials. also, what can i do to ensure the pelt is critter free? any help is appreciated.

06-13-2012, 12:03 PM
Snip what you need from the pelt and remove as much of the guard hair as possible. For killing any critters you can freeze the pelt or microwave it. I prefer the microwave. Hit it for about 15 seconds on high and then feel the pelt to make sure there is no moisture which could get the pelt hot. If it's not hot, I'd microwave it for 30 seconds. That will kill anything.

06-13-2012, 12:47 PM
Get yourself a fur rake and use the under fur to your hearts content. You can tye a million different flies with it. If you want buggy just snip a little blend it in you fingers and dub. Lucky guy.

06-14-2012, 07:23 AM
Muskrat is my favorite dub for generic adams; I have a skin scrap that's over thirty years old and I clip close to the hide then pick out the guard hairs for dries with hackle. For Comparaduns I like to leave the guard hairs in the dub.

06-14-2012, 09:40 AM
thanks for the advice all. i have placed it in my freezer and will let it chill for another day before i start experimenting with it.

06-14-2012, 07:26 PM
Sorry I can't help you. I lost my pelt several years ago :biggrin:.