When I started to tie flies there were little if any synthetics to tie with. Fly bodies were constructed of either Chenille, a strand of three or four ply wool yarn or animal fur minus the guard hairs. The underfur of beaver, muskrat, seal, fox and hairs ear etc was pulled out and dubbed onto the shank. Eventually, I read somewhere of cutting the fur from the hide and putting it into what was then new in itself…a coffee bean grinder. This worked well and generated spiky dubbing blends. When new sparkly synthetics came about I cut small pieces into the fur pile and blended it all together for fur with flash. And, as you can imagine, this was all available in short order, mostly rabbit fur with some synthetic flash.
Today, many tiers never buy or acquire fur unless it is that small plastic envelope on a hook in a fly shop. Gone are the days of blending your own furs…or is it?
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be
satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”