Snowrunner…what the heck is snowrunner? Also known as nayat, it is a domestically bread farm animal from across the pond that offers fly tiers an incredibly diverse fly tying material. Our best description is that it is a nice middle ground between bucktail and Icelandic sheep. Difficult to find here in the USA currently, Nayat is great for big predator flies for pike, bass, golden dorado, and musky, along with saltwater baitfish flies when chasing giant trevally, tarpon, snook, redfish, roosterfish, and any other predatory fish. It does not mat like Icelandic sheep and sheds water well akin to EP fibers, making for great casting predator flies.
We recently came into a hearty stock of Snowrunner and Icelantic Horse Mane (more on that later) that we have been playing with on our own vises and also have available in our shop. Coming in 3×3 inch patches, it is pretty amazing just how many flies you can tie with a single patch. There is very little waste and a little material goes a long way, which will end up coming out to 100 or more big predator flies from just one patch. We have also taken each patch through the prep process before we put them up for sale that you can see here:
Snowrunner is truly an amazing material that has yet to really catch on here in the US (probably because it’s hard to come by) but is a favorite of European tiers who are tying large predator flies for pike and musky. The hair is slightly stiffer and more translucent than other natural big fly materials. Tying big flies with Snowrunner is awesome for targeting pike, bass, musky, and golden dorado, along with saltwater baitfish flies when chasing giant trevally, tarpon, snook, redfish, roosterfish, and any other predatory fish. It also makes for wonderful hair wings on streamers and swing flies for steelhead and salmon.
The under-fur is very usable and the shorter guard hair has a texture similar to polar bear and fox, both of which have awesome uses for dubbing similar to Senyos Laser Dub and wings on smaller wet flies, streamers, and steelhead flies.
It has quickly become a utilitarian material that we first added to pike flies for our local Colorado waters, but have been incorporated into many other big flies, most recently golden dorado streamers. John is hosting a trip to Argentina this coming February and has been busy at the vise, prepping for the trip, and has found Nayat to be a fantastic addition to the material list. Check out this recent tying video of John tying a go-to dorado fly…which also incorporates the Icelantic Horse Mane discussed earlier:
Here are some additional Golden Dorado color options that John has tied up that also incorporate a hackle lateral line. Check out the full lineup of Snowrunner colors below!