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Rolf Jacobsen

Partridge Skins

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I’m afraid I’m a sucker for wet flies, especially soft hackles and spiders. Lately I’ve been getting frustrated trying to find a good source for Partridge that can be used for size #16 through #20. The last two skins I’ve ordered are more suitable for #12. Can anyone recommend a good source for a skin with smaller feathers?

 

As Always….. Thanks,

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Finding those short fibers are difficult. Here are ways to use the longer ones,

 

There are several ways to form shorter soft hackle flies using longer hackle;

 

There are two overwrap methods. The first method uses fibers short enough that you don't need to use a "double overwrap".

 

The single overwrap method. Stroke the hackle fibers out and then measure the hackle length you want at the by placing the hackle against the normal tie in point at the head of the fly, with the tips pointed forward. The tips should extend over the fly so they will be the correct length when they are folded back at the normal tie in point. Look at the hook shank to see where the shaft of the feather is. This is the tie in point. As you tie a few flies, you will get better at finding the correct spot.

 

Tie the hackle in at this point and wind forward in touching wraps and tie off. Pull the the hackle fibers forward to the normal tie in point. Keep the fibers distributed around the hook and tie then down with the tips facing over the eye end of the hook. Now you can take the thread back and dub the body. When you get to the tied down hackle, pull them back and tie back over the body of the fly. They should be the about correct length. The single overwrap is demonstrated here:

 

http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=68738

 

The "double overwrap" method is for the longest fibers.

 

With the longest soft hackle fibers, tie and wrap the long hackles in the normal position leaving room for the head before tying the rest of the fly. After wrapping the soft hackle, estimate how overly long the fibers are. Pull the fibers back over the hook and tie them down at 1/2 the "overlength" point. Fold the fibers back toward the head and tie them down at the original point. The fibers will be facing forward over the hook eye and away from the hook body. Now take the thread back and tie the rest of the fly. The last step is to take the thread to in front of the soft hackle and tie them back so now they fold over the body over the fly.

 

With the "double wrap method", you can use extremely long soft hackles to tie shorter soft hackles. If you strip the hackle from one side of the stem before tying and wrapping, you will get a less bulky fly and the hackle will be neater.

 

The third method is to use the method of the Petitjean Magic tool I posted on another thread:

 

http://www.southeastflyfishingforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=28518

 

You can make a dubbing loop and put in Soft Hackle Fibers fibers using the Marc Petitjean Magic Tool.

 

You actually don't need the tool. You will need a thick foam blocks (from a thick pair of foam sandals), a credit card, and a set of bulldog paper clamps. Cut a straight slit in the foam blocks from end to end. The slit has to reach to both ends of the foam blocks to be able to release the fibers later.

 

Put the Soft Hackle fiber stems over the slit in the foam block and use the old credit card to push the fiber stems into the slit.

 

Use the paper clamp in the place of the transparent Petitjean clamp to hold the end of the soft hackle plumes. Open the slit in the foam block to release the fibers and you are in business. The soft hackle fibers are lined up, cut off the stem(s) and place the fibers into the dubbing loop.

 

With this simple set of homemade and cheap bought tools you can do what the Magic Tool does. See homemade tools here:

 

http://www.pechetruite.com/Mouches/cdc-dubbing1.htm

 

http://www.pechetruite.com/Mouches/cdc-dubbing2.htm

 

See the Petitjean showing how it is done below:

 

YouTube - Tie your flies with the magic tool

 

A final method is the one used by Charlie Craven on this pattern:

 

http://www.charliesflyboxinc.com/flybox/details.cfm?parentID=155

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Depends how much you're happy to pay but try Steve at cookshill.com

He supplies really good skins.

^This^ is what I was going to suggest.

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Depends how much you're happy to pay but try Steve at cookshill.com

He supplies really good skins.

 

Starlings aswell?

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Thanks for the lead on cookshill. Any issues shipping to the States?

 

None what so ever. I've ordered a couple of times from Steve and it came very fast. I've never had a problem with anything that I've bought over that way from stores or eBay UK.

 

Regards,

Mark

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SilverCreek,

 

Sweet!!! Thank you for the info. I have many Ruffed Grouse, aka Partridge, in my area. I have been trying to use the feather for soft hackle flies with very little success, because the feathers are too big. This was a huge amount of help.

 

Michael

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Thanks to everyone for the advice. I’ve learned about a new tying technique and a new vendor. Regarding Cooks, I can wait a few weeks and see them in person at Somerset. FWIW, I’ve been using starling as a substitute along with a few others. Once again, thanks!

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mottled chicken hen feathers off of a banty. A partridge banty is almost identical to partridge game bird and a lot less. I lost my flock last year and am going to start again this year on a new breeding program.

 

post-624-0-00780300-1384090378_thumb.jpg

 

post-624-0-47865600-1384090429_thumb.jpg

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