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upnorthtier

a few cree

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for you guys who think cree is rare, I managed to get my hands on a few of them

 

the 1 on the left is from howard hackle now root river hackle, that saddle has some of the longest hackle---some 18 inch

ties size 12 to bigger

the other 3 are from skilto. ties 10 to bigger

 

 

 

 

DSC_0023.thumb.JPG.894176c6a192a14771396cb2eab1d118.JPG

 

 

heres whiting Herbert line , theres a pro grade, 2 bronze and a silver . all tie size 10 to 14 and some 16

the 3rd from the left is the best saddle of the bunch---90% of the hackle is a cree

 

 

DSC_0026.thumb.JPG.9fc5795ae259e715fedb71525483a312.JPG

 

whiting red label

left to right pro grade midge , ties size 20 to smaller

bronze midge, ties 18 to smaller

silver, ties 16 and 18

DSC_0029.thumb.JPG.6cd1f9f693b86f8f8d3b518330bb685a.JPG

 

I purchased all those whiting the same day, I ordered 12 saddles and ended up with 7 saddles and 2 capes. since I auctioned off the capes on ebay . I was really surprise what they went for. almost payed for the whole order.

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eBay has been NUTS for Whiting Cree lately.  $250 on up is what I have seen.  I had a nice midge saddle myself.  I usually don’t tie that small, so when I saw the “gold rush” going on at eBay, I let it go as well.  Now I’ve just got a half saddle from an intro pack that serves me well.

I wouldn’t mind sitting in your position though!  Looks good.

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4 hours ago, Lug Nuts said:

eBay has been NUTS for Whiting Cree lately.  $250 on up is what I have seen.  I had a nice midge saddle myself.  I usually don’t tie that small, so when I saw the “gold rush” going on at eBay, I let it go as well.  Now I’ve just got a half saddle from an intro pack that serves me well.

I wouldn’t mind sitting in your position though!  Looks good.

I don't understand why people pay more for the cree, its crazy. whiting sells them the same price as any other saddle.

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If Whiting valued it’s customer base  they would sell their crees direct.  It has become a scalping situation and the funny

thing is how many cree flies do you see tied ?  Not many.     Atherton nbr 5.  Sz 14

F4DD98AE-472C-43DB-9D44-E29AA57CCB41.jpeg

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The reason you don't see many cree flies is because Cree hackle is so rare compared to Grizzly and Coachman Brown.

The Adams is the most popular dry fly by a mile. Grizzly and Coachman Brown hackle are used to tie the Adams. Therefore, an Adams can be tied with Cree without having to interweave two hackles. Cree makes tying an Adams so much simpler.

The rarity of Cree is the result of the interbreeding on different colored roosters and hens needed to get Cree and the fact that the interbreeding has inconsistent yields so there are few Cree roosters as a result.

Here is what Dr. Whiting wrote in in his April 2013 newsletter:

TO CREE OR NOT TO CREE BY THOMAS S. WHITING, PH.D. 

Countless fly tiers have asked me over the years why the Cree dry fly hackle is so hard to get. So here’s why..... 

From a poultry breeders’ perspective, the color pattern of Cree is not too much of a mystery. Obviously the “barring gene” is at work, the same gene that creates the classic grizzly feather pattern. This barring gene, which happens to be “sex linked’ (meaning it is on the X sex chromosome), causes the regular interruption of black pigment formation within the feather follicle as the feather is being generated. The sex linked aspect of the barring gene also causes the darkness of the grizzly hen feather as opposed to the considerably lighter grizzly feathers of the rooster. This is because the hen can only have one ‘dose’ of the barring gene because she is XZ, while the rooster can have a double dose of the barring gene be- cause he is XX. In addition, the barring gene is incompletely dominant so there is a dosage effect; two doses inhibit the production of the black pigment more than one dose. That is why the ratio of white to black in the barring of hen grizzly feathers has a wider black bar than white, while a rooster grizzly feather is lighter with about half black and half white. 

Along with the barring gene the Cree pattern also has some brown genes at work. This is more complicated than what can be addressed here, involving multi-allelic [the alternative forms and patterns] of ‘brown’ genes. But the basic combination of the barring gene and several types of brown genes are what create the Cree pattern. So these are the ingredients. Now, how to put them together! 

The best way, or the only good way that I have found, is to cross a grizzly chicken with a brown one. And despite the recitation above about sex linkage, it doesn’t matter initially which sex is grizzly and which is brown. This is because you just want to generate a rooster that has only one dose of the barring gene, in combination with the genetic background of brown. The result is a ‘grizzly variant’, which looks like a regular grizzly but with a considerable number of non-grizzly feathers, such as badger and furnace feathers, interspersed throughout all the feathers. This grizzly variant rooster is then mated to a non-grizzly hen, preferably a rich brown colored one but a black or red-necked black hen will also work. This is the ‘Cree mating’. Some would call it a three-way mating because an initial mating has to be done, and the yield of that mating mated to another type. Now this is where the rarity of Cree happens. Because of this three-way mating a wide host of all sorts of other color and pattern genes are stirred up. And as these genes segregate into the myriad of combinations that are possible when the genes of the mother and father are combining at conception, a whole array of colors and patterns are formed. These include, to name just a few: light ginger, furnace, golden badger, speckled variant, basic brown and more grizzly variants. And a few, a very few, will be Cree. 

To make it rarer still, what few Crees come out will vary from good to poor to barely Cree. Generally, the proportion of Cree produced from this three-way Cree mating will only be in the single- digit percentiles. And truly good Cree will constitute only 1% or 2% of the output. That is why Cree is so rare. 

So Cree generation is just exceptionally inefficient. You create many colors and patterns, some not even named nor used in fly tying. Thus you end up dying many pelts black to justify the few Crees created. The question is sometimes asked, “Why can’t you just mate Cree roosters with appropriate hens to create Cree?” You can try, but you won’t get Cree, or at least as many Crees as you would with the above described mating. I don’t have a good genetic explanation why, but it just doesn’t seem to work. Nevertheless, every few years I come across a spectacular Cree rooster in the production flock. Then I just have to try it again anyway. And so I do, just to re-convince myself that it doesn’t work.

 

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18 minutes ago, Moshup said:

If Whiting valued it’s customer base  they would sell their crees direct.  It has become a scalping situation and the funny

thing is how many cree flies do you see tied ?  Not many.     Atherton nbr 5.  Sz 14

F4DD98AE-472C-43DB-9D44-E29AA57CCB41.jpeg

This is one of my top five, maybe three, dry flies.  This and an Adam’s are all I use my Cree for.

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1 hour ago, upnorthtier said:

I don't understand why people pay more for the cree, its crazy. whiting sells them the same price as any other saddle.

I have to imagine folks that have read of, but have never seen, the famed Cree cape or saddle, get severe cases of the “gotta haves.”

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I've always liked the argument you don't see many fly patterns calling for cree. I think the reason for this is that cree has always been so rare and only in past several years actually been more readily available within decent price ranges. I have three of the capes and use them for a lot of flies that don't call for cree but looks good with it. It makes a nice parachute pattern especially. Everyone knows it serves as the lazy man's (me) substitute for mixes brown and grizzly on Adams and other patterns. I have one really fantastic Whiting saddle and two fairly decent other ones. This is the nicest one. 

DSC00965.JPG?width=285&height=175&fit=bo

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That’s a really nice one too vicrider!  

I have silver grade barred dark ginger cape l that I like to use as well.  It is a really close substitute.  The half cape of cree I do have gets me the classics, the barred dark ginger the experiments...or maybe even where Atherton suggests a lighter cree, depending on what I can find in the cape.  

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To get the effect of Grizzly which is BLACK and WHITE mixed with Coachman BROWN, the Cree should have actually have VERY dark stripes. Otherwise it looks like a dark barred ginger hackle.

As Lug Nuts notes, barred dark ginger can fool unsuspecting buyers who think it is Cree. In fact, unscrupulous dealers will sell dark barred ginger as cree.

Here is what Dr. Whiting writes:

"Fortunately, there is another hackle color quite similar to Cree without being Cree. In the early years, when it occurred along with true Cree, I called it “pseudo-Cree.” Eventually we named it “barred dark ginger” so that tiers could more easily order it. This label distinguishes this cape from the barred light or medium gingers. The black barring, concentrated primarily along the rachis (center stem), is quite distinctive. If the roosters in their entirety could be seen, then the difference between a true Cree and a barred dark ginger would be obvious; the arrangement of the colors and patterns on the body feathers is fundamentally different. But on just a cape or saddle pelt, these two-color patterns can be confused. The essential difference is that the black bar component on a true Cree is through- out the entire pelt, while on a barred dark ginger it is usually only in the bottom third to half of the cape in the larger feathers and doesn’t extend all the way up to the tiny feathers as in a true Cree. Because true Cree is so rarely seen, tiers aren’t so apt to distinguish this difference. But we at Whiting Farms always separate the two types, although I have noticed that our competitors sometimes sell a barred dark ginger as a Cree. The good news is that barred dark ginger is also a beautiful, rich color pattern that is great for tying. Plus it can actually be bred dependably with barred dark ginger roosters, so it is very readily available."

Here's an old Whiting Cree Saddle from about 25 years ago. Note the difference in the appearance of even this old saddle from a dark barred ginger which is below it. The dark strips are darker AND you can see some Grizzly and Coachman brown hackle mixed in with the Cree.

Old Cree:

35555720232_bf83591de1_z.jpg

 

Dark Barred Ginger - NOTE the lack of any grizzly or brown hackles mixed in.

Dark-Barred-Ginger_070BDE47.jpg

 

Here is a photo of Dr. Whiting with one of his cree roosters. Note the Grizzly and Coachman Brown section on the hackles on the rooster.

31687497828_792e67a6e2_b.jpg

 

Here are a more recent Whiting Bronze Cree Neck and a Silver Cree Saddle.

35593321331_c0b2ae64eb_z.jpg

Close up of older saddle. Notice how the brown barring  gradually fades into the white.

35555726892_c8144980a7_z.jpg

 

Close up of newer saddle. Note that even in this Silver Grade Cree, you can see some Grizzy breaking through. This shows it is a real Cree.

35593311471_ba64fb6c66_z.jpg

 

When tied to a fly, the newer hackle looks much better.  The older saddle looks good in the package but because of the very distinct transition from dark to light on the newer hackle, the hackled flies really "pop".

 

 

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That business about the lack of flies due to the scarcity of cree might have held water in the past but

as you can see there are an awful lot of cree feathers flying around these days and I don’t see too many

people tying with it.  It goes into a plastic tub and is taken out only  to be admired during high hackle holy days.🙄

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I use mine. It has very long hackles. I could tie a fly with it (or many flies with it) every day for the rest of my life and never use it up.

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