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Best feathers for small soft hackles
Posted 04 November 2017 - 10:35 PM
Posted 04 November 2017 - 10:43 PM
I need to buy more feathers for my soft hackle flies. I've been using a ruffed grouse skin that my father shot for a couple of years. I have picked it clean of 14-20 size feathers. I tie mostly 16s and 18s but a few 14s and 20s would be nice if they were in there too. I don't know exactly which feathers/skin to buy. Hen capes? Partridge? Starling? Which kind is best for 16s and 18s? Brown with some mottling would be nice but plain brown works. Thanks for any help!
Bob White Quail breast feathers work well for me for 18-16-14's. Some brown, some gray mixtures. Starling is good too, quail a little easier when wrapping collars.
Happily living in "Longmire's" county
Posted 05 November 2017 - 04:38 AM
Also look at the small coverlet feathers on wings of smaller skinned birds. And then try the traditional method of winding the hackle and thread together that is used in the Stuart's Black Spider video on Youtube,
Simplicity itself and it makes durable, very 'fishy' flies in small sizes..
Posted 05 November 2017 - 10:09 AM
Posted 05 November 2017 - 11:08 AM
Posted 05 November 2017 - 02:21 PM
Posted 05 November 2017 - 06:16 PM
Posted 05 November 2017 - 06:28 PM
Thanks for the link. I like the method in the first video better than the method I have used. Looks to add less bulk since the feather stem isn't used. I will try it for sure as I like the color and barring on my grouse feathers better than the color of this imported hen neck.
There are some other methods to use large feathers on small flies that don't bulk up the fly... here's a link.
Posted 06 November 2017 - 07:12 PM
I am a huge fan of the JV Hen Hackles from Clearwater Hackle formerly Conranch Hackle - good stuff indeed. I will be on vacation Thanksgiving week and will have 5 dozen soft hackles featuring these feathers in my boxes ready to do battle with some Mountain trout. Only need a few a day but will have some to pass out to friends, family, and strangers.
Posted 06 November 2017 - 07:40 PM
dont rule out ostrich herl on the smallest of sizes
any size feather can be used if done right
Posted 07 November 2017 - 05:55 PM
There are several sources of Ruffed Grouse skins. I've gotten them from Badger Creek. He shows grouse and Bob White Quail skins for $15. I have also used snipe for smaller soft hackles. Really, any game bird will do. They all have similar quality feathers and in similar colors. The patterns vary a bit, but they all work.
If you have hunter friends, that's even better.
Posted 07 November 2017 - 06:18 PM
Posted 10 November 2017 - 09:09 PM
Does anyone have any experience in the differences between Brahma hen necks, 4B hen necks, and regular Whiting type hen necks in regards to which has most small fly size feathers?