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Best feathers for small soft hackles
Posted 10 November 2017 - 09:22 PM
Thanks for the information. Those JV necks look perfect. Other people must think so too since they are sold out on their site right now. They are kinda expensive for sure but if he was taking size 14 feathers from that far down on the neck there must be tons of 14-18 feathers on those necks.
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 10 November 2017 - 09:26 PM
I have whiting, brahma, Herbert/miner and coq de Leon hen. Whiting has the smallest feathers with the Herbert/miner not far behind. My CDL and Brahma necks are shorter but can tie small flies also.
I was at a fly tying event last weekend and talked to a guy about the real small soft hackles. He tied me a #21 rainbow warrior soft hackle and used a Whiting hen neck for the feathers. Come to think of it he had a pile of those Whiting necks laying around in all the colors. At $22 each at the local shop it's not a bad deal after doing some research. Thanks for the reply.
Posted 24 November 2017 - 10:48 PM
Posted 28 November 2017 - 11:43 PM
Posted 29 November 2017 - 12:12 AM
Posted 29 November 2017 - 12:18 AM
Posted 29 November 2017 - 12:33 AM
Posted 29 November 2017 - 01:50 AM
I get my dyed starling from White Fox Fur and Feather Co. (Featherworld1 on Etsy) Pemberton, Minnesota. They used to be available at Bob Marriott's Fly Fishing Store here in Los Angeles. Now, this is how one gets them:
Ginger (left) - Purple (Right)
Posted 29 November 2017 - 09:11 AM
Posted 29 November 2017 - 10:41 AM
Funny - I was just thinking last night while tying a small soft hackle how under rated starling is. I have a couple really nice partridge skins, a hen pheasant skin, a half dozen+ hen necks and they all work and provide me several lifetimes worth of soft hackle. I recall the price tag on the natural starling was $6.75 so it can't get much better for the frugal tyer. If I was on a particular kettle pond today and there was a little gray midge hatch going on then my first choice would be a purple and black or all black #16 soft hackle.
Thanks for the tip on the dyed starling skins. I never though I needed them but now they are on my gottahave list.
Posted 29 November 2017 - 11:04 AM
Sort of along the lines of what flytire posted, this technique from Charlie Craven shows you that about any size partridge feather can be used to tie a wide range of soft hackles. It works really well for small ones, I have used this technique a lot. Skip down to like step 12: