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Soft hackled flies, materials

2006/11/4 20:39
Posts: 68
Just finished reading The Soft Hackled Fly by Sylvestor Nemes. Interesting book, but alot of the materials for the fly patterns I can't seem to locate, (i.e. woodcock wings).
Feather-craft on their site even had a warning about purchasing some of these odd feathers from other sellers because of Federal violation of the Migratory Bird Act.
Blue Ribbon Flies advertises various soft hackle feathers, I e-mailed them about this hoping they would verify that the materials were legal, they never responded.
Just wondering what other tiers are doing in the soft hackle realm. You can't substitute patridge and hen hackle for every thing LOL.
Maybe Feather-craft is wrong.

Posted on: 2007/1/7 10:41

Re: Soft hackled flies, materials
2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
Posts: 2251
You can substite Pheasant and partridge for a whole lot though.

I like Nemes and I like using wet flies. But I don't carry the wide variety of patterns or sizes that he recommends. I certainly wouldn't pay a premium for obscure wet fly feathers. I don't believe trout are as cautious or selective for wet flies as they are for dries.

You can get these feathers legally from certain suppliers. There is even a limited supply of polar bear hair (if you have the $$) from taxidermy mounts and other sources. So give that supplier a call. You may find they have a legal source.

Posted on: 2007/1/7 11:27
Never challenge a cat to a staring contest

Re: Soft hackled flies, materials

2006/11/2 8:50
Posts: 7184
That's right, you can use grouse or partridge for a lot of flies, when that brownish, speckled look is what you want.

Also, hen neck hackles are available in a very wide variety of colors.

Including some that have that mottled brownish look similar to grouse and partridge.

And blue dun, which is good for many mayfly imitations.

I think these are the 2 main colors you need to tie wetflies.

Posted on: 2007/1/7 11:59

Re: Soft hackled flies, materials
2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
Posts: 24578
I think some people using starling feathers for soft hackles as well, though I am not sure if they are mottled brown. The noisy ones that sit in the trees in the backyard seem to be blackish to me.

Posted on: 2007/1/7 18:52
The very best thing you can do to convey trustworthiness is be genuine. And if you can't, just fake it.

Re: Soft hackled flies, materials

2006/9/13 12:37
Posts: 496
Make friend with a hunter and ask him to give you some stuff even if it costs a little bit, it's better material. For instance a wood duck has so many feathers that unless you are tying a large number of a specific fly you will not need more then a couple of these skins in a lifetime.

Posted on: 2007/1/8 9:17

Re: Soft hackled flies, materials

2006/9/28 14:40
From Philadelphia
Posts: 401
I use Hungarian partridge for almost all my soft hackles. But really, anything webby will work.

Posted on: 2007/1/8 12:33

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