More on Hungarian Partridge, etc.

mt_flyfisher

mt_flyfisher

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Apr 20, 2014
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Location
SE PA
My most productive fly for the large fall lake run trout in Montana is this simple wet fly, which uses pearl SLF prism fibers for the body, over wrapped with heavy copper wire, a few strands of pearl crystal flash on top, and several wraps of Hungarian partridge at the head. I bet it would also work for Great Lakes steelhead too.
( I may have posted this fly here before.)
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A well known and respected fly fisherman and fly tier, Byron Haugh, who’s on another forum that I’m a member of, also uses Hungarian Partridge on what he claims is his most successful wet fly pattern.

IMG 3547

I like Byron’s use of Antron Dubbing (sparkle yarn, or Dazzleaire) on his fly. Gary LaFontaine was also a believer in using Antron. I also believe that the SLF prism fibers on my wet fly may act in a similar way as Antron in trapping air bubbles and reflecting light.

I’ve been fooling around at my vice today, and used Byron Haugh’s basic wet fly design, but changed the materials a bit. Maybe these will work around here come next spring.

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Thanks for sharing, best quality skins I ever got were from BRF. Bucky even did some dying of one on request for me
 
Thanks for sharing, best quality skins I ever got were from BRF. Bucky even did some dying of one on request for me
I wouldn’t be surprised if Bucky or one of the other guys had harvested those birds somewhere nearby there. Hungarian Partridge take dyes well as you know in case someone wants a different color.
 
Thanks for sharing, best quality skins I ever got were from BRF. Bucky even did some dying of one on request for me
I’m in the market for a skin. Who or what is BRF?
 
It seems like finding partridge skins has become difficult. Would that be because the birds are harvested late in the year or is there another reason?

Can someone more knowledgeable than I am please explain how skins are graded?
 
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Blue Ribbon has over the years sold only wild birds. And they are hand selected. I needed jackdaw once, they were out but I was on the phone with Craig Matthews and he said he would be happy to shoot me one.
 
Grouse is a decent substitute and half the price.

When I look at the price of partridge, I'm glad I stocked up on skins more than a few years ago for less than $20 each. ;)
 
It seems like finding partridge skins has become difficult. Would that be because the birds are harvested late in the year or is there another reason?

Can someone more knowledgeable than I am please explain how skins are graded?
I don’t know if Hungarian partridge is more difficult to find now compared to the past as I’ve never had any particular trouble finding it.

Both wild and farm raised Hungarian partridge is sold for fly tying. Wild Huns range across the upper central to the northwest US, and up into Alberta, Canada. The wild birds are shot during hunting seasons, primarily in the fall and into the winter, depending on the state’s hunting seasons, so that’s when there’s the most wild inventory available for sale. I don’t know about farm raised Huns, but I believe a full time grower could possibly raise 6 or so broods a year. I could be wrong, but everything being equal, I’d expect the best, prime, skins would be from the late fall or winter broods. It’s somewhat harder to raise Huns than pheasants, for example, so that, together with things like climate changes from year to year, etc. can all affect availability.

There isn’t any universal grading standard. One person’s Grade #1 skin could be called a Prime skin by another person, while an identical quality skin might be called Pro or Grade #2 by one person, but called a Prime or Grade #1 by another

Some retailers also delineate the male Huns from the female, which I personally don’t think matters much for fly tying, since both have soft feathers, with just minor coloration differences, imo. In addition, wild birds can be slightly larger than farm raised ones,

I think it’s always best to hand pick your feathers or see a good picture of what you’re buying, or at least discuss the quality of what your buying, and buy from a knowledgeable, trusted supplier.
 
It seems like finding partridge skins has become difficult. Would that be because the birds are harvested late in the year or is there another reason?

Can someone more knowledgeable than I am please explain how skins are graded?
There's been a problem with the supply of farm raised birds due to disease for the last five years or so.
 
I checked my sources I had used and none in stock. Last time I saw one for sale was 53 bucks.
Moscow hide and fur had zero, not even #2s
 
I would expect some wild ones to appear, partridge season runs till the end of the year
 
Some nice patterns . I am of the keep it sparse school. One or one and a half wraps with a single feather is all I use and I can fish them dry, damp in the film or wet. Tremendous fish catcher in many situations. Syl Nemes book got me started.
 
Fwiw, the last time I was in Sportsman's Warehouse in Altoona, they had a Hun skin or two. That was late Spring. So did Aquatic Imitations near Holidaysburg. I did not examine them for small feather density or quality.
 
Badger Creek Fly Tying showed a few in inventory when I looked earlier today. I’m not familiar with this supplier but they seem to have good reviews on Etsy.

Badger Creek Fly Tying has superior stock in many fly tying materials, and their service and quality are first class. Mike Hogue usually brings a goodly amount of his goodies to the fly shows, including Lancaster.
 
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