12 different featherwings - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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12 different featherwings

Cheers everyone...

Recently, there were a couple of great posts, and discussion, about choosing, setting, and working with hackle tips for wings, and I have to say I read them with great interest.

For the longest time I struggled with feeling satisfied with the results of my hackle tip wing flies. I could never get them to look right. The hackle tips rode up high, and just wouldn't "lay down", nicely low set and slightly curved. At the time, figuring that there was nothing I could really do if my materials weren't the "best", I chose to "blame the cape". I just accepted that the wings were going to ride up too high and straight, since I didn't have "the right capes with the right curved feathers".

But after much practice, reading, asking for help from many of you, and from the information available on this forum (such as the brilliantly helpful SBS posts from Marty), I began to realize that getting hackle tip wings to behave is simply just not as easy as it looks. It still takes me several attempts to get a hackle tip wing set the way I feel good about it. This seems to be especially the case on smaller size featherwings

I certainly don't mean to disagree with anyone, as I do feel (absolutely) that some capes have feathers that are very difficult to work with in this regard. In my experience however ( and granted limited experience), setting these wings probably has a lot more to do with how the hackle tips are tied in and set (and with the thread base they are set upon), than the cape the feathers come from. At least that is the way it was first explained to me.

I plucked these flies out of my boxes, (12 completely different featherwings, created using 10 different capes), to try to illustrate that regardless of your cape, you can usually find the right sized feathers on it (somewhere), and get them to behave. Some of these capes have dead straight feathers, others slightly curved. Some are junk capes, or pieces of capes, and some "higher quality". The ginger feather even comes from the neck of chicken that a buddy of mine and I slaughtered and then ate for dinner a few years back! Only the two red winged flies and the two purple flies share wings from the same cape. The cape that the blue feather comes from has very stiff straight feathers that are very difficult to set wings with..

Some of these flies have the wings set on top, others slightly tented. Most of them gave me fits at some point during the winging process.

Thanks again to everyone for helping me so much over the past few years.....
IMG_6718 , on FlickrW2 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]
W1 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]

Last edited by The Duck; 11-27-2017 at 08:34 PM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 02:04 PM
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I believe you have prevailed. That's beautiful work. Must be pretty satisfying opening that box at the head of a run.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 02:45 PM
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Nice Feather Wing Patterns

Your flies are beautiful! Feather wing patterns are fun to tie and great for winter steelhead. And you are absolutely correct, if you look, you can find good feathers. In the words of the late Andy Puyans "do not take any s**t from your materials".

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"As the steelheads appear fresh from the ocean, sometimes bearing living parasitic crustaceans attached to their bodies, they are of a beautiful steel blue above, with highly burnished, silvery sides." (From John Otterbein Snyder. 1925. The Half-pounder of the Eel River, A Steelhead Trout. California Fish and Game. 11(2):49-55)

Last edited by DPLee; 01-29-2017 at 07:59 PM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 03:16 PM
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Now please provide your addy and four days you are expected to be hands on to give me private lessons

Or alternativre send me those boxexws to emulate

Stunning absolutely stunning

I love your ties and effort to make us all better artisans on this site...

Respectfully yours wane (Back Eddy)
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 03:26 PM
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Glorious set of flies. Fists full of Glasso. Im especially keen on the marabou with blue body and the long tail on that one.

Tell me about some of the difficulties with these. I just wrapped up with one Glasso-type that gave fits tenting those hackle-tip wings.

Yours both are fantastic.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 03:28 PM
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Mike, excellent ties! Those are beautiful...
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 03:35 PM
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Oooooh fishy, might I ask what box is pictured?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 11:08 PM
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It sure to me like you got the feather tip winging down. These are excellently done! And as you found, getting them to sit right has more to do with you developing the techniques to make the feather do what you want than having the most costly materials.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 11:19 PM
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Beautiful flies you guys. Mike, I think you got it down buddy 🙂
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DPLee View Post
In the words of the late Andy Puyans "do not take any s**t from your materials".


I love this quote! I have been taking s**t from my materials for far too long it seems....

And thanks for sharing a picture of your box of featherwings in this thread... Wow. I love those Hopes ....

Originally Posted by JonT View Post
might I ask what box is pictured?
Jon. The box is an old thin Wheatley silmalloy....
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