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What would be the best hackle for most collars on steelhead flies? It looks like the whiting american hen hackles might be good but i wanted some other opinions? Any recommedations on what to use? Thanks for the help.

Jason
 

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Jason
Hen hackle works - also look at the "mini" schalappen sold by Anglers Workshop. (never forget full size schalappen)I also use dyed ringneck pheasant rump as well as dyed mallard flank for mini speys, for the bigger speys I use marabou, eared pheasant and rhea.
Happy tying
speydoc
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Jason,

Whether hen or rooster hackle is the better choice depends on the water type you are fishing. If fishing the slow water found in holes and eddies, hen hackle is a very good choice because its softer fibers will move at the slightest hint of current. However, if fishing riffles, bouldery runs, pocket water, tailouts, rooster hackle is a better choice because it is stiffer and more resistent to collapsing against the fly's body like hen hackle would in the faster water.

This is why most tyers of steelhead flies (with the exception of spey and dee type flies that require a soft hackle with long barbs) use Chinese or Whiting rooster neck hackle.
 

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Jason - don't forget Guinea. I really like this as a collar on steelhead flies.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Add gadwall, dyed and natural mallard, wood duck, teal etc - to the list of good collar materials. Depends on the pattern as others have pointed out.

If you haven't played with the magic tool by Marc Pettijean you should look into it; it allows for the tyer to get creative with collars as well as bodies. Endless possibilities.
 
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