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I'm looking to start experimenting with tying akroyds/skagit mist/lady caroline type flies. I really like tying most of my current wetflies on AJ #3 irons. What substitutes are out there besides the Whiting Spey Hackle capes? I just don't have the desire to spend $40 on a cape that will be used minimally. Is pheasant rump appropriate for this?

Thanks
 

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Go to canadiantubeflies.com They sell real heron...and it is a species legal for import to the US. Just work your way through the site and they will tell you what they can ship here and what they cannot. When you get to the heron page read the column on the left...that will give you the details. And so you know...I have no stake in the company nor am I affiliated with them in any way.

I know about these feathers...because I have some from them and it is super!!!
 

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Go to canadiantubeflies.com They sell real heron...and it is a species legal for import to the US. Just work your way through the site and they will tell you what they can ship here and what they cannot. When you get to the heron page read the column on the left...that will give you the details. And so you know...I have no stake in the company nor am I affiliated with them in any way.

I know about these feathers...because I have some from them and it is super!!!
what george said, I've been ordering from them for awhile now, and have had no problems and great products, cameron
 

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Purple Heron is legit if you can get it for the right price. If your looking for subs, Ringneck Pheasant rump is cheap and you can usually find lots of colors, although it's quite a bit shorter, so plan on using two feathers if your palmering up the body. Once in a while, you can find a really good pack of Extra Select Marabou, which has minimal barbules and looks the part, although it's significantly more limp than heron. I've not had good luck with the Whiting Spey Hackle so far. Even more limp and fragile than marabou, you're better off spending your money elsewhere.
 

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i managed a trip to the big river yesterday and fished this fly . no fish (3 guys , 7hrs ea. ) , beautiful day on the river though for sure . but , this looked pretty fishy . my bud commented so as they swum by him .
peacock herl , spun in a loop . i trim the short ends after spinning and bury them in the dubbing . just one idea .
now to hook up on one . ha ha
i also like the heron from canadian tube fly .
thanks to everyone , jim
 

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Plenty of Purple Heron floating around that was imported by Hareline in the late 90's. I purchased over 10lbs of 4-6" hackles. I don't sell materials, but McNeese might have a source...ask about 100pks.
i just drooled all over my screen with envy, nice bundles, cameron
 

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Wow

i just drooled all over my screen with envy, nice bundles, cameron
I don't tie enough Speys or Dees to drool over all those feathers...but I am pretty damn close :whoa::whoa::whoa:
 
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As regards burnt goose as a heron substitute. Yes and no. Yes it works to make nice flies - sometimes. The problem is consistency. Too much time in the bleach and the feathers become brittle. Too little and the flue remains fluffy and still clings together. Not my first choice, although it is widely available.
 

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I bought a Blue-Eared Pheasant pelt from Feathers MC four years ago, and it's been great. Highly recommended. I've tried the Whiting spey capes, and can't recommend them. Wispy and brittle in my experience.
 

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I’ve tried every thing mentioned save blue eared pheasant, and I like them all, but they are all different and behave differently in water.

One not mentioned is Rhea. I believe it was brought into the market as a heron replacement as well. But, it too is different.

In regards to winding up a hook shank, your best bet will be whiting farm Spey hackle or blue eared pheasant. Pheasant rump won’t make it. And goose sucks!

But, there is now legal heron called pond heron that isn’t anymore expensive than all the other feathers listed. Canadian Tube has it and it’s awesome as well! Blue eared pheasant is extremely versatile and nice but probably the most expensive out of them all. For smaller collaring work the pheasant rump is gorgeous. And I’m beginning to like the whiting farm stuff more and more! Never tried schlappen, but I’m sure it rocks for catching fish and you can hackle all the way up a hook with it. Maybe try a pack of the long stuff from Fish hunter??

Good luck
 

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I'm looking to start experimenting with tying akroyds/skagit mist/lady caroline type flies. I really like tying most of my current wetflies on AJ #3 irons. What substitutes are out there besides the Whiting Spey Hackle capes? I just don't have the desire to spend $40 on a cape that will be used minimally. Is pheasant rump appropriate for this?

Thanks
Ringneck Pheasant rump is perfect for small speys. Heron feathers, those used for hackles, tend to be large with long, flowing barbules - so Dee and Spey patterns (Akroyd and Lady Caroline) trend on the larger side.

Goose shoulder is just OK. The stems become too thick too quickly that it is only good for 3-4 wraps before becoming too bulky. White goose feathers do take dyes very well so if you're into that you can have a variety of colors from just a pack or two. The barbules will separate when wet so it isn't necessary to bleach-burn them. A fly will only appear heavily hackled but dressing down well in the water.
 

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I just received a small shipment from the Canadian Tube Fly Company: 20 large gray heron feathers for $22.95 + $4 shipping. Most are 7.5-8 inches long, with fibers long enough for almost any spey hook. The requested color was for natural gray, and so says the invoice. I call them brown, dark in the lower feather, medium brown toward the base. A bit disappointing, but suitable for most traditional spey patterns. They also offer colored, and smaller, spey feathers. I'll be ordering more things from them.
 

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I just received a small shipment from the Canadian Tube Fly Company: 20 large gray heron feathers for $22.95 + $4 shipping. Most are 7.5-8 inches long, with fibers long enough for almost any spey hook. The requested color was for natural gray, and so says the invoice. I call them brown, dark in the lower feather, medium brown toward the base. A bit disappointing, but suitable for most traditional spey patterns. They also offer colored, and smaller, spey feathers. I'll be ordering more things from them.
I've been waiting on a similar order from them, and this whets my appetite!
 

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Dang this forum. Now I have to purchase some heron feathers.
To contribute further, aside from mallard which was previously mentioned (great advice, btw), one can find select gadwall and get surprisingly long hackles -- most of it is barred or two-tone, which makes it even cooler. Only expect to get a few large ones from a pack - but worth it.
 

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Just got the same feathers--20 in "natural brown." Beautiful feathers 6-8 inches long, with a slight rust/orange cast. Perfect for Lady Carolines, Orange Herons, etc. . . Very nice.
 

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I’m also waiting on a shipment of dyed grey. Should be here any day now. I did notice in the photos on the site most colors still had a brown tone to them. I’m ok with that though
 

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Been using it for several years and like it very much. I use the medium for most of my flies and occasionally the large. The colors all run dark but I think for most uses this is not a deal breaker.
 
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