Materials-Part 3

Some of the Feathers used in Salmon Flies

What are the feathers that are used in tying the varied styles of Salmon and Steelhead flies? The answer might be, as many different birds that there are. True, for the standard fishing flies, commonly available feathers from birds like Ringneck, Golden, Amherst Pheasants, Turkey, Chickens, Partridge, Goose, Ducks and more, will provide us Tyers with relatively inexpensive feathers to tie our fishing flies with.

For the Tyer of the Classic Full Dressed and/or Free Style Atlantic Salmon Flies, such mundane feathers just won't do. Some Tyers will spend many thousands of dollars on rare feathers for their tying.

It will be impossible to show all of the various feathers that have uses or, at least, potential uses for tying our flies. In addition to the ones shown below, I will be adding more as I come across unusual feathers as well as showing some in the lessons themselves.

Every Tyer has their own priorities and personal methods for feather selection/acquisition. For me personally, when I find something new and, unusual, I get it as long as I can afford it and, can convince my dear wife that my sanity and well being is threatened without it. This is becoming harder to do with each new purchase.

My real interest in tying full dressed flies is in the area of what I call "free style" flies. Some call them "creation" flies and, there may be other names as well. I like the term "free style" because it conjures an image of breaking the rules, anything is free game and, the only limitation to creating a fly are the limits of the imagination and, the absence of materials.

So, my feather collecting focuses on unusual feathers that can be used as full feather wing flies. Of course, feathers other than these are also searched out but, it's the boldly marked feathers that really become the fly. The other parts are supporting actors if you will.

What dictates your collecting habits will likely be different than mine. Whatever it is, have fun with it and, good hunting!

Here are some pictures to get you started!

Various Turkey secondaries.

Various Turkey tail feathers.

Peacock secondaries.

Dyed Peacock secondaries.

Various Peahen secondaries.

Assorted tail feathers, L to R Impeyan Pheasant, Peahen, Blue Eared Pheasant, Capercaillie Hen.

Various Macaw tails

Blue & Gold Macaw dyed yellow.

Blue Eared Pheasant. "Folded" feather on rt.

Schlapen and, a Peafowl feather stripped from the shaft.

Very fine Peacock herl, rare.

California Quail head.

Woodduck head.

Impeyan Pheasant head.

Ruffed Grouse skin.

Sharp Tail Grouse skin.

Guinea Fowl skin.

California Quail skin.

Golden Pheasant head & a topping.

Jungle Cock cape.

Happy Trails! ~ Ronn Lucas, Sr.

Next time, the first fly!

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