Feathers for wet fly wings

A place to discuss the collecting and tying of classic flies, the tyers who made them famous, the tools, materials and techniques they used as well as the waters they were designed for. While classic is generally used to describe old things, classic is also used in the sense of first class or in the highest form. Therefore a fully dressed Salmon Fly, or a Carrie Stevens Streamer are just as much classics as a Chernobyl Ant would be. Enjoy the forum.

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Palakona123
Member
Posts: 6
Joined: 04/13/20 22:48

Feathers for wet fly wings

#1

Post by Palakona123 »

I have been tying some wet flies from an Hardy anglers guide, but find it difficult to find dark brown feathers for wings. I have mostly tied march brown and similar flies with pheasant, but when trying to tie something else, I can’t find anything in the right colour. I have used golden pheasant from a whole skin, but they are too supple, and i can’t find loose feathers of better quality. I’m also looking for some bustard sub for these small flies. Does anyone now of a good material for these purposes?

6weight
Member
Posts: 15
Joined: 12/27/11 13:17

Re: Feathers for wet fly wings

#2

Post by 6weight »

This may be heresy, but a brown Sharpie could be your friend. I use Sharpies all the time, the fish never complain

Perry Palin
Guide
Posts: 229
Joined: 12/07/12 13:34

Re: Feathers for wet fly wings

#3

Post by Perry Palin »

In the oast I used brown flight primaries and secondaries from my laying hens. I don't have chickens now. These are not feathers that appear in the fly shops. If I really needed brown feathers for wings I'd buy a chicken from a neighbor.

I like 6weight's idea of a sharpie. I've used a sharpie on a few patterns in the past with good results. I recall decades ago an article that proposed tying white dry flies in a range of sizes and carrying sharpies of various colors in your vest to match the naturals that were hatching. I never went quite that far.

ted patlen
Sport
Posts: 97
Joined: 01/25/11 19:00

Re: Feathers for wet fly wings

#4

Post by ted patlen »

How big are the flies? For trout? Salmon?

Supple fibers can be doubled or folded or laid over an underwing of a stiffer fiber. The top 1/3 of dyed goose nazurias are stiff enough and come in all colors.

You don't need a matched pair either.

mrampant
Guide
Posts: 267
Joined: 03/22/14 17:11
Location: south of Australia

Re: Feathers for wet fly wings

#5

Post by mrampant »

You could also use peacock, it also has secondary feathers that are light brown.
Cheers ,Mark
He who shall not be able to make a trout fly, after studying these diagrams and directions, must be deficient either in brains or in manual dexterity. : Edward Fitzgibbon 1853

alberta al
Master Guide
Posts: 383
Joined: 09/13/13 21:03

Re: Feathers for wet fly wings

#6

Post by alberta al »

Try getting ahold of Don Bastian, and see what he recommends.

Palakona123
Member
Posts: 6
Joined: 04/13/20 22:48

Re: Feathers for wet fly wings

#7

Post by Palakona123 »

Thanks for all replies. It is mostly for sea trout and trout patterns. I have used peacock wing quill as bustard sub, and it is a really good material to work with so if I find some darker smaller secondary feathers that would be great. Shall try the sharpie / dye some feathers and tie some now, and maybe get some hen feathers if I find some later. Need to fill my box up for night sea trout fishing now!

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