Cleaning feathers

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  The_bat_fly 4 days, 17 hours ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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  • #7583

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    I read somewhere that washing your feathers with a mild soap like Dawn will bring life to your hackle and other feathers, making then look better and so making better looking flies. Do you guys do this, or is it just another fairy tale?

    I can see a good reason for it if the feathers have poop on them, but other than that, I don’t know if that is something I may want to do.

    #7584

    Creek
    Participant

    Yes, if the feathers came off a bird. If packaged up as hackle…no.

    #7588

    Grsdlnr
    Participant

    Like a neck with the feathers still on the skin? Wouldn’t getting the skin wet just make a mess of it?

    Loose feathers from a game bird – I’ve never washed them. Just pick the ones that don’t have mud, blood and dog drool all over them, seal in a ziploc bag and freeze for a few weeks to kill any bugs.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by  Grsdlnr.
    #7633

    The_bat_fly
    Participant

    What type of feathers are bad to use?

    #7635

    Creek
    Participant

    Any feather that can be used in a fly isn’t bad. I can’t think of any. You just want to make sure they’re clean. I see no reason to clean commercially sold feathers.

    #7636

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    Thanks guys for your opinions. I also want to add that washing a hackle cape does make the flies look nicer because it does seem to (fluff up) the feathers, giving them bounce and shine. :D. Just kidding. I did learn the hard way that cleaning them is one thing, you will get more dirt and stuff out of a cape by doing this. But….drying the cape is another story. Some people do it with a hair drier, some just hang the cape up till it’s dry. But here’s a problem with all that. You better be sure it dries completely or it will mold.

    Bat-fly, in more detail, there are feathers that work better for dry fly hackle like rooster capes. Hen capes are softer and work better for soft hackled flies or for wings because their tips are a little more rounded. There are parts of feathers that work for tails, but fur works good for tails too.

    Not all feathers work as well as other feathers for every purpose. Peacock herl works great for bodies of a fly, or putting on a collar next to the hackle feathers near the eye of the hook.

    Being new to this sport, and not knowing much, and you living near the Poudre, maybe you and I can meet up this coming spring before the run off, or after, and I will be glad to give you a little help to get you started. I’ll be happy to teach you the basics and not so much that will blow you mind out in one day. Your choice.

    #7637

    Creek
    Participant

    Why not tie the fly and then clean the fly? Flies dry off fast. Just false cast them. 😀

    #7638

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    Creek, it’s thinking like that, that’s going to make you the idol of American youth. 😀

    #7639

    Creek
    Participant

    Good grief!

    #7655

    The_bat_fly
    Participant

    I would enjoy that Scotty, is there any illegal feathers to stay away from?

    #7658

    Lightline
    Participant

    Avoid parachute Bald Eagle emergers. Stay away from Blue Heron CDC duns. The Trumpeter Swan Cripple might not be a good idea. I used to tie from hummingbirds that crashed into my house window at Mach 2.

    But I think if there’s a season on it, or its not protected, its fair game for feather possession. Follow hunting regulations for possession.

    #7662

    The_bat_fly
    Participant

    Ok cool thank you for the info on this topic.

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 17 hours ago by  The_bat_fly.
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