November 28, 2017 at 8:24 am #7583
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.November 28, 2017 at 10:16 am #7584
Yes, if the feathers came off a bird. If packaged up as hackle…no.November 28, 2017 at 11:44 am #7588
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.
December 2, 2017 at 10:17 pm #7633
- This reply was modified 10 months ago by Grsdlnr.
What type of feathers are bad to use?December 3, 2017 at 4:13 pm #7635
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.December 3, 2017 at 6:57 pm #7636
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.December 3, 2017 at 8:10 pm #7637
Why not tie the fly and then clean the fly? Flies dry off fast. Just false cast them. 😀December 3, 2017 at 8:31 pm #7638
Creek, it’s thinking like that, that’s going to make you the idol of American youth. 😀December 4, 2017 at 10:18 am #7639
Good grief!December 6, 2017 at 10:17 pm #7655
I would enjoy that Scotty, is there any illegal feathers to stay away from?December 6, 2017 at 11:46 pm #7658
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.December 9, 2017 at 4:25 pm #7662
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