Prepping Bronze Mallard

Dave McNeese

One of the OLD guys
A helpful hint for anyone that has trouble with their Bronze Mallard wings not laying right.
I've found one solution is to prepare the feathers in this manner,
strip and save only the best section
then you can cut 1/4 to 3/16 " strips for your wings
then put them in a ziplock bag (flat) and put them in a book until needed.

Another method....
TBA at my next fly tying class ;)


Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
Dave, It might help to have a scale or small ruler or other recognizeable object near the item so we can see the scale of things.

Dave McNeese

One of the OLD guys
The size of the quills are very lg. I just clean off the waste, then cut small sections for the wing, much like a duck quill for a Dry fly. If you try to use to much, you fail on a good upright wing. Same with a Spey if you don't use the roll method with Bronze Mallard. I store these 1,1 1/2 " sections in books to keep them flat, as all my various quills are kept this way. I am going to have a class here at home in the near future, too.

Mc Neese

Yes, this is essentially what I do (although I like the tip about keeping them in a book). When I start a new pair of feathers, I match up a pair, strip the off sides, strip the fluff at the base, and identify the sweet spot in the feather. I cut off the tip above the sweet spot and then take wing slips as I need them. I use a divider to measure my wing slips.

One mistake I see a lot of new spey tiers make is to cut their wing slips too narrow. I use about a 3/16" slip for flies from a #3 to a #1.5. I go up to a 1/4" slip for larger flies (1/0 and 3/0).