Duck necks?

Discussion in 'Patterns' started by Kent Lufkin, May 24, 2006.

  1. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Messages:
    7,148
    Media:
    54
    Likes Received:
    1,227
    Location:
    Not sure
    I recently met a guy who ties a soft hackle using duck neck feathers instead of hen or other more traditional materials. He said he favors brandt or teal over mallard. Anyone tried using duck before? Any idea where I might find one/some?

    TIA,

    K
     
  2. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,999
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
    Many wet fly patterns used barred mallard, which looks right and is properly size-scaled for flies of that size. Also good for dry fly wings.
     
  3. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    2,982
    Likes Received:
    945
    Location:
    Marysville, Washington
    Kent-
    The duck feathers that most folks use are flank feathers - usually found under the wings of the bird - not neck feathers. Typically the most useful are from the drakes. I use a lot of mallard flank feathers for sea-run cutthroat flies as well as streamers. Feathers from green wing teal, gadwall, and widgeon all are useful. The teal feathers are smaller and a little darker than mallard. The gadwall is more heavily barred and dark than mallard - one of my favorites. The widgeon have a nice dark brown barred feather -both flank feathers and feathers from the shoulder - I use them in many of my scuplin patterns. Another duck feather is the lemon barred feather from wood ducks that is used in dry fly wings and tails. Finally the mallard drake also has a bronzed feather used in some Altantic salmon flies.

    The best source of feather is to have buddies that hunt waterfowl though most fly shops carry at least mallard and wood duck and usually the better shops have the others as well. The mallard flank feather are often dyed and can be found in a wide range of colors other than the natural grey.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  4. Steve Rohrbach

    Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    630
    Media:
    36
    Likes Received:
    74
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Kent, you might want to try Feather Craft on-line. They report extensive inventory of a variety of duck feathers. They too seem to focus on the flanks. Ducks are so oily that it is next to impossible to skin the bird like a pheasant and have anything that isn't rancid and discolored in days. Therefore, plucking individual feathers is the answer. I hope this helps. If you are successful, please post some photos. It is always fun to learn a new technique.

    Steve
     
  5. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Messages:
    7,148
    Media:
    54
    Likes Received:
    1,227
    Location:
    Not sure
    Thanks for all your responses. I'm well aware of flank feathers, CDC, gadwall, teal and other duck feathers which I've tied with for years.

    The person I mentioned in the original post is an old-timer who's been a flyfisher and hunter for longer than most of us have been alive. Over the years, he's developed some patterns that have simply outproduced most of the others. As a result, he favors them which in turn means he catches more fish, which makes him favor them even more. He was quite specific about using neck feathers from brandt, widgeon and other barred species palmered to make his favorite soft hackle pattern.

    Roger's point about duck feathers being oily makes sense given that this is a subsurface pattern. But it also points to the possibility that duck skins or necks should be kept frozen or otherwise sealed to keep them from spoiling. Any thoughts on the best way to preserve them? Or should I simply remove the feathers and discard the skin?

    Thanks again,

    K
     
  6. Cliff

    Cliff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Seattle, WA.
    Kent, are we talking about a certain retired engineer from Long Island who is in our club? I can vouch for his soft hackle pattern.

    Cliff
     
  7. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Messages:
    7,148
    Media:
    54
    Likes Received:
    1,227
    Location:
    Not sure
    Yep! (I didn't realize he was an engineer, but it makes perfect sense now that I think about it!)

    K
     
  8. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Messages:
    1,724
    Likes Received:
    276
    Location:
    Outer Duvall
    Somewhere in my collection a have a series of old pattern books from Veniard.
    They are more like 15 - 20 page pamphlets with two center pages of colored illustrations and the rest of the pages filled with the dressings.
    I swear I saw duck neck and duck back listed as hackle in one of those.

    It certainly makes sense for a soft hackle. You can easily wash the oil out of the plucked feathers using Dawn dish-washing liquid. Dawn cuts oils, fats and grease especially well because it is at the other end of the PH scale from most natural oils and fats.

    TC
     
  9. wassookeag

    wassookeag New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Corinna, Maine
    I have a few duck neck feathers and Alvin Theriault in Northern Maine has the best assortment.
    http://www.theriaultflies.com/
    Our phone: 1-207-365-4007

    Our e-mail: ach@pwless.net
    This is the source for most anything one would want for naturals.
     
  10. fishhunter

    fishhunter New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rochester, Mn.
    Could you post some photos of flies that were tied with duck neck feathers, It would be nice to see how the feather lays on the hook.

    fishhunter
     
  11. FT

    FT Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,264
    Likes Received:
    110
    Location:
    Burlington, WA
    I knew an old timer by the name of Leon Wronski back in the late 60's in Pennsylvania who was a professional fly tyer and very good trout fisherman. Anyhow, Leon tied and fished soft hackle wets with duck neck feathers from several species of duck very effectively. He simply doubled the feather as he wrapped in around the hook making 2 to 2 1/2 turns of the feather.
     
  12. SuperDave

    SuperDave New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2002
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    .Spanaway, WA
    "Old Timers" catch more fish because they have time to go FISHING! I know because I ARE one! I've been tying soft-hackles from Green Wing Teal that I shot maybe 30 years ago. I've kept the feathers on the skin and they're doing just fine with no special treatment.

    SuperDave
     
  13. caddis16

    caddis16 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    fairfield maine

Share This Page