Feathers at Michael's Crafts

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Tracy Lauricella, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

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    I stopped by Michael's crafts the other day in Lakewood Town Center (anyone else here from Lakewood, and still think of it as the "Villa Plaza"?)

    I picked up a few supplies for fly tying; craft foam, beads, etc. I also found some interesting feathers. These appear to be dyed guinea hen feathers. Pretty cheap too. I think they were under $2.

    Obviously for things like dry fly hackle, you should go with a quality hackle like a Whittig, etc. For soft-hackle wet flies, though, I don't see why something like this won't work.

    Here's the feathers I bought:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And here's a fly I tied up with one:
    [​IMG]

    If it looks a bit bedraggled, it's because it was already fished and stuck back in the fly box before I got around to taking a pic of it.

    Anyone have some patterns to recommend that use dyed guinea feathers like these?

    --Tracy
     
  2. Bob Jones

    Bob Jones Still truckless now farther away

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    They'll work just not top quality and not the best color chioces. most of their feathers have quite a bit of throw away stuff in the packages. I allways look anyway. Michaels or Joanns also have lots of yarn, [ wool and acrylic and mohair] and thread [Sulky and Madeira and Coats] They also have great boxes for hooks and beads and spool racks for thread. They also some times have craft fur but usually not many colors. Keep looking you'll find more. Bob
     
  3. Jergens

    Jergens AKA Joe Willauer

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    yeah, i agree with Bob. I tie with guinea alot, and it's definitely worth the extra $ for the fly shop stuff.
     
  4. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

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    Got any good guinea using patterns then?
     
  5. Jergens

    Jergens AKA Joe Willauer

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  6. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    When I run out of peacock breast feathers I'll substitute blue dyed guinea as the collar. Jergens suggestion of using it as a collar on maribou and intruder flies is great. Just browse the gallery and see how often you can see it in some of the steelhead patterns. Best of luck with the feathers and recovery. My only warning with the feathers from there is some of the dyes may bleed.
     
  7. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

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    Thanks for the patterns. On those ho bo spey flies, is the trailing "stinger" hook tied in to the front hook the same way you'd do an articulated fly, only with a longer space between them? (bascially take 30lb line and snell both hooks?)

    I tied my first articulated fly last week; an articulated purple bunny leech. I was using braided 30lb line for the link. It worked fine, but was difficult figuring out the proper spacing between hooks.This seems like there's more flexibility in the length of the trailer.

    Or am I viewing it wrong and there is no front hook, just a shank?
     
  8. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    You can tie in your braid for a stinger to a waddington shank, cotter pin, other shank you build or a hook then clip the front hook off after tying it in (without clipping the stinger loop). I used to tie them in snelled but got some instruction by D3Smartie on usign a loop that then allows hook changes. A great idea and I'm still grateful for him sharing this tip. When I tie my loops in for stingers I hold the stinger hook in place by a heavy rubber band on my vise jaws at the length I want. Keep that rubber band there and you can tie dozens with stingers the exact, or nearly exact, length. I've used dacron, mono, fire line, fire wire and now I'm favoring Power Pro in heavier weights. Slim enough to pass through the hook eye when doubled over, stiff enough to hold the hook your to the rear to minimize material fouling.
     
  9. Jergens

    Jergens AKA Joe Willauer

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    That sounds about right. Hohbos are tied on a 25mm wadington shank, with an octopus trailer. I like 50lbs firewire for hohbo's because you can switch out hooks. Like Mumbles said, don't snell. put a bend in your trailing material, run the two tag ends onto the shank and tie them down. I typically run the trailing material up 3/4 of the shank, tie it down, then double it back almost to the end of my thread wraps. I have yet to have one pull loose on a fish, or a snag for that matter.
     
  10. kosel80

    kosel80 Native Trout Fan

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    One thing about feathers from craft stores is that a lot of times the dye they use isn't color fast, so once you get it wet it will color your whole fly..... Had that happen a few times. Once in a while you can find some good stuff in there, seed beads for nymphs are a great example! the Glass ones sink great and are small enough to look less flashy that normal beads.
     
  11. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

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    The fly pictured above was in the water for a couple hours before the picture was taken, and the blue dye seems to be holding up ok. We'll see about the other colors, they may not fare as well.
     
  12. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    I had some ostrich herl feathers that were red. Non-color fast dye on those. Other feathers I've tried from there (pink schlappen feather boa on closeout for a buck...about a thousand feathers for flies for pinks) held their color well. I like the assortment you got, might stop in and see what they have around. There was also a nice wreath that I picked up made of dark maroon and green schlappen type feathers. Awesome cheap supply for streamer flies. Used some of the maroon ones in a swap for a salt water streamer pattern and heard back from a few guys that they actually caught fish. One guy caught a bunch on that fly one day. If you find something you like let us know. If you find some that don't hold color, post that too.
     

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