Fresh Duck Wings

Discussion in 'Patterns' started by JimB, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. JimB

    JimB Member

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    Couple of my students found out I tie flies and brought in a couple duck wings. Nice feathers, but I don't really know how to take care of them off the wing. I've got matched wings from a mallard and a widgen.

    Any advice? And should I be asking for more than the wings? The kids are willing to strip the whole bird for me, if I want, being the good guys they are...
     
  2. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    A whole skin will definitely give you lots of interesting feathers, but personally, other than CDC, the wings, and the flank, I never really needed other feathers from a duck. You can do some interesting things like cheeking salmon flies with some of the pretty little feathers.

    With those wings it's time to learn to tie no-hackles!:thumb:
     
  3. CM_Stewart

    CM_Stewart Member

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    In addition to the wings and flanks, I'd suggest taking the breast feathers as well. You can use them for a Nancy's Prayer, a very effective caddis emerger. The original pattern calls for wood duck, but I'm sure mallard or widgeon would work also.

    http://flyfishingonly.net/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4060&#25510
     
  4. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    mallard head feathers make good small wet flies
     
  5. JimB

    JimB Member

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    Thanks, all. I now have plenty of wings and really nice feathers off them. Is there any special way to cure them, preserve them, take care of them?
     
  6. CM_Stewart

    CM_Stewart Member

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    Google with the keywords: preserve wings borax. Some say just cover with borax for a couple weeks. Some say slit the inside of the wing to remove all the meat and then cover with borax. I've never tried to preserve wings, but I'd be tempted to try to remove all the meat first.
     
  7. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    I would personally harvest the feathers. Amateurs end up with a stinking greasy mess when they try to deal with bird skin...
     
  8. rmason

    rmason New Member

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    The easiest way to preserve them is to put them in ziplock bags and do not seal the top. Throw them in the freezer, think freezer burn, wait a year and they will be freeze dried to the point where they will not spoil. If you are in a hurry, then use the borax method. It is also a good idea to sprinkle a little borax in the bag when you remove it from the freezer for extra insurance.