Coq de Leon rooster cap question


Tropical member
Hi all,

I was wondering if you guys out there use those feathers? I am intrigued by this ancient breed and think about tying some large dry flies patterns on those feathers. I wonder what kind of flies you tie from those rooster cap? dry wet? hackle? tail?



Tropical member
That's what I thought too... but I read somewhere that saying rooster hackle are pretty stiff... maybe good for make dryfly tail or even bigger dry flies hackle?


Tropical member

One of the reason I asked about the Coq de Leon hackle is the article I read couple years ago from Japan (see image above). It seems they use those light dressed hackle (usually 2 turns) to present fly on the surface and make the light touch "footprints", those kind of hackle has light touch on the surface, and also paired with CDC. But sometimes just by itself without CDC. It is dryfly presentation... and the hackle is longer than traditional parachute dryfly style.

I also encountered an old timer last year on a spring creek. He is using a very similar light dressed long hackle on his dry flies. And man, he caught my eyes is because he is the one constantly hooking fish...
if you have some of those patterns, I will love to learn more...


Active Member
crane.jpg P2260573.JPG They are lovely to work with
used as hackle on Crane Fly Patterns
used as tail on Hair hackle Nymph patterm

They are stiff and would work for what you are discribing
the cranefly is tied with just one turn

I have also tied a few of those Japanese style tenkara flies and while i have not use CdL on them They sure would work for those revesre tied hackles

Have to give that a try
i've used CdL for larger flies. Streamers and Salmon flies. Both these are patterns i developed myself.
Hackle on both these flies came from the same Medium Pardo cape. You can see how different they look wound on compared to whole feather.

Body hackle on this one is two cdl med pardo hackles.
Yuhina, I use a bit of the Coq de Leon feathers as tailing on dry flies. Very stiff barbs and beautifully colored, These are the feathers hand plucked from live birds from Leon, Spain, not the feathers marketed by Whiting. To me, the Whiting feathers lack the stiffness and sheen of the Leon feathers. For tailing, though they work very well. A friend in Oregon also uses the Whiting Coq de Leon as sparse hackle on wet flies after stripping the barbs from one side of the feather.

Whiting also markets some very nice soft hackle feathers with a brown and gray cast they call Coq de Leon Hen. Why you would call something Rooster of Leon Hen is beyond me, but the feathers are nice and make a very soft sub for Partridge in hackling wet flies.


Tropical member
Hey Ron,

very interesting to know they are difference between whiting's product and the original birds. I am looking for the speckle mottled patterns on those feathers, also very interested in the sheen coloration you mentioned.

I tie most of my softhackles on partridge and starling. and really happy with those feathers. (Though, I am still looking for albino starling or something similar to create small white legs wetflies, if some of you know the white feathers could tie #18-22 softhackles I will love to know the info.)
Yuhina, I get dyed starling from . Not sure if he has a bleached starling or not. For smaller sized wet flies needing white or cream colored hackle I just use feathers from a hen cape. My preference is for Hebert Miner hen capes and use a lot of them in a bunch of colors. Charlie Collins also sells some killer hen capes in a nice variety of colors. Both Hebert Miner and Collins hen hackle has, to me at least, just the right amount of softness in the barbs for a great soft hackle fly, yet not so much web that the barbs stick together or mat up. Either Hebert Miner or Collins hen capes will tie down to 22 and smaller. I tied a 28 just to prove a point. Now that I have a cataract forming on my dominant eye, I won't be doing that again soon.


Tropical member
Hey Ron,

Thank you so much for the great information! I have been thinking to get some hen hackles as well... I think your post will really get me dive into the Hebert Miner hen hackle. For some reason, i alway thought they are not small enough for small wet... but I definitely want to give it a try now. thank you for a link! A lot of interesting feathers! : )