Long hackle fibers (intruders/spey flies)

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#1
I've watched tons of tying videos on tying intruder type and spey type flies. I've collected a few materials suitable for spey hackle and intruders that provide long fibers. My current supply has a bit of amherst center tail feather, ostrich herl in several colors, pheasant tail and body feathers, some probably low quality mallard and teal, blood quill maribou, turkey shoulder feathers and a few blue eared pheasant feathers. What, if any other feathers are you all using for your long intruder fibers or spey hackles. I'm currently enjoying the tying of sparse flies that have a larger profile. (I don't have any Rhea as of yet, but I do have that on my list of materials to try).

Now that my tying space is somewhere warm I'm going to try to tie a few different things each night.

Thanks for your input (and possible sources if you are willing to share).
 
#2
You can do a lot with good schlappen.
Rhea is hard to find, I know avid angler still has some, but its expensive, and Im not thrilled with the colos they have.
You can get dyed peacock fibers, Ive been using purple dyed lately and love it. Its stiff, glittery and cheap as hell. put it in a loop, or just tie it in.
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#4
I have some peacock eye feathers, not just herl, but from the tail covering feathers. That stuff is a new addition to my kit and will find its shimmering way into some dubbing loops for sure. I do have some long schlappen, wish I could find some with longer fibers though.
 
#5
Im talking about herl, I suppose, but you want the nice fibers off tail feathers that have a taper to them. I don't like that most herl you get is uniform with no taper
 
#6
Ed,
When you're looking for something specific (or know what you want), give Dave a call at Waters West. His shop has always been a tiers shop with materials that other shops don't carry. I remember seeing some nice spey materials there.
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#7
Ed,
When you're looking for something specific (or know what you want), give Dave a call at Waters West. His shop has always been a tiers shop with materials that other shops don't carry. I remember seeing some nice spey materials there.
Scott, I actually have some stuff coming from WW that he custom dyed...another day or so to dry. I just wondered what other options there might be. I'm trying to broaden my scope beyond maribou and ostrich herl only.
 

g_smolt

Recreational User
#8
Rhea, burnt schlappen (spey hackles), burnt ringneck tail, black bear, jumbo-xl-superbitchin'-"shhh" guinea (available at a hefty price), peacock sword, xl arctic fox, heavy temple dog...

The trick is to tie a new material onto a shank then throw it in the bathtub on a line, drag it around a bit...does it wiggle? Does it pulse? Does it look like it would piss off anything it happened to swing in front of?

If the answer is yes, incorporate it into your fly tying.
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#9
Rhea, burnt schlappen (spey hackles), burnt ringneck tail, black bear, jumbo-xl-superbitchin'-"shhh" guinea (available at a hefty price), peacock sword, xl arctic fox, heavy temple dog...

The trick is to tie a new material onto a shank then throw it in the bathtub on a line, drag it around a bit...does it wiggle? Does it pulse? Does it look like it would piss off anything it happened to swing in front of?

If the answer is yes, incorporate it into your fly tying.
Awesome info Mr. G_Smolt. Bathtub...na, how about the 80 gallon aquarium that I relocated into the basement to allow my desk to move into the heated house? One circulating pump in there to create current and I should be tank testing most what I tie from this point forward! Thank you for the materials suggestions. I'll try to find a few of those and wrap them on a shank for size.
 
#10
Awesome info Mr. G_Smolt. Bathtub...na, how about the 80 gallon aquarium that I relocated into the basement to allow my desk to move into the heated house? One circulating pump in there to create current and I should be tank testing most what I tie from this point forward! Thank you for the materials suggestions. I'll try to find a few of those and wrap them on a shank for size.
Ed
Your a hoot. Next is to raise or bring some fish home to put them in the tank and really test your flies. I need to meet Ms Mumbles someday. She must have wings!!
 

Jeff Dodd

Active Member
#11
I stopped and purchased Rhea at Pacific Fly Fishers last Friday. They had many colors @ $6/feather. They also had a good supply of Lady Amherst sections about 5" in length so you could buy multiple colors at a lower price.

Now that I've got these, I'll be tying more intruders. I forget to buy Schlappen, duh. Hate driving off the island
 
S

stewart dee

Guest
#12
OK Mumbles take your Ostrich and mix 50/50 bleach and cold water. Drop the Ostrich in and swirl it around for 3 min. (you will find the exact time you like). Then as soon as you remove the feathers, then dip them in white vinegar mixed with some water = that kills the burn of the bleach from further damage. Then rinse in cold water, dry for a while and brush it gentle with a soft toothbrush on a flat surface. The barbs will be gone and the remaining feather IMO looks and flows better that Rhea for a third of the price.
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#13
Jeff, thank you. I know my local shop is browsing some options for me. Last I was in there he had the dyed peacock eyes, I thought the long shimery fibers looked good, like Stewie's burning recommendation only full of shine!. Thanks Stewart Dee, I'll mix up some bowls...maybe tomorrow.