Partridge for soft hackle flies

Old406Kid

Active Member
#16
The "Bag of Feathers" reminds me of a funny story. One of my nieces married a guy that boasted of being a mighty hunter and one year he was letting everyone know he was going on a big elk hunt. I wrote and asked him to send me some elk hair if he got one. He did get an elk that year and afterwords I got a shoe box sized package from him. I opened it up expecting a lifetime supply of elk hair and to my surprise I found an entire box full of elk hair that had been trimmed off of the hide!
In this case I guess it's the thought that counts.:D
 

jersey

livin' the dream
#17
If you have the patience, you can try to tie the partridge first. Again, a Hans technique on video. The end result is typically better as your thread coming through the hackle not only locks it, but also flares it a bit.
 

Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
#18
View attachment 163822
This is what I aspire to...

This is tied by a guy whose moniker on the UKFF site is Colinc1978. Pretty good fly tier, from my perspective.
If I wanted to keep my hackle as sparse as shown in the photo I would strip one side, tie it in by the tip and do 1 or at most 1 1/2 wraps. At the tip of the feather the barbs are less webby and less dense, plus the rachis is thinner and more easy to manipulate. To get your barbs to stand out perpendicular to the hook you may have to do a bit of twisting of the rachis on its axis.

feather1.jpg
 
#19
I'm getting quite frustrated with my soft hackles. I have to say, Hans Weilenmann and Davey McPhail make it look easy. Anyway, every time I try to wrap my partridge feathers, they're quite webby, and don't work well at all. Am I just using crummy feathers, or the wrong ones, maybe? Any sources for really good, non-webby feathers?
I'm getting quite frustrated with my soft hackles. I have to say, Hans Weilenmann and Davey McPhail make it look easy. Anyway, every time I try to wrap my partridge feathers, they're quite webby, and don't work well at all. Am I just using crummy feathers, or the wrong ones, maybe? Any sources for really good, non-webby feathers?
Bob,
I tie hundreds if not thousands of soft hackle flies and have found that you really need to buy the highest grade of partridge skin you can find and look closely at the collar feathers to make sure there is a good range of sizes and the quality is good. I usually strip all the collar feathers and remove the webby barbells and then size the feathers for ease of tying later on.
You can go online and search for wild hungarian partridge skins, they are my favorite as the stems seem to be more delicate yet tougher than domestic raised birds.
Hope this helps
Jeffrey
 

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