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Blue-Eared Pheasant is the best heron substitute I've found; very long fibers on long feathers with stems that are not too thick to actually wrap around a hook without soaking or surgery. The one draw back is that they do not come in colors that I know of as the natural color is quite dark. Skins are expensive, but better shops will have small packages of selected feathers (particularly tying-oriented shops).
 
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