Woodcock and Grouse are both excellent feathers to use for soft-hackle flies. While both look similar they are indeed different. The woodcock feather has a light brown color with darker highlights. The feathers are well mottled and their movement in the water is equal to partridge.
The grouse of which there are many including the ruffed grouse, spruce grouse, sharptail grouse etc. The wing here is a red grouse. It's feathers are a dark rich brown with highlights of a chestnut brown. Some of the feathers also possess a reddish tint. These are great feathers to work with, most do not break when winding.
A few flies tied with both woodcock and grouse.
An emerging caddis. A lively soft-hackle. This one is tied on a large hook. Caddis flies are some of the best flies to fish at any stage. I love them for small stream fishing.
This is the hook the caddis is tied on. It's brand name is Hemingway...a semi curved straight eye. It has a black nickel finish.
Nice ties Alan, especially the black spey style tie below and the caddis.ReplyDelete
Bill that feather on the spey came from a badger rooster saddle I have. Some of the larger feathers make awesome flies.
Excellent work at the vice; makes me wish I tied my own flies. Thanks for sharing
Bill you can do it to. It's not expensive to start and the pleasures are great. Like they say "just do it"...
Is that a Wasatch mini bobbin I see on your spool of Pearsall's? I love your emerging caddis, beautiful tie. I especially like the contrast in the hackle choices.ReplyDelete
Mike it sure is. I have two of them. I hear that someone has picked up Pearsalls more research to follow.
Alan, there's a conversation about Pearsall's return over on the Flymph Forum.Delete
Mike, I saw it posted on facebook. Mike Hogue has it for 9.00 a spool. I'll stay with YLI.Delete
Oh Alan, I'm so disappointed. All those beautiful flies and no food. Good thing I ate breakfast. Nice ties, but way beyond any talent I have.ReplyDelete
Mark I'm in the process of making some leftovers into suppers soup. Maybe the next post will feature it.
Like I said to Bill T you should give tying a try.
Alan, caddis flys rule supreme in my area, especially October Caddis. Although there is some mayfly action in Skagit County, I have never tied any for stream fishing. Love those Soft Hackles.ReplyDelete
Matt it's said caddis flies can be found most everywhere there is good water. A fact that a small stream fisher can use to better their catch rate. I will sometimes fish large caddis flies and see them wreak havoc on the locals. We have a couple of fly fishing shows locally in the next few weeks and a sharp eye will be on the lookout for some nice material.
Nice work Allen, When tying soft hackles do you remove half of the fibers from one side of the feather or use the whole feather with less wraps?ReplyDelete
Dean that is a great question. I use both. For most of the spider patterns which tend to be sparse I'll strip one side of the hackle. For most of the soft-hackle flies I'll use the full feather. I generally don't count the wraps, I use my eye as a judge.
Now if you look at most of the original North Country spiders tied by anglers in the 1800's you will see some pretty heavy hackled flies. Now granted they did not have the quality of materials we have today, but the flies caught lots of trout.
Great flies and it makes me miss the days when I could walk out my back door with my side by side, get my English Setter, and be in great ruffed grouse and woodcock country. I was spoiled and accumulated enough feathers for soft hackles that lasted me for years.ReplyDelete
Pat those must have been wonderful days. Bird hunting with a dog is a true outdoor experience. I had several brittanies and they were a pleasure to watch. Woodcock are still with us but the grouse has left.
Wow! What an awesome post! Both Grouse and Woodcock make gorgeous patterns as you have well shown! I especially like the "Emerging Caddis" you have pictured! So real looking and very pleasing to our eyes! Every ingredient is well thought out and equally well executed on that fine looking hook, the Hemmingway! I have always liked the black nickel finish offered by some of the manufacturers. I wish they all offered it on all of their hook types!
Doug I'm going to have some fun with that caddis come summer. I know a few bass that will slam the hell out of it.
Soft-hackles were working very well yesterday and today.