Sunday, May 30, 2021

The Pheasant, Underated By Some......

The ringnecked pheasant. This is one of the most over looked feather in fly tying. There are two sexes, the rooster and the hen. The one we will be featuring will be the hen. As you can see in the picture is a full skin with obviously many many feathers missing. The skin was purchased several years ago at Bearesden Fly shop in Taunton MA. This is the best way to buy these feathers, do not buy those packages of loose feathers. In purchasing the full skin you will find feathers from small to large. Also you will find that the whole skin offers many color variations and some remarkable stripe patterns.

Fly tyers in this country seem to shy away from the pheasant. One exception was Jack Gartside. That man loved the pheasant and many of his patterns featured feathers from the rooster. The Japanese are fanciers of the pheasant. You can find examples of their Kebari flies that feature pheasant. The old North Country spider patterns do not show a preference for pheasant, but many other types of game birds take top billing.
 

 

Some feathers from a hen pheasant. Many shades of color, some mottled with soft shades of brown. Some are quite dark, and the pheasant feather is almost perfect in shape. I can see in the feathers above a very close resemblance to grouse, woodcock, quail. So right there you have a savings. No need to buy three birds when you can do it with one. The hen pheasant is also a great value...a quality skin is about twenty dollars.
 

By changing the silk color thread and using different shades of colored feathers you can create many  insect imitations.  Red/Pheasant
 

Purple/Pheasant
 

Olive/Pheasant...one of my favorites.
 

Spiders all together....
 

 

11 comments:

  1. I think back to all the Pheasants that graced our dinner table when I was a kid and all those feathers that went to waste. Back then, what did I know about fly fishing. I had a metal rod and a casting reel. Something a kid couldn't break.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark Kautz
      Thanks
      Mark those pheasants tasted so great I'll bet. And I remember those metal rods. Western Auto sold them.

      Delete
  2. Thanks Alan! Fantastic photos and just the info that I needed. I hope that you got out in the rain today. The woods were looking lush and the trout were willing to play.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shawn
      Thanks
      Shawn the hen pheasant can keep you tying for a long long time. I haven't been out but hope to maybe today. The rain we've experienced is going to help a great deal.

      Delete
  3. Alan as you may recall, I am a definite fan of pheasant!

    Unfortunately I've only had a handful of saved hen feathers to work from, but my rooster skin is certainly showing it's signs of use.
    One of my favorite materials is the long marabou like feathers from the rump. They make excellent tails and the trout love the color scheme.
    I have been tying a couple patterns consistently that utilize two almost identical feathers; except for one small one large. That could not be obtained with a baggie, the whole bird is needed for that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nathan Camp
      Thanks
      Nate the rooster feather has a wonderful sheen to it. I think that's attractive to fish. The soft after shaft feather makes for a nice wing on caddis patterns. Combine it with a dry fly hackle and you have a fish taker. The whole bird is so important.

      Delete
  4. That last picture should be a Christmas card. No pheasant to shoot this far north, I have to buy all of my pheasant skins from Alvin Theriault. I love tying with pheasant; so many options.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mike
      Thanks
      Mike it is quite colorful. I have to go on his site and see what Alvin has to offer. I probably have enough materials to last me until....but i still like to look and will not pass up something good if I see it.

      Delete
  5. Alan, I was fortunate to receive a large amount of pheasant feathers from my wing shooting brother. It started me tying Jack Gartside's 'Sparrow' which has been a great fly for me the last few years.

    Best, Sam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sam
      Thanks
      Sam the sparrow is and under used fly if you ask me. It is a fly that produces most every time it's tied on your tippet. Jack knew the value of the pheasant.
      The Moby Dick, and the Picket Pin are also under used flies.

      Delete