The North American Fly Fishing Forum


Go Back   The North American Fly Fishing Forum > Fly Tyer's Round Table > General Fly Tying Discussions

General Fly Tying Discussions Talk about anything somewhat related to fly tying...

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-25-2011, 08:20 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cleveland, Oh
Posts: 37
carman9941 is on a distinguished road
Default Just bought a pheasant pelt and need some help

when i got the pelt a lot of the feathers are twisted and not real straight, I washed it with dish washing soap am going to let it air dry, is there any tips for straightening the smashed feathers?
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02-25-2011, 10:08 PM
Hardyreels's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
Posts: 11,440
Blog Entries: 69
Hardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via Yahoo to Hardyreels Send a message via Skype™ to Hardyreels
Default Re: Just bought a pheasant pelt and need some help

Hi Carmen,

I would pluck them as I needed them and steam to put them back in shape. Steam as it emits from a tea kettle works fine, hold the feathers by the quill with tweezer or forceps and they will come back to life. This will revive your smashed and ragged dry flies also.

Ard
__________________
Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard

The Alaska Fishing & Outdoors Blog;
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 02-25-2011, 11:05 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cleveland, Oh
Posts: 37
carman9941 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Just bought a pheasant pelt and need some help

Thank you, I was hoping that there was something that I could do. anything to watch out for while steaming? can I over-due it?
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 02-26-2011, 07:01 AM
Pocono's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Merrimac, MA
Posts: 3,997
Pocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Just bought a pheasant pelt and need some help

Hi Carman,

I suppose you can "cook" some feathers with steam; but it would take a lot of steam to do that.

What you're doing with steaming is two things:

1. you're removing any dirt and grime that washing has left behind; particularly dirt that keeps the barbules from sticking together (barbules are the tiny "velcro-like" projections that are on each feather barb; the barbs are the feather fibers that you can see coming off the stem (rachis), the barbules are so small that, in general, you need a microscope to see them clearly). It's the sticking together of the barbules that makes the feather barbs lie together and forms the basic shape of the feather.

2. You're softening all of the components of the feather, the stem, the barbs and the barbules. This softening is what Ard is referring to when he says that you can bring the feathers back to life with steaming.

Once you've steamed a feather, take it in your fingers and smooth out the stem and the barbs, so that they look as good as the best feathers on your pheasant skin. When it dries; which doesn't take long with a steamed feather, it will look as it should and then it's ready to be used for fly tying.

Here are a couple of useful links for you:

feather barbs barbules - Bing Images


In my experience, there are feathers that are beyond saving. I think it's best to simply throw those feathers away, since there are plenty of feathers on a good skin.

Good luck; let us know how it works out for you.

Pocono
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 02-27-2011, 07:09 PM
MrEsox's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: ND
Posts: 320
MrEsox is a jewel in the roughMrEsox is a jewel in the roughMrEsox is a jewel in the rough
Default Re: Just bought a pheasant pelt and need some help

I guess what are you going to use the feathers on really. If your wrapping the feathers being streight isnt needed. Their are some patters out thier that require the whole feather, but with pheasants your going to find that only about 1/4 of the feather can be used since the rest of it is mostly thin fluff. I use mostly the tips myself. The tail is mostly used by me and again streight isnt important. Lastly wing feathers are used a little here and thier and ya those I can see needing to be in good shape. Thing is soap can leave a film that a fish may smell in the water. Next you dont see a bird use soap on thier feathers. lastly most feathers will come back to normal if you groom them. take a good feather run your fingers over it a few times may help.
__________________
<*))))>< Fish with teeth ... If I ty it a fish will hit it
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 02-27-2011, 09:12 PM
Hardyreels's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
Posts: 11,440
Blog Entries: 69
Hardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via Yahoo to Hardyreels Send a message via Skype™ to Hardyreels
Default Re: Just bought a pheasant pelt and need some help

Carman,

When you steam a feather you will see it literally transform from a bent up mess to a fair representation of what it was when the bird was still wearing them. You will know when a feather is done when you do some. I have never had too many that needed to be reclaimed. If the feathers are really mangled then do as Allan has advised and get rid of the ones that are beyond saving. How bad is the condition of the skin? I ask because you may be better off buying another from a reputable supplier or a local shop. It sounds like this was put in the mail and not packaged very well. I have received bird skins from all over the globe and they all came through in good shape because they were packed well.

Good luck with this and keep us informed as to whether you save the feathers or replace the skin.

Ard
__________________
Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard

The Alaska Fishing & Outdoors Blog;
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 02-27-2011, 09:21 PM
fyshstykr's Avatar
Super Moderator

 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Plain City, Utah.
Posts: 4,468
Blog Entries: 1
fyshstykr has a reputation beyond reputefyshstykr has a reputation beyond reputefyshstykr has a reputation beyond reputefyshstykr has a reputation beyond reputefyshstykr has a reputation beyond reputefyshstykr has a reputation beyond reputefyshstykr has a reputation beyond reputefyshstykr has a reputation beyond reputefyshstykr has a reputation beyond reputefyshstykr has a reputation beyond reputefyshstykr has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Just bought a pheasant pelt and need some help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
This will revive your smashed and ragged dry flies also.
Ard's tip works well, but if I may add one comment.....be careful with any flies that have synthetic materials on them
(Poly Post, Krystal Flash, Craft Fur) plastic and steam do not get along very well if to close together or for to long.
Don't ask me how I know.
__________________
John.

*Comments posted above are only my opinion. I may be right....ehhh.....I'm certain they're wrong. Take 'em for what they're worth.*




Last edited by fysh; 02-28-2011 at 09:23 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 02-28-2011, 02:59 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cleveland, Oh
Posts: 37
carman9941 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Just bought a pheasant pelt and need some help

Thanks for the replies, Yes hardy not packed well or stored well sounds right. after I washed the pelt pretty much all the feathers looked a lot better
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 02-28-2011, 05:55 AM
Pocono's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Merrimac, MA
Posts: 3,997
Pocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond reputePocono has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Just bought a pheasant pelt and need some help

Carman,

If you're going to be washing feathers, then consider using Woolite. A lot of people who prep their own feathers for Salmon flies, use a combination of washing in Woolite followed by steaming.

If you can, then post some before and after shots of your skin, or at least the feathers, so that you can show people the difference.

Here's an example of what steaming can do to hen pheasant tail feathers. the first pic is as the feathers came to me; from a reputable supplier, Hareline. The second is after steaming.

Before:

Click the image to open in full size.

After:

Click the image to open in full size.

Pocono
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On














All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
2005-2014 The North American Fly Fishing Forum. All rights reserved.