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Old 06-01-2010, 04:16 PM
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Default Partridge Skin

Hi Everyone,

As I get more and more into fly tying, I want to tie more and more patterns. I would like to start tying soft hackle flies now such as the Hares ear and Pheasant tail soft hackles.

I am going to order my first partridge skin(possibly from Blue Ribbon Flies?) and I want to know a few things.

First, I know that these skins mostly range from sizes 10-14 but where would I locate a size 12 feather on the skin. Is it similar to Rooster Caps in anyway?

Second, how do i size the feathers? Can I use a standard hackle gage?

Hopefully Mark sees this!

Thanks for any help and sorry if this is confusing.

Bobby
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Partridge Skin

From Davie McPhail:

Sizing soft hackles is most often done using the hook shank, and Davie's video demonstrates this. Sizing hackles for dry flies is done by using the hook gap(e),
and for different reasons than soft hackle flies. Dry flies tied Catskill style need to balance on the hackle and tail. Parachute dries can use larger hackle for the
same size hook, and soft hackles are sized for visual effect.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Partridge Skin

Hey Bobby,

Frank gave you great advice about sizing- I usually make them so that the tip of the feather when wound reaches to the hook point- but some make them longer.

As far as finding feathers on a skin, mother nature helps here, with feathers with shorter barbs up high on the neck and gradually getting longer as you move down the back of the bird. Like concentric rings around the bird, a size 12 feather will have other size 12 feathers near by.

You can also find feathers to use on top side and underside of the wings. These are the covert feathers on the wing area near where the the arm pit would be if birds had arm pits.....
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: Partridge Skin

So the hackle doesnt have to be the exact perfect length like on dry flies?

---------- Post added at 07:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:09 PM ----------

Has anyone ordered Partridge Skin, Starling skin, or hair from Blue ribbon Flies. If so, how is the quality. They seem pretty good.

Bobby
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Partridge Skin

Bobby,

I'm trying not to give redundant info here. With soft hackle wets a bit of extra length sometimes will make a fly a fish catcher. As for locating different stock once you have a skin you will quickly see that flank and rump feathers will have the length and the back will be shorter. As for ordering from the supplier you mention I have not.

You will enjoy building a materials collection,

Ard
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Partridge Skin

Yes to both.

The hackle on wet flies is generally soft and webby and dances around in current-- length is much less critical than for dries. The main thing is to keep the collar sparse-- just 1 or 2 turns. A sparse collar actually has more action in the water than a heavily hackled one and sort of pulses in current.

And as for Blue Ribbon Flies, the quality of all their stuff is excellent especially including hair and skins. And they're a great source of info and guides if you ever find yourself near the Madison, Yellowstone National Park etc. By the way, BRF is Craig Mathews' shop (the man behind the X Caddis, Sparkle Dun, Iris Caddis etc.)
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:28 AM
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Default Re: Partridge Skin

Thanks for the great help as usual everyone.

Bobby
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