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  1. #21

    Default Re: Great Article even for non Flytiers

    Quote Originally Posted by hollisd View Post
    I know holocaust is a strong word but I simply think hackle should be achieved without killing the birds because premium hackle isn't a necessity.

    I've written Whiting to share my feelings and learn more. I don't have any intention to stop fly fishing nor not use these flies but I will educate myself.

    I shared this with my wife and 8 year-old son last night and both agree with me so I'm not alone.

    I'm not looking to ruffle feathers with this thread. I'm simply sharing my own opinion as well and it will develop for I've never thought of this and I've fly fished since I was a kid.
    I think you are in the stage of processing this new information. Whiting raises his birds in much better conditions than chickens that are raised for food. He can afford to.

    Consider what a chicken costs for food. I can buy a whole chicken for $1.00 a pound. A neck and a saddle will cost over $100.00 depending on the quality. Take a look at what hackle actually costs:

    https://jimsflyco.com/CapesAndSaddle...=4&dv1=0&dv2=0

    I also think you are not a fly tier because of your comment "premium hackle isn't a necessity". How would you know? That is exactly the type of comment that ONLY a person who has has no experience fly tying could make. Have you ever tied a fly with crappy hackle? I have. It takes longer and the flies are less fishable and less functional and therefore less effective.

    Have you ever wondered why fly tiers will pay over $75 for a single hackle neck? They do it because it saves them time and results in quality flies.

    I really don't think you have thought this through. What makes me believe that is your suggestion that we can use discarded molted feathers to tie flies as if that is a logical economic option. That is a thought that ran through your mind and as a non fly tier, you thought it was viable.

    This is what what fly tier does. When he gets to the stage that requires a specific size and color of hackle, he has that color cape or saddle available at his table and he has to select the correct size of hackle (barb length) from the pelt and pull it off. The hackle on a cape or saddle is arranged by size by the location on the cape/saddle so nature has done most of the sorting for us. So we do not have to sort through a bag of hackle to find the right size.

    That is why when you see a used hackle neck, the hackle from a section of the neck will be all gone. That bare area represents the area that had the size of hackle that the fly tier needed.

    The additional benefit of quality hackle is feather length. A fly tier ties identical flies of identical size all at the same time. That means that LONG quality hackle will tie many flies so the tier does not have to select a new hackle for every fly. In the days before genetic hackle, we used "Indian" (capes from the country of India) or "Chinese" capes. These were capes from common roosters and for some patterns several feathers would be needed to tie one fly.

    If what you suggested were to come true, we would be back to those days of using capes from food chickens.

    I suggest that you go to a conclave where there are fly tiers demonstrating so you can educate yourself on what we fly tiers actually do.

    BTW, for those who are in Wisconsin, I will be demo tying at the Badger Fly Fishers “Spring Opener” this Saturday.

    Spring Opener – Badger Fly Fishers


    For your education I have taken a photo of an old "Indian" neck that cost me $4 back in the early 1970's and a Whiting Bronze neck from about 10 years ago. Remember that "bronze" is the lowest of the grading at that time of Gold, Silver and then Bronze so this is an example of the lowest of the three standard grades. The current necks are much better.

    See that webbing on the bottom black feather that is sticking out on the bottom left of the Indian neck.

    Now look at the size of the hackle and the webbing that is sticking out at the top of both necks. See how small the hackle is on the genetic neck vs the standard chicken Not only is the hackle way better quality, the hackle is longer and the range of sizes is much greater.

    That shows you what we had to deal with and how bad the hackle is on regular chickens.

    Your proposal is that we go back to the neck on the left and not only that, but that we don't even kill the chickens for their necks. We should use discarded molted feathers. Just look a how long the the hackle is on the left compared to that from the neck on the right. Use your BS meter and it is obvious that using discarded feathers from a regular farmhouse chicken is just BS.


    Last edited by silver creek; 02-07-2019 at 02:22 PM.
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  2. #22

    Default Re: Great Article even for non Flytiers

    Quote Originally Posted by bigal36 View Post
    Fascinating article.

    Admittedly I was a little surprised that the feather donating chicken winds up in a compost pile. That fact won't keep me up at night nor change my behavior, but hard to believed there isn't a better use for the meat.
    I think they compost the chickens because they do not want any of the DNA from any of their chickens to leave the site. They are very careful with biosecurity.
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  4. #23

    Default Re: Great Article even for non Flytiers

    Quote Originally Posted by old timer View Post
    Don't think of what happens to your dog if you bring it to a vet to be put down.
    I worked at a vet clinic when I was 15. I have some stories.

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  6. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Maryland - Gunpowder River
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Great Article even for non Flytiers

    Quote Originally Posted by old timer View Post
    Don't think of what happens to your dog if you bring it to a vet to be put down.
    Have done it plenty of times....not easy. My pets come back home in a box. When we move, they will all be scattered on their favorite river.

  7. #25

    Default Re: Great Article even for non Flytiers

    I was told they use them for dog food. I can't handle that.

    My present dog Buddy is my whole family right now. He loves the mountains and we've spent so much time there together it will be his resting place. I'll find a nice spot for him in the shade.

  8. #26

    Default Re: Great Article even for non Flytiers

    Good background from Thomas Whiting in response to an article called "What the Flock" about feather hair extensions exploding in popularity from American Idol in 2011:

    Feather Hair Extensions & Fly-fishing Tyers: Roosters Slaughtered for Fashion & Fishing - 29 July 2011

    So the birds are euthanized and live one year. He says the USDA won't allow his roosters to be eaten but that the meat would be too lean and tough anyway.

    If I'm reading right, the roosters are killed not because they have to be killed for harvesting but because of a feather specificity that fly tyers demand requires the birds be killed to harvest what he describes as the rooster's first or "nuptial feathers"

    I'd like to know more about harvesting and if these feathers weren't so highly prized could you pluck the saddle feathers and not have to kill the birds?

    Whiting clearly makes the point that the roosters die because fly fishing tyers demand plumage which requires harvesting

  9. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Marthasville Mo.
    Posts
    1,237
    Blog Entries
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    Default Re: Great Article even for non Flytiers

    I think the reason the chickens go into a compost pile is the cleaning and skinning area are not sanitary so it may not be safe to eat afterward and that food is not the reason Whiting exist. If you are thinking of switching to all synthetic flies, remember that plastic takes nearly forever to breakdown in the ecosystem.

    Bill

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  11. #28

    Default Re: Great Article even for non Flytiers

    Quote Originally Posted by hollisd View Post
    Good background from Thomas Whiting in response to an article called "What the Flock" about feather hair extensions exploding in popularity from American Idol in 2011:

    Feather Hair Extensions & Fly-fishing Tyers: Roosters Slaughtered for Fashion & Fishing - 29 July 2011



    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  12. #29

    Default Re: Great Article even for non Flytiers






  13. #30

    Default Re: Great Article even for non Flytiers

    “Honey where’s the Jiffy Time?”
    Last edited by flytie09; 02-07-2019 at 05:49 PM.


    “If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.”
    ~Zane Grey

    " . . . shouldn't a man stand on his own two feet and catch his own steelhead? Maybe put out some effort and find his own fish just for the fun of it?"
    ~Syd Glasso

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