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Thread: Snipe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Merrimac, MA
    Posts
    4,006

    Default Snipe

    I'm still tying soft hackle flies; still enjoying it and still catching fish with them. Some of the older patterns; which for me work well, call for snipe hackle (snipe and yellow, etc.). I've looked on the websites of the usual feather/skins suppliers and can't find anyone selling them, so I assume that snipe is not a commonly stocked item. Can anyone out there direct me to a commercial source for either wings or an entire skin?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Bedford County, Penna. ....pretty rural
    Posts
    349

    Default Re: Snipe

    I was watching to see if anyone had a viable answer to your question. I don't! I pick up bird skins whenever I can and noticed that I don't have any snipe (woodcock) skins either. I have an acquaintance or two who hunt them - maybe I could get them to save a skin or two. I'm wondering if maybe they're hard to pen raise and/or since the woodcock (or snipe) is classified under the migratory bird laws they might not be an item that is allowed to be marketed?! So anyway, what are your favorite soft-hackles? and how do you like to fish them?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Merrimac, MA
    Posts
    4,006

    Default Re: Snipe

    Hi Greenwood,

    Is snipe synonomous with woodcock? If so, I may have a solution already (which I'd be happy to share if it turns out that the answer to my question is "yes"). I understand, and am sensitive to, the migratory bird issue with regard to commercial feather/skin offerings.

    I've got the soft hackle books by Nemes, Hughes and McGee and have found them to be interesting, useful and instructive. Frankly, I like the simple partridge and yellow (green, orange) thorax pattern the best. The underwater action on these flies almost has me convinced that the fish see them as being close to naturals. Whether I'm right or not, they like to eat them, as evidenced by the fish that I'm catching when others are fishing drys or nymphs alone and getting skunked. So far, so good.

    I'm going to try tying some of the original Stewart spiders in the next couple of weeks. The Black Spider that you mentioned will be at the top of my list. Incredibly simply, but I guess that no one ever said that a fly has to be complex in order to catch fish.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Snipe

    Hi Pocono,

    My friend Nick was tying snipe patterns and he got snipe skins from some where in the UK I'll check back with him and let you know where to order them.
    http://burntdrags.blogspot.com/

    Allen Landheer
    Fly fishing is not for everyone..
    -Fly fishing since 1971-

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Merrimac, MA
    Posts
    4,006

    Default Re: Snipe

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwood View Post
    I was watching to see if anyone had a viable answer to your question. I don't! I pick up bird skins whenever I can and noticed that I don't have any snipe (woodcock) skins either. I have an acquaintance or two who hunt them - maybe I could get them to save a skin or two. I'm wondering if maybe they're hard to pen raise and/or since the woodcock (or snipe) is classified under the migratory bird laws they might not be an item that is allowed to be marketed?! So anyway, what are your favorite soft-hackles? and how do you like to fish them?
    Hi Greenwood,

    Second message. As you probably already know, snipe is synonomous with woodcock; if you're talking about mud snipe. Anyway, on this particular night and in my particlular mood, snipe hackle is the same as woodcock hackle and I've ordered a pair of woodcock wings. The source is Blue Ribbon Flies, a western outfit that seems to have a good appreciation for soft hackle flies. Fyshstykr recommended them to me a week or so ago and I've been a perennial customer of theirs ever since. Flityer - I also found a source of woodcock wings in the UK at a very reasonable price, but I figured that working with a US outfit would be easier. So, at this point, I'm relatively flush with materials for soft hackles - nothing left to do but spend some enjoyable time at the bench and then head out to the stream to see who actually likes to eat what.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Snipe

    Hello Pocono , you can try one of these I believe one of them will have what your looking for. They carry snipe, starling, partidge, grouse .






    Cookshill Fly Tying Materials

    Angus Angling (Wellbank Lochans Ltd) VENIARDS FEATHERS | Fly Fishing Fly Tying Supplies UK
    http://burntdrags.blogspot.com/

    Allen Landheer
    Fly fishing is not for everyone..
    -Fly fishing since 1971-

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Bedford County, Penna. ....pretty rural
    Posts
    349

    Default Re: Snipe

    Hi Pocono,
    Excellent! I'm going to check out FlyTyers recommendations (and Blue Ribbon Flies) as soon as I exit this site. I've been working with more sparse patterns as well. And, as you noted Stewarts Black Spider is soooo simple in nature but works so well. I caught a nice rainbow on it, during a rainstorm, my last time out. I generally use it, or something very similar, as my point fly most of the time. When water conditions are agreeable, I've taken to fishing them upstream, as per W.C. Stewart, just like a dry but they sink slightly into the surface film. But, unlike him, I'll fish them completely through the drift. If you pay attention to the upward swing at the end of the drift, you'll often ('often being relative!) get a strike at that point.

    I'm heading to Pine and Kettle Creek at the end of May with a duo called 'Wet Fly Waterguides' out of Johnstown, PA. They fish almost exclusively with wets (guess that isn't too hard to figure out). I booked with them last year because I wanted to learn as much as I could about fishing wets and soft hackles. Enjoyed it so much that I'm going back! P.S. - Did you ever try tying the Dark Needle? If not, I could PM you the more precise recipe as described by Oliver Edwards.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Merrimac, MA
    Posts
    4,006

    Default Re: Snipe

    Quote Originally Posted by Flityer View Post
    Hello Pocono , you can try one of these I believe one of them will have what your looking for. They carry snipe, starling, partidge, grouse .






    Cookshill Fly Tying Materials

    Angus Angling (Wellbank Lochans Ltd) VENIARDS FEATHERS | Fly Fishing Fly Tying Supplies UK
    Hi Flityer,

    Well tonight, snipe doesn't equal woodcock, so I'm now in contact with Cookshill about a snipe skin. First fly tying materials foray that I've taken outside of the US. Their products sound very good. FYI - Angus Angling has snipe wings only. Thanks for the referral.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Snipe

    Just to help out a bit,
    Snipe and woodcock are NOT the same. They are both in the sand piper family, but snipe are a shorebird ore more to the actual point, they live in swamps, marsh, and riverbanks.
    Woodcock are closer to grouse in their habitat. They are woodland birds. Younger trees that let light down to bring up lots of ground cover for them to hide in. They both are migrating.
    I used to shoot snipe when I was teal hunting as a bonus bird. Taste similar to dove. Never had woodcock. Sadly I did not tie flies back then or I would have kept the snipe for sure. Real nice feathers.

  10. Default Re: Snipe

    You can order both Snipe and Woodcock at Glasgow Angling Centre we use it all the time for Trad spiders in Scotland. Good luck

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