Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: grouse feathers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Durbanville
    Posts
    5,126

    Default grouse feathers

    hi there
    i need some advice here please. the nymph i chose for the fly swop asks for grouse feathers. i am battling to get these so far in cape town. ok i also havent gone to all the shops. is there something i can use other than grouse?
    i need it for the tail and then for a soft hackle behind the eye and must be small enough not to exceed the hook gape...as the soft hackle part. tying on a 10 hook, grip 12004
    thanks
    Behold the fisherman. he riseth early in the morning and disturbeth the whole household. mighty are his preperations. he goes forth full of hope and when the day is ended, he returneth smelling of strong drink and the truth is not with him. originator unknown.

    my stuff.... http://www.flytalk.co.za/forum/album.php?u=824[/SIZE]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Vandia Grove, Gauteng
    Posts
    4,051

    Default

    Hi Rols,

    Firstly there are several types of grouse. The one with which I'm familiar is the Red Grouse, found especially in England, Scotland and Wales. I know in the US they hafe ruffed, willow and other types, but I presume you're talking about the UK one on hich a lot of 'spider'/soft hackle flies are based?
    I've several capes of hen/cock at home from the ol' days but unsure if they're for sale here. The cock capes are generally darker brownish/'game red' with dark mottled centre tails and greyish under-feathers. The hen is generally more subdued in colour and the secondary hackles softer - better for 'spider'/soft-hackled flies like the 'Grouse' series (green, claret, yellow, or purple bodies) or the 'Grouse Hackle' fly (yellow/gold tag body). The younger grouse are generally a more drab colour of which the under-wings on neck hackles are used for the 'Poult Bloa'another old 'spider' fly. The tail can be used for wet fly wings. I don't know exactly what nymph you'd be tying or the exact colour/consistency of the feather-type of the grouse you'd be looking for, as the colours and consistency varyall over a red grouse body?
    As to substitutes I reckon if you havea whole pheasant body (not I know for sale here) you can match up from those exactly what you need, if not, ghet hold of a packet each of brown and grey Hungarian partridge hackle which I also know are for sale here. You can also colour these with appropriate marker pen to achieve the exact shading/colour combos you want. Maybe you can send me a full bottle of Famous Grouse and arrow the part of the bird you want and I can send you one or two appropriate feathers plucked from my capes in return??

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Vandia Grove, Gauteng
    Posts
    4,051

    Default

    sorry was typing quickly, meant to say whole pheasant is now for sale here - and not too pricey definitely worth a purchase. all grouse hackles are naturally 'small' so smallish extracts from pheasant, golden pheasant of partridge should serve your purposes.

    On second thoughts, keep life simple and rather send me a case of Famous Grouse, indicate on the labels 12 different areas of the grouse's body from which you want feathers, and I'll return the empties with a feather from each stuck onto each respective bottle.A bit easier than Fly Swops from my point of view - and a lot more rewarding!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dullstroom, Mpumalanga
    Posts
    8,534

    Default

    hehehe....clever idea Chris!

    Next time I go wingshooting, I'll try and do a neater job of skinning the birds, and keep a few feathered pelts for you guys. Philip asked me a long time back, so he is first on the list.
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Durbanville
    Posts
    5,126

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chris williams View Post
    sorry was typing quickly, meant to say whole pheasant is now for sale here - and not too pricey definitely worth a purchase. all grouse hackles are naturally 'small' so smallish extracts from pheasant, golden pheasant of partridge should serve your purposes.

    On second thoughts, keep life simple and rather send me a case of Famous Grouse, indicate on the labels 12 different areas of the grouse's body from which you want feathers, and I'll return the empties with a feather from each stuck onto each respective bottle.A bit easier than Fly Swops from my point of view - and a lot more rewarding!
    chris, thanks a mil for the advice,
    the bottle of grouse is here, you got to get out of that cossie though,
    i'm nervous around that "bic" you have hidden there
    i've taken all the advice and stored it in the vault.
    thanks
    Behold the fisherman. he riseth early in the morning and disturbeth the whole household. mighty are his preperations. he goes forth full of hope and when the day is ended, he returneth smelling of strong drink and the truth is not with him. originator unknown.

    my stuff.... http://www.flytalk.co.za/forum/album.php?u=824[/SIZE]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Vandia Grove, Gauteng
    Posts
    4,051

    Default

    Ta, Rols, no worries, those patridge hackles in packets are magic. I've got them in natural, grey, olive and brown (Bluewater Flies) - they may well have other colours as well. They are superb for 'emergers', caddis pupae and the good ol' spider/soft-hackle, Partridge and Orange. The lovely thing about them, no two are the same so you can tie a host of subtly different flies. Some of the feathers have stiff quills, you can steam them to make them softer, alternatively split them in half lengthwise with a razorblade (maybe Tye can lend you one of his? ). Another excellent method is to do remove the required number of barbs from a hackle and 'with a couple of 'soft' turns spin them around the hook almost muddler-style, but softer so the barbs goes 360 degrees around the hook. This is quite a skill to develop and in some of the remoter Yorkshire Moor villages you're judged by the in-breds more by how you tie a Poult Bloa than by how long your tadger is. Buying them a pint of Tetleys and their sheepdog a packet of Salt 'n Vinegar often improves their judging capabilities - certainly they gave my tadger an extra coupla inches (Total 2.5'').

    Chris, I didn't know we had the UK grouse here not being a local wing shooter? Good stuff. You should have kept this quiet and I would have split the case of FG with you....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Durbanville
    Posts
    5,126

    Default

    Thanks Chris
    I bought a packet of hen, feathers. They are all mottled and look quite stunning. It is for the soft hackle that i am going to use them. Thanks for all the avice. Thanks Chris S, if you get some feathers it'll be nice.
    Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, apparently we in for some rain tonight and tomoro.
    Cheers
    Behold the fisherman. he riseth early in the morning and disturbeth the whole household. mighty are his preperations. he goes forth full of hope and when the day is ended, he returneth smelling of strong drink and the truth is not with him. originator unknown.

    my stuff.... http://www.flytalk.co.za/forum/album.php?u=824[/SIZE]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Vandia Grove, Gauteng
    Posts
    4,051

    Default

    Re spiders (UK) AKA soft-hackle flies (USA and it seems here), sadly I just heard the old gentleman in the USA, Sylvester Nemes, passed away end of last week. He was the one advocate of tying simple flies without all the bling of ubiquitous gold-bead heads and the rest. He used to tie them simply - as they were intended - and he could really fish them as well...I've a lovely books and 'recipes' of his which include his tweaking and development of traditional soft hackle patterns

    RIP Sylvester, a true legend!
    The more you know, the less you need (Aboriginal Australian proverb)

    Only dead fish swim with the stream (Malcolm Muggeridge)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •