wall-of-whiting-farms-feathersMe too! Barbecue, baked, broiled & broasted.
However the edible critter is not what I am referring to. Those of us who “lose ’em in the summer and tie ’em in the winter” know of what I speak. That incredibly beautiful, genetically spectacular, OMG bird of valuable feathers. The hen gives us the softer with more web and downy pelt. The rooster on the other hand provides we fly tiers with that long, stiff, web-free plumage so necessary to create the perfect dry fly.

It may be a cape / neck or it may be the saddle depending on the task. The colors choices and variations seem endless. Grizzly, browns, dun, black, cream, ginger, badger and the ever elusive Cree to mention a few. I keep all my best feathers in a red cedar box I built over 25 years ago. The natural aromatic tendencies of that wood prevent any unwanted insects from destroying many hundreds of $$$(dollars). I must say when I compare a number “1” neck or saddle of years ago to the ones available today the difference is striking. Today due to even more diligent observations, alterations and breeding practices the feathers are considerably better than I could have imagined even a few years ago.

The length of an individual quill along with the consistent width of clean barbs gives the tier so many more flies with nearly zero waste.

YUP! They do dig a little deeper into your bank but never,
I REPEAT, NEVER try to skimp on dry fly hackle.
Buy it once and use it with a broad smile for years.

crosscurrents-fly-tying-class-jim-steinSome folks learn to fish first and some want to tie-up the insect replication before they even know a double taper from a weight forward. NOW would be a great time to prepare your fly inventory for the upcoming season. You cannot have too many good horses, boots, saddles, fly rods, streamers, nymphs or dry flies. My first fly tying class started in January is beyond full and well on it’s way. But there is still time to catch a class; you have a choice of a February or March school. Not only do I show you how to take a hook and turn it into a fish-catching machine with all sorts of materials but I’ll also share with you the entomology aspects of that insect. 

Class size is limited so please call ASAP to reserve your spot. Contact us at 406-449-2292 OR email us for enjoyable evenings of a practical and usable hobby with new friends.

Jim Stein
Director of Schools at CrossCurrents Fly Shop

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