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Where to buy dry fly hackle?

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Hi everyone,

I started fly tying last year and am looking to purchase some decent dry fly hackle. My starter kit came with a grizzly and a brown half cape but the quality is terrible. The smaller feathers (size 14 or smaller) are so tiny, they are basically unusable.

Just wondering where you all like to buy your dry fly hackle? Thanks!

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Its not so much where, but what brand. I tend to buy Whiting or Metz in Grad A (Pro) or B. I also bought quite a few form Howard Hackle, an Alberta supplier, he unfortunately is no longer in business. I grew up in the days before Genetic Hackle which now makes tying more consistent and easier. Although I certainly still tie with good quality saddles which is a bit harder to use (a bit of a learning curve) but still a good bet. Whenever possible I try to see the product. Hope this helps

5Ct7OMq.jpg

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Metz or Whiting. Whatever $ you can justify. You buy cheap and very shortly you'll be disappointed and buy the good stuff anyway.

Check any of the local fly shops. They need you business.  

Check with Dave or Nancy at Fishtales. You won't go wrong.

If you're just getting started, be prepared for a surprising 'investment' in tools and materials. I now have a 4 drawer desk/dresser and all 4 are FULL. And I don't even tie that much.

Have fun.

 

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Keep an eye on kijiji I have bought Thousands of dollars worth of materials for a fishing rod and a few hundred dollars from guys who were into tying and then decided to stop. I have more materials than I could tie with in 3 lifetimes from just 2 kijiji finds.

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I prefer Whiting to Metz, only because I bought a Metz neck years ago that I had some issues with.  It may have been a one-off, but I've never had a bad experience with Whiting so that's what I generally go for.  What are you tying?  Necks are generally better than dry fly saddles in terms of a having a variety of sizes, and especially larger hackles in the 10-12-14 range.  Saddles are great for smaller flies in the 16-18-20 range.  A good way to go, especially if you are looking to tie some specific patterns, it to look at the Whiting 100 packs.  You might pay a little more up front, but for me it is worth it to know exactly what I'm getting and exactly what I have to work with when I sit down at the bench to tie.   

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Thanks for the awesome feedback guys! 

Silver, your flies are amazing. The picture looks like it could have come out of a fly tying book. Hopefully some day mine can compare. 

I'm looking to tie most of the common flies for the bow / southern Alberta (EHC, BWO, Adams, PMDs, stimulators, etc). So I think I'll go the neck route for the hackles. 

Also willing to spend a little more up front for the hackle since in the past I've had a tendency to buy cheap then upgrade a short time later. I've been tying all my nymphs and some of my dry flies since I began and it's definitely more rewarding catching a fish with your own tie. 

I'm thinking of investing in quality 3 or 4 necks to start my foundation for dry flies. A brown, grizzly, dun and cream colour. Do you guys think that is a good start or are there any other recommendations? 

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I'd do brown, grizzly, and ginger as a foundation and then look to add cream and dun later, but that's just me. 

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