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Getting our Hackles Up!

This is from Juan Ramirez, host of The Hopper Juan blog:

Do you know where your hackle is?


``So I have been in 3 fly shops in the last 2 days and for some silly reason, all the colored grizzly saddle hackle is gone.  What is the cause of this?  Well, it is fashionable women.  It seems that the new fad is to have your hairstylist add long colored saddle hackle (known as feathers) to the roots of the hair.  It is expected to last around 2 months and you can even curl the feathers.  So in the Colorado Springs and Denver area, hairstylists have been calling and gobbling up any of the colored Whiting and Keough saddles.  They can then turn around and add these to their client’s hair for an extra $20 - $45 per style.  So it seems that these individual feathers cost the clients about $10.00 per feather.`` 


``Check out some of the following pictures to see what I am talking about and the next time you need some of that saddle hackle for some Wooly Buggers and all the fly shops are out, just remember that you might have to call up some of the hairstylists and beg for a few hackles to tie a few flies.``


A large Canadian wholesale supplier confirms Juan’s information, stating that he expects to receive only about half of his saddle hackle orders this year. And these folks are not above raiding the stock of small retailers and commercial tyers. Last week I was contacted by a woman in Calgary wanting 100 saddles, so, Canada, look out! It’s here.


Back last fall I sent a woman in Bali eight saddles for making jewelry. We never know what’s coming next, except for one thing: it’ll be a surprise!


Our fly of the week is the wet salmon fly (and sometimes sea-trout fly) the Green Machine, as tied by Chris Williams. Chris had a fly shop in Newfoundland for a time, where he became an excellent all-round commercial fly tyer. His specialty is durable salmon flies with deer hair bodies, the kind most folks find difficult to tie. The photos show examples of his fine work.  


Chris’s Green Machine


Hook –                       Mustad 3399A bronze TDE wet fly hook, size 4 - 6

Thread –                    Fluorescent chartreuse GSP, 75 Denier

Butt –                          Fluorescent red or green floss, with tag pulled over to increase durability

Body hackle -            Coachman brown saddle hackle, folded backward

Body –                        Highlander green deer hair, spun & clipped

Head -                        Fluorescent chartreuse thread finished with 2 coats of head cement.


Please send comments and suggestions to slim@rivermagic.ca


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