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Soft Hackle

Soft hackle feathers from left to right;

1. Hen cape - grizzly

2. Hen - silver badger

3. Hen Cape - furnace

4. Snipe - body

5. Common Starling

6. Mallard Shoulder

7. Partridage

8. Woodcock - underwing

9. Woodcock - overwing

10. Golden Pheasant

11. Hen Saddle - brown

12. Hen Saddle - grizzly

13. Hen Saddle - dun

14. Snipe - underwing

Feathers for Tying Soft Hackle Flies

The feathers for tying soft hackle flies come from upland game birds. These include partridge, grouse, pheasant, starling, quail, and woodcock.

So many of the feathers that are called for in the classic soft hackle patterns are protected and off limits to the fly tier. Hen feathers from different breeds of chickens have been bred to provide perfect substitutes both in color and texture.

I've tried to offer a wide variety of soft hackle on this page. For those of you just getting started, I've put together a starter kit for students taking the Trout Unlimited tying classes.

 

     
Soft Hackle Feather Collection $100.00  

T.U. Starter Kit - Soft Hackle

Here are the feathers to tie just about every soft hackle pattern.

Kit includes:

Starling skin

Turkey Tails

Pheasant Tails

Wood Duck Flank

Brown Hen Neck

Mottled Turkey

Hungarian Partridge Skin

Golden Pheasant Tippets

Soft Hackle - Olive, Grizzly, Dun

Marabou - Olive and Black

Peacock Sticks and Swords

Goose Biots - Brown

Hen Pheasant Wing Quills

Mallard Wing Quills

CDC


These are quality materials, the best you'll find anywhere. All in one kit, just sit down and get started!

 


To check out, click the "view cart" button

 

 

 


 

Partridge

Partridge skins are perhaps the most versatile of all soft hackle materials.  A quality skin can last for years. 

Neck feathers are beautifully speckled and range in color from silvery grey to medium brown.  The lower back feathers are speckled light to dark brown.  Both are very effect at imitating the segmentation of insect legs. 

Marginal covert feathers along the leading edge of each wing near the shoulder are very webby and mottled from light to dark.  They make excellent soft hackle collars on spider-type flies, even in small sizes. 

 

     
Hungarian Partridge $40.00  

Silver and Speckled Feathers

The fly tier should not be without a couple of good skins at their disposal. These birds are skined with the wings on.

 

Grade #1 Select / $40

 

 

Grade #2 / $32.50

 

 

 

 


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Starling

Useful feathers are found throughout a starling skin.  The body feathers are glossy and dark, varying in color from dark dun to almost black.  Many starling feathers sport a beautiful green or purple iridescent sheen. 

The body and head feathers have long stems and short barbs, which makes them suitable as soft hackles down to about size #20.  Marginal covert feathers of starling wings will tie even smaller. 

Feathers from the underside of starling wings are a beautiful medium dun color.  Starling feathers are commonly used as a substitute for many difficult to obtain feathers of the classic literature, such as jackdaw, moorhen, coot, blackbird, and dotterel. 

 

     
Common Starling $7.50  

Poor Man's Junglecock

Also known as the "poor man's Junglecock", these beautiful feathers are a must have for anyone tying and fishing soft hackle flys.

The feather stems are stronger than one would think making wrapping them easier than other soft hackle materials.

The variety of sizes available on this bird assure the tier that blue wing olive soft hackle emergers down to size 24 are possible. Wet fly wings can be made from the wing primaries.

 

 

Full Skin / $7.50

 
 

 


 

Snipe

Body and rump feathers of English snipe skins are nicely mottled of ginger and medium to dark dun. 

Marginal covert feathers of the wings, which are also mixed ginger and dun, are use for the famous Snipe and Purple soft-hackled fly. 

As with starling, feathers on the underside of the wing are much lighter than those on the upper surface.  The barring is unique to this feather. Body feathers of snipe can be substituted for golden plover in classic recipes. 

     
European Snipe $0.00  

A mixture of ginger, tan, and dun

Body and rump feathers of English snipe skins are nicely mottled of ginger and medium to dark dun. 

 

Full Skin with Head / $

 

 

Full Skin without Head / $

 

 

Wings / $

 

 


 

Woodcock

Woodcock wings have beautifully marbled ginger and dun coloring.  Marginal covert feathers, taken from the leading edge of the wing near the shoulder area, make excellent soft hackle collars. 

The barbs are of nearly uniform length, and the stems are sufficiently long to allow one or two wraps around a hook shank. 

Feathers of the underside of the wing are more sandy-buff color mottled with medium dun.  Woodcock wings are good substitutes for bobwhite quail wings, and vice-versa.

 

European Woodcock Wings out of stock  

Marbled Gingers & Dun

Woodcock wings have beautifully marbled ginger and dun coloring. 

Marginal covert feathers, taken from the leading edge of the wing near the shoulder area, make excellent soft hackle collars. 

The barbs are of nearly uniform length, and the stems are sufficiently long to allow one or two wraps around a hook shank.

Feathers of the underside of the wing are more sandy-buff color mottled with medium dun.

Woodcock wings are good substitutes for bobwhite quail wings, and vice-versa.

 

 

Wings / $25 pair

 

 

 

 


 

dry fly hackleWhiting Soft Hackle Hen Feathers

Many old soft-hackle patterns call for material no longer available. Species such as snipe and plover are protected under US Fish and Wildlife laws. The good news is that these hens offer a wide range of colors and fiber lengh perfect for tying these flies.

So which to buy? Cape or Saddle? Hen capes offer the widest choice in sizes and colors . The feathers are long and narrow yet soft. One of the benefits of a hen cape is that the smaller sizes on the top of the neck have a stem long enough to give you a few wraps -even on the smallest of flys.

Hen Saddles on the other hand are a larger feather with rounded tips and a bit softer. Generally, you will only find a few sizes on a saddle. The fiber lengh is longer and a bit heavier than neck feather and when used as a collar, it gives the fly a nice full look.

 

     
Whiting Hen Capes $25.00  

Soft and Webby Feathers

The soft webby feathers on these hen capes quickly absorb water, keeping your fly below the surface.

Hen capes offer the widest choice in sizes and colors . The feathers are long and narrow yet soft.

One of the benefits of a hen cape is that the smaller sizes on the top of the neck have a stem long enough to give you a few wraps - even on the smallest of flys.

To see the complete offering of colors, please visit my page; Whiting Soft Hackle Hen Capes.

 

Best Selling Colors / $25.00

To order, choose a color
 

 

 

 

 

     
Whiting 4B Hen Cape $22.50  

Large Webby Feathers!

With the ever increasing demand for large webby feathers Dr. Whiting began work on the 4B line.

4B stands for "Bigger, Better, Bargain, Birds". And big they are. The feathers on these capes are not only big but very soft.

Available not only in a host of natural colors, Whiting also offers these in high vis colors from red to kingfisher blue.

The natural colors are perfect for so many patters. Palmered around a hook, the black center on the furnace capes give the illusion of a false thorax. When the trout strikes at it, there is nothing but hook!

You can order here or to see the complete offering of colors and other Whiting hen capes, please visit my page; Whiting Soft Hackle Hen Capes.

 

 

4 Hen Capes - $22.50

To order, choose a color
 


To check out, click the "view cart" button

 

 

 

     
Whiting Hen Saddles $15.00  

Wide Feathers

Hen Saddles are a larger feather with rounded tips and a bit softer. Generally, you will only find a few sizes on a saddle.

The fiber lengh is longer and a bit heavier than neck feather and when used as a collar, it gives the fly a nice full look.

To see the complete offering of colors, please visit my page; Whiting Soft Hackle Hen Saddles.

 

Best Sellers / $15

To order, choose a color
 

 

 

 

     
Coq de Leon Hen Capes $25.00  

Our most popular soft hackle

Dating back to 1624, Coq de Leon, or the "rooster of Leon" is the oldest line of birds bred for their feathers. The beautiful long speckled fibers are stiff, almost having a glassy look.

The hens have the most unique speckled buggy look.

To see the full selection of Coq de Leon hen feathers offered by Whiting Farms, please visit my page; Coq de Leon.

 

Hen Cape - Brown Speckled / $25

 

 

 

 

 

     
Whiting Brahma Hen Saddles $20.00  

Small Sizes with long stems!

Besides having a beautiful grousey mottled pattern, the nicest thing about tying with these feathers is that the feather stem is long, giving you 3 to 4 wraps.

The main complaint I hear about partridge feathers is that the stem is so short on the smaller sizes that it is almost impossible to use them.

 

To see the full selection of Brahma hen offered by Whiting Farms, please visit my page; Brahma Hen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
Whiting American Hen Capes and Saddles $25.00  

Soft and webby, and wide too!

This saltwater line has been bred for wide webby soft feathers. The stem of the feather is long so that you can tie most patterns with just one feather. Perfect for tying both warmwater and stealhead patterns.

These saltwater hen capes are dyed a wide range of bright colors. These striking colors are dyed over white, grizzley, and black laced to give the tyer almost every color and feather pattern to tie with.

With so many colors to choose from,each dyed on solid, grizzly, or laced, please visit my page; Whiting American Hen Hackle.

 

All colors are in stock and ready to ship today!

 

 

 

 

     
Soft Hackle with Chicabou $15.00  

Matuka Feathers

The best feathers for tying "matuka" style flies are found on the breast of a Whiting rooster. The feathers are long and wide with a round tip. The web is dense and extends to the edge of each feather.

Lower on the pelt is the chickabou. The best way to describe these feathers is that they are mini marabou. The fibers are soft and fluffy like marabou.

To see the complete offering of colors, please visit my page; Chicabou & Matuka Feathers.

 

All colors are in stock and ready to ship today!

 


To check out, click the "view cart" button

 

 

 


 

Soft Hackle Rooster Saddles

This line of roosters has been carefully selected over many generations to grow long saddle feathers with web. They are wider than dry fly saddle hackle and the fibers are softer.

Unlike dry fly saddle hackle, these feathers have quite a bit of tapper. So if you're tying wooly buggers and want a cone shape look, these are what you're looking for!

Also available in bright colors, these are perfect for tying flatwing fly patterns. The stems are strong and these webby feather hold their shape in water.

 

     
Wooly Buggar Saddles $45.00  

Soft Hackle rooster Saddles

The soft fibers on these long saddle feathers make these ideal for tying any size and color buggar pattern.

To see the complete offering of colors, please visit my page; Buggar Hackle.

 

Full Saddle / $45

To order, choose a color

 

 

Half Saddle / $25

To order, choose a color

 

 

Buggar Pack / $7.50

To order, choose a color
 


To check out, click the "view cart" button

 

 

 

     
Wooly Bugger Saddles $25.00  

Grizzly, White, and Brown

These are some nice saddles for tying white wooly buggars. The feathers are 5 to 7 inches long and have a fair amount of webbing, making them soft enough to give your fly movement in the water.

Besides buggars, these saddles have feathers perfect for decievers and other saltwater patterns. Looking to try your hand at dying feathers, here you go!

 

Full Saddle / $25

To order, choose a color
 

 

 

     
Whiting Spruce Fly Saddles $15.00  

Spruce Fly Saddle

If you're tying small spruce fly patterns, this saddle from Whiting is just the thing.

The silver badger pattern is perfect. The white is white, not cream like I see on other saddles.

The feather length ranges from 1 to 3 inches.

If you prefer tying with a lighter furnace, I have a few. Just send me an email and I'll get you a picture.

 

Full Saddle / $15

 

 

 

 

 

     
Buggar Packs $9.50  

Availabe in every Color!

These buggar packs are a terriffic value! They are the feathers from a line developed by Whiting for soft fibers and ling stems.

The Woolly Bugger still remains one of the most deadly flies in your fly box.

Each pack includes 40 to 50 feathers, 5" to 9" long, and tie sizes 8, 10, & 12's.

 

Best Selling Colors / $9.50

To order, choose a color
 


To check out, click the "view cart" button

 

 


 

 

Herl

Many old soft-hackle patterns call for material no longer available. Species such as snipe and plover are protected under US Fish and Wildlife laws. The good news is that these hens offer a wide range of colors and fiber lengh perfect for tying these flies.

So which to buy? Cape or Saddle? Hen capes offer the widest choice in sizes and colors . The feathers are long and narrow yet soft. One of the benefits of a hen cape is that the smaller sizes on the top of the neck have a stem long enough to give you a few wraps -even on the smallest of flys.

 

     
Peacock Eyes 3 for $9.00/med  

The Best Herl

The soft fibers on these long saddle feathers make these ideal for tying any size and color buggar pattern.

The soft fibers on these long saddle feathers make these ideal for tying any size and color buggar pattern.

The soft fibers on these long saddle feathers make these ideal for tying any size and color buggar pattern.

To see the complete offering of colors, please visit my page; Peacock Feathers.

 

 

 

Large / 3 for $15.50

 

 

Medium / 3 for $9

 

 

Small / 3 for $7.50

 


To check out, click the "view cart" button

 

 

 

 

     
Peacock Swords 3 for $7.50/med  

Tailing

The soft fibers on these long saddle feathers make these ideal for tying any size and color buggar pattern.

The soft fibers on these long saddle feathers make these ideal for tying any size and color buggar pattern.

The soft fibers on these long saddle feathers make these ideal for tying any size and color buggar pattern.

To see the complete offering of colors, please visit my page; Peacock Feathers.

 

 

Large / 3 for $9

 

 

Medium / 3 for $7.50

 

 

Small / 3 for $5

 


To check out, click the "view cart" button

 

 

 

 

     
Ostrich Herl $3.50  

Soft Short Fibers

The soft webby feathers on these hen capes quickly absorb water, keeping your fly below the surface.

Hen capes offer the widest choice in sizes and colors . The feathers are long and narrow yet soft.

One of the benefits of a hen cape is that the smaller sizes on the top of the neck have a stem long enough to give you a few wraps - even on the smallest of flys.

To see the complete offering of feathers and colors, please visit my page; Ostrich.

 

 

Ostrich Plumes / $3.50 each

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wings

Many old soft-hackle patterns call for material no longer available. Species such as snipe and plover are protected under US Fish and Wildlife laws. The good news is that these hens offer a wide range of colors and fiber lengh perfect for tying these flies.

So which to buy? Cape or Saddle? Hen capes offer the widest choice in sizes and colors . The feathers are long and narrow yet soft. One of the benefits of a hen cape is that the smaller sizes on the top of the neck have a stem long enough to give you a few wraps -even on the smallest of flys.

     
Mallard Wings $7.50  

Soft and Webby Feathers

The soft webby feathers on these hen capes quickly absorb water, keeping your fly below the surface.

Hen capes offer the widest choice in sizes and colors . The feathers are long and narrow yet soft.

One of the benefits of a hen cape is that the smaller sizes on the top of the neck have a stem long enough to give you a few wraps - even on the smallest of flys.

To see the complete offering of feathers and skins, please visit my page; Mallard.

 

 

Mallard Wing / $7.50 pair

 

 

 

 

 

     
Partridge Wings $12.50  

Soft and Webby Feathers

The soft webby feathers on these hen capes quickly absorb water, keeping your fly below the surface.

Hen capes offer the widest choice in sizes and colors . The feathers are long and narrow yet soft.

One of the benefits of a hen cape is that the smaller sizes on the top of the neck have a stem long enough to give you a few wraps - even on the smallest of flys.

To see the complete offering of feathers and skins, please visit my page; Hungarian Partridge.

 

 

Partridge Wing / $12.50 pair

 

 

 

 

 

     
Jackdaw Wings $7.50  

Jet Black

The best feathers for tying "matuka" style flies are found on the breast of dry fly roosters. The feathers are long and wide with a round tip. The web is dense and extends to the edge of each feather.

Lower on the pelt is the chickabou. The best way to describe these feathers is that they are mini marabou. The fibers are soft and fluffy like marabou.

 

 

Jackdaw Wing / $7.50 each

 


To check out, click the "view cart" button

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Pheasant

One of the most under-used birds for artistic tiers is the ubiquitous Ringneck
pheasant. Many Mary Orvis Marbury patterns such as the Cleveland and the Maid Of The Mill bass flies and other.

Trout tiers know the pheasant tail nymph, wet fly wings, legs on hoppers and steelhead tiers have used rump feathers for throats and for long heron like hackles for a long time.Don’t forget the hen for March Brown wings and wet fly wings.

Just as with Peafowl, many breeders have toyed with the elasticty of the Ringneck gene pool. They have isloated some vary interesting color mutations ranging from white to black menanistic.

 

     
Ringneck Pheasant Rooster $35.00  

Dakota Roosters

These are nice clean, full skins, hand selected for color and size.

The tails are complete and unlike other skins, the wings are attached.

To see the complete offering of feathers and skins, please visit my page; Ringneck Pheasant.

 

 

Full Skin Grade #1 / $35

 

 

Rump Patch / $7.50

 

 

Tail Clump / $10

 

 

     
Ringneck Pheasant Hen $35.00  

Mottled browns and Tans

These are nice clean, full skins, hand selected for color and size.

The tails are complete and unlike other skins, the wings are attached.

To see the complete offering of feathers and skins, please visit my page; Ringneck Pheasant.

 

 

Full Skin / $35

 

 

Tail Clump / $10

 

 

Wing Set / $15

 

 


 

Grouse

Easily the most popular species of grouse in fly tying. For years it has been the staple for soft hackle tiers.

Every color combination imaginable has probably been tried in the grouse and category where the body color changes the fly. With an overall brown and ginger coloration a wide range of applications entice the trout and small mouth bass tier to try new patterns.

The body and wing feathers are of a very soft quality making them ideal for just about any use. Sections from the tails make great wet flies too.

 

Ruffed Grouse - Grey Phase $45.00  

This is a nice grey phase male, the bird is in full feather and has a nice full charcoal black ruff.

The tail band is jet black, while the feathers have a red cast.

 

This is a stock photo.

 

 

Ruffed Grouse / $45

 


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Red Grouse Wings $0.00  

The feathers from this rather drab bird have been used for a long time in trout flies for wings, hackles and wing cases on stone fly patterns.

The soft character of the body plumage has made this bird popular with the soft hackle fly tiers. The color approximates some insect leg coloration. There are a few vintage salmon flies that call for Red Grouse for the throat.

 

 

The length, softness, and color pattern of the feathers on these wings make them perect for tying soft hackle flies.

The underwing also has many usable feathers.

 

 

 


To check out, click the "view cart" button

 

 

 

Sharptail Grouse Wings $0.00  

The feathers from this rather drab bird have been used for a long time in trout flies for wings, hackles and wing cases on stone fly patterns.

The soft character of the body plumage has made this bird popular with the soft hackle fly tiers. The color approximates some insect leg coloration. There are a few vintage salmon flies that call for Red Grouse for the throat.

 

 

The length, softness, and color pattern of the feathers on these wings make them perect for tying soft hackle flies.

The underwing also has many usable feathers.

 

 

 


To check out, click the "view cart" button

 

 

 

 


 

Quail

Quail skins offer wonderfully fine and soft feathers that are available in many different colors. 

The most commonly used quail for fly tying are probably Bobwhite Quail, whose feathers are richly mottled brown, tan, dun, and cream. Mountain, Valley, California, Gambel's Quail, which are a beautiful medium gray dun often ringed in with a darker dun margin. 

The stems of quail are fragile (more so than woodcock or grouse) and care must be exercised when wrapping them. 

 

     
Whiting American Hen Capes $25.00  

Soft and webby, and wide too!

This saltwater line has been bred for wide webby soft feathers. The stem of the feather is long so that you can tie most patterns with just one feather. Perfect for tying both warmwater and stealhead patterns.

These saltwater hen capes are dyed a wide range of bright colors. These striking colors are dyed over white, grizzley, and black laced to give the tyer almost every color and feather pattern to tie with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
Gambels Quail $35.00  

Wider Feathers!!!

These saddle feathers are even softer, wider, more webby than the feathers found on the neck. They make great collars on soft hackle flies.

You won't find a better feather for tying classic wet fly patterns. The webbing on the topmost section or each feather extends right out to the tip and the barb lenth is long, perfect for tying wet fly tails.

 

 

 

 

 

     
California Valley Quail $35.00  

Wider Feathers!!!

These saddle feathers are even softer, wider, more webby than the feathers found on the neck. They make great collars on soft hackle flies.

You won't find a better feather for tying classic wet fly patterns. The webbing on the topmost section or each feather extends right out to the tip and the barb lenth is long, perfect for tying wet fly tails.

 

 

 


To check out, click the "view cart" button

 

 

 


 

 

     
Grizzly Winger feathers 4 for $15.00  

Mayfly Winger Feathers

Many people ask "what is the best feather to use for tying wings on my dry flies?"

Years ago, tyers were able to use hen necks. However, with hackle growers breeding for smaller and smaller hackle sizes, today these feathers are too narrow and "dry-fly" like.

Well, here is a feather that works well; nice barring, web right up to the edge, and nice round tips - all making for the perfect siloette on the water.

Looking for more colors? Check out my page on Winger Feathers

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Soft Hackle Feathers


Partridge and Orange

 

 

Snipe

 

 

Starling

 

 

Partridge

 

 

Woodcock

 

 

 

Classic Soft Hackle Patterns

 

 

 

chartruese

 

magenta

 

yellow chartruese

 

 

- Links -

 

Must have feathers for
tying Soft Hackle patterns

 

 


Lemon Wood Duck

 

 

Cul de Canard

 

 


Peacock Herl

 

 

Coq de Leon Tailing Packs

 



Marabou Packs

 

 



Golden Pheasant Tippets

 

 

 


 

 

Soft Hackle Hen

The other growers also offer hen capes.

- Links -

 

 

<dry fly hackle>

Click the picture to see the complete selection of colors offered by Ewing.

 

$25

 

 

 

<dry fly hackle>

Click the picture to see the complete selection of colors offered by Ewing.

 

$15

 

 

 

<dry fly hackle>

Click the picture to see the complete selection of colors offered by Ewing.

 

$20

 

 

 

<dry fly hackle>

Click the picture to see the complete selection of colors offered by Ewing.

 

$15

 

 



 

 

Soft Hackle Hen

Colors



brown

 

olive

 

 

brown

 

 

march brown


 

 

brown

 

 

silver doctor

 

 


 

 

Soft Hackle with Chickabou

4 distinct feather lines

 

Brahma

 

Coq de Leon

 

Laced

 

 


 

 

Buggar Saddles

Colors

 

Grizzly dyed Brown

 

grizzly

 

purple

 

kingfisher blue

 

 

 

Stonefly Pattern

 

 

 

 

 

- Links -

 

Must have feathers for
tying Soft Hackle patterns

 

 


Lemon Wood Duck

 

 

Cul de Canard

 

 


Peacock Herl

 

 

Coq de Leon Tailing Packs

 



Marabou Packs

 

 



Golden Pheasant Tippets

 

 

dark grizzly

 

dun grizzly

 

Ringneck Hen

 

olive

 

Moth Pattern

 

Variant Colors


Hunting Day


Ringneck Rooster

 

 

Ruffed Grouse

 

hot pink

 

 

 

golden brown


brown

 

color

 

color

 



hot pink

 

 



purple

 

 

hot pink

 

 

 

golden brown


brown

 

kingfisher blue

 

color

 

color

 



hot pink

 

 



purple

 


teal

 

 

chartruese

 

 

silver doctor

 

 

 


olive



brown

 

 



olive

 

 

brown

 

 

yellow

 

 

silver doctor

 

 

 

 

olive

 

 

brown

 

 

march brown

 

 

 

 

silver doctor

 

 

chartruese

 

 

lavendar

 

 

magenta