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 Post subject: Partridge skin
PostPosted: January 12th, 2020, 10:38 am 
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What makes a good partridge skin good? Need some help there.

Ken


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 Post subject: Re: Partridge skin
PostPosted: January 12th, 2020, 10:43 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: Ellsworth
Thin, flexible stems on the feathers, small feathers, good combination of gray mottled and brown mottled feathers. If your skin has feathers that are, for the most part, too large, Mike Holt has a great video about how to tie them in on the shank facing forward, wrap your thread up to the hook eye, and fold them back to make a Soft Hackle collar that fits perfectly.

Dave M

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 Post subject: Re: Partridge skin
PostPosted: January 12th, 2020, 10:45 am 
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Location: Near the tying bench
Feather size and quality. How big are the feathers? And are there a lot of broken barbs or are the feathers whole. Also, how was the skin prepared? Does it feel oily or dry to the touch?

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 Post subject: Re: Partridge skin
PostPosted: January 12th, 2020, 12:59 pm 
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Location: Manchester, ME
Free. Free is always good. But I don't skin my partridge--I just pluck the feathers I like and roughly sort them.

Ruffed grouse or Hungarian?

Woodcock and sora rail also give excellent soft hackles in smaller sizes. I'm not sure either is available commercially.


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 Post subject: Re: Partridge skin
PostPosted: January 12th, 2020, 1:39 pm 
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Jeff, free is always good! Thanks for the info to the others.


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 Post subject: Re: Partridge skin
PostPosted: January 12th, 2020, 2:06 pm 
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Crisp but not burnt with a pinch of salt. Preferably done over an open fire/coals.

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 Post subject: Re: Partridge skin
PostPosted: January 13th, 2020, 9:50 pm 
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Joined: May 21st, 2004, 12:00 am
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Location: Westbrook, ME
Ken - you need/want a grouse/partridge skin? I've got several full skins that are dry (using borax). I've asked, but not had any takers.

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 Post subject: Re: Partridge skin
PostPosted: January 15th, 2020, 10:42 am 
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I have more partridge feathers than I’ll ever use. Not skins. It just happens that the hunters I know are very generous...I have three large ziplock bags of plucked game bird feathers. Two bags of grouse and one pheasant from a family member who bagged a bunch of stocked pheasant on a private property in VT.
If anyone cares to put up a list of their favorite soft hackle patterns I would be most interested and thankful.
The pheasant feather colors are awesome.

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 Post subject: Re: Partridge skin
PostPosted: January 15th, 2020, 2:45 pm 
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maineangler wrote:
If anyone cares to put up a list of their favorite soft hackle patterns I would be most interested and thankful.
The pheasant feather colors are awesome.


Truth be told, I haven’t had nearly as much success with Soft Hackles as some others on this Board, but two that I have had success with are a Pheasant Tail SH ( Bead Head......or, interestingly, Bead thorax) and a BH Soft Hackle Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear......or A New Zealand pattern called a Hare & Copper, Which is essentially a GRHE with Copper wide instead of gold. Either way, these work. One I have tied up a lot, and have had essentially zero success with is a Partridge & Orange......even though guys I fish with in the Fall swear by that pattern, fwiw.

Dave M

PS: I just thought of another one, but I don’t fish it as a true Soft Hackle. I Frogs Fanny the living snot of a PMD Emerger Biot SH, fished as a dry emerger right in the surface film. Deadly

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 Post subject: Re: Partridge skin
PostPosted: January 15th, 2020, 2:53 pm 
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Dave M wrote:
One I have tied up a lot, and have had essentially zero success with is a Partridge & Orange......even though guys I fish with in the Fall swear by that pattern, fwiw.


The partridge and orange is one of my favorite fall flies. I suspect your not fishing them properly if your not having luck with them. Use a Leisenring-esque lift and then slowly strip the P&O back to you an inch at a time. If they don't take it on the lift, they'll usually take it on the first couple of strips. Fishing these requires slower water (pool tailouts, etc...). I don't fish them as a dead drifted nymph with much success, though I do dead drift them prior to the lift at the end of the swing. As always, I'm sure others have techniques that work for them that are different than mine.

Edited to add- the largest brook trout I've taken in Maine came to a slowly (and I mean s l o w l y) stripped P&O on a small pond, sight fishing. Putting just enough movement to the fly to make the legs move but not much else brought the big girl to the dance.

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 Post subject: Re: Partridge skin
PostPosted: January 15th, 2020, 3:12 pm 
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If you have a grab bag of feathers then you've a bunch of feathers that are larger than standard trout fly sizes.
Here's a link to a pretty good fly and the video shows you a way to use some of the oversized stuff.
https://www.rotaryflytying.com/programs/pheasant-tail-flymph


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 Post subject: Re: Partridge skin
PostPosted: January 16th, 2020, 6:07 am 
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Wanna-be Maineiac

Joined: December 11th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 2473
Location: Tokyo, Amsterdam, Paris...
Great info everyone and thanks Mark for the skin.

Hunter- P+O is one of my favorites too. Tying up Shakey Bealys now for what has become my annual trip west.

Ken


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 Post subject: Re: Partridge skin
PostPosted: January 16th, 2020, 8:23 am 
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Location: Near the tying bench
Mike Holt wrote:
If you have a grab bag of feathers then you've a bunch of feathers that are larger than standard trout fly sizes.
Here's a link to a pretty good fly and the video shows you a way to use some of the oversized stuff.
https://www.rotaryflytying.com/programs/pheasant-tail-flymph


Great technique Mike. And thanks for the book reference. I don’t have that one in my fly tying library, yet.

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"You never miss the water until the well runs dry" - traditional blues


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 Post subject: Re: Partridge skin
PostPosted: January 16th, 2020, 10:27 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: Fairfield, ME
You'll enjoy the book Hunter. I have books by Sylvester Nemes, Pete Hidy and Dave Hughes along with this one by McGee. If I lost my library and had to start over I'd buy McGee's book first.


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