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Old 07-15-2009, 07:45 AM
Stonewall Stonewall is offline
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Default Feather Substitutes

I recently bought a small package of jungle cock to tie some salmon flies. Needless to say, I was a bit shocked at the price. I saw in a catalog some mylar jungle cock imitations for sale at a fraction of the cost of the real thing. Has anyone used this product? Are there any other imtiation type products available?

Also, I saw a shrimp pattern which called for the breast feather of a golden pheasant. I am unable to find small packages of this type of feather. The only thing I found to buy the whole skin which is way more than I need. Is anyone aware of a source for small amounts of golden pheasant breast feather? The alternative is to substitute. Can anyone recommend a suitable replacement. From the photos on the tying recipe, the feather appears to looks somewhat like marabou. Any idea if this would work?

Any help is appreciated!...Thx..Paul
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:06 AM
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You could try using some cheap streamer hackle. It doesn't look at good as the exotic feathers, but... $$

for example, I've used small bits of the very tips of yellow saddle hackle as eyes before. The plastic (mylar) jungle cock eyes aren't so great. I treid them once a few years ago and found they looked lousy (at leat to me) and tended not to last too long. You can find whatever colors you want and at $4 a package, they're an economical option that the fish don't seem to mind.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:12 AM
skilly skilly is offline
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Default substitutes

Stonewall,
Are you tying the classic salmon flies or the hair wings. On the classics I don't think you can substitute jungle cock, That is a no no!
With hair wings , I don't reallly think you need jungle cock. A good book to reference is Dick Talluer's" Pretty and Practical Salmon Flies" ,1999.

A substitute that I have used for jungle cock in the past,has been starling feathers.
As far as jungle cock , yes it is expensive but you can pick up different grades/qualitiy, ie grades A,B, C, and D. "A" being the most costly, used for the classics.
My suggestion would be to shop around and see what's out there for necks. Sometimes you can find a deal. I am always on the prowl for jungle cock and when at shows, looking at catalogs or in fly shops,and always bargain hunting. If you like tying I think you should invest in a neck.

Can you describe the receipe for the shrimp pattern, a name or photo would help in identifying the feather you refer to.

Skilly
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:42 PM
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The price can be reasonable if you go "all in" and buy an entire skin of JC, rather than those little 12 packs they sell.
I have used starling, in some photos I'd seen online it looked really good, in person it was pretty disappointing.
The plastic substitutes are ok, it helps to darken the edges of the plastic with a black sharpie, certainly good for fishing flies, probably pretty bad on full dress show flies.
I have seen other substitutes made with lacquer and black hackle tips but they weren't cheap, probably looked pretty good.
Another thing I have done in the past on streamers is take sections of black quill feather (like you would use on a wet fly wing), coat them in clear lacquer, then add a white and a yellow dot, similar to adding eyes to streamers. It doesn't look like JC, but unlike some of the other substitutes it looks GOOD.
If the shrimp pattern you are referring to is the general practitioner, I don't think there is a substitute for the GP body feathers. Usually an entire skin isn't much more than the cost of crest and tippets.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:17 PM
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Matt, your voice of reason nudges me annoyingly toward the vice. Not my vice, mind you, just a loaner....but a NICE loaner at that. I don't WANT to tie. But I know I should.
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:03 AM
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I've picked up some reasonably priced JC skins on eBay. We aren't talking top grade skins here but plenty good for fishing flies and enough really good nails to tie up some nice looking flies.
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:38 AM
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Steve's Sportsman Den in Hooksett had a bunch of JC feathers lying around. His shop is now closed, but he still has some stuff that he is getting rid of (and he sells live bait still). Might want to contact him to see what he has left (if anything).

http://www.kandsoutdoors.com/index.shtml
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:24 AM
TGIF TGIF is offline
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The $1,000,000 question is what are you tying these for?

If it is for fishing, then my personal opinion is that the addition of JC eyes is completely overrated and unnecessarry, if you are tying for show then you need to pony up and buy a skin on ebay for 85 bucks. Aside from the ones mentioned another substitute is to dye guinea feathers yellow and cut out the "eyes" and put them on the shoulders. Without superglue on the mylar ones, they are garbage, because they twist and fold.

With regard to the Golden Pheasant, there are TONS of great feathers on the whole skin (crest, tippits, shoulders, irredesent green) plus the ones you need. If you don't want to spend the 25 bucks, go to a shop and feel/see what they are and determine if partride, marabou, hackle, or grizzly hackle will work. For the life of me, I can't think of what the breast feathers look like.
I am thinking that a chickabou patch might work.

Pardon the spelling, the blackberry doesn't have spell check.

TGIF
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:35 AM
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Default Substitutes

Bought alot of hooks,feathers,JC feathers, bronze mallard,etc. before Steve closed. And reasonably priced!!!
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:25 AM
Stonewall Stonewall is offline
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Thanks to one and all for the advice. To answer some of the questions, the reason for me tying the salmon flies is I find myself in a tying "grudge match" of sorts that has gone way overboard. I have a brother-in-law in MI and we have been tying for the same amount of time. When we tie something rather interesting and complicated, we will send the flies back and forth. Kind of a "Oh yeah, beat this". Yes, we know it's childish.

I just got some really nice Royal Wolf flies in from Ron and I have to come up with something as a topper. Hence the salmon files. The patterns I will be attempting as my answer to the Royals are hairwing salmon flies (to answer that question). I bought the JC because if I leave them off (or use some poor imitation) I will never hear the end of it. Never want to give Ron any ammunition, if know what I mean.

Skilly asked about more info on the shrimp pattern that uses the golden phesant breast feather. I found the pattern in Peter Gathercole's "Fly Tying Bible". It's called Curry's Red Shrimp. I figured if I get this one down, it will shut Ron up for a while. As I said, we know we are being childish.

I can't tell from the pictures what this feather looks like. It is wrapped a few times in a palmered fashion at the hook end. I've done something similar with maribou which is why I was thinking it was a possible substitute. The only problem is maribou is much fuller than what this feather looks like in the pictures. I have been considering buying some dyed guinea hen and trying it as it looks to be similar to the pheasant.

Again, thanks to one and all. Sorry for the long ramble on this one....Paul
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