Blue Eared Pheasant Feathers

Blue Eared Pheasant Feathers no sales tax - $50 orders ship free in USA.

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Blue Eared Pheasant Feathers are commonly used as heron substitute.

Blue Eared Pheasants are native to the Kokonor and Kansu provinces of China.  Males and females are almost identical and have full adult plumage by 4-5 months old.  The feathers sold here are plucked from anesthetized live birds. This produces feathers of exceptional size and quality.  Natural feathers when assembled in a fly are nearly indistinguishable from natural heron.  Dyed feathers are first bleached and then dyed which give them very bold colors.  Blue Eared Pheasant feathers of this quality are always in demand and the demand often exceeds the

supply.  Packages contain one dozen feathers.  Size of feathers varies in each package.  Size medium will tie flies from size #4 to #1.  Size large will tie flies from size #1 to #3/0.  Sizing of Spey hackles is often dependent on the whims of the individual tier. 
How to tie Spey Flies with Blue Eared Pheasant.

Item Description Color Size Price To Top
210-002 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers, natural   Small 6.50
210-003 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers, natural   Medium $12.70
210-043 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed purple   Medium $12.70
210-045 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed dark lilac   Medium $12.70
210-046 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed dark lilac   Large $14.90
210-057 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed red   Medium $12.70
210-058 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed red   Large $14.90
210-061 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed hot pink   Medium $12.70
210-062 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed hot pink   Large $14.90
210-047 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed hot orange   Medium $12.70
210-048 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed hot orange   Large $14.90
210-059 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed yellow   Medium $12.70

Using Blue Eared Pheasant Rump For Hackling Spey & Dee Flies
By: Peter Gadd

A Spey Fly example tied by Peter Gadd.

Traditional Spey and Dee fly hackles are some what of a mystery since you can't obtain any spey cock feathers.  They went extinct around the turn of the century.  Herons and eagles are protected by Federal law. The long fibered feathers from all three kinds of birds were commonly used in the past for tying salmon flies.  So, this is a brief overview of materials and styles used in our era and a  semi modern approach to hackling.

Spey flies were traditionally tied with what is now known as spey cock.  This particular fowl was from the Speyside Valley in Northern Scotland.  It had all of the attributes one looks for in wet fly hackle feathers;  pliable stems, and long barbules that when wet flowed with the currents.  This domesticated chicken was in fact bred for its feathers as it was said to be rather tasteless on the table.  Spey Cock  feathers allowed the hackle to be tied in at the bend of the hook due to their long

A Dee fly example tied by Peter Gadd.

The Blue Eared Pheasant rump feather is folded and tied in at the 1/3rd point of the body.

nature.  They were often cross wrapped with double tinsels to make a very durable flies.  Schlappen (side of tail) feathers from modern chickens make a respectable substitute.   But, you must really sort through each packet to find a few really good ones.  Schlappen isn't very expensive, but the process is time consuming.  Whiting hackle has marketed feathers similar to spey cock as of late that can be tied in any manner with excellent .

results; only problem is that it doesn't have long enough fiber length for the longest of hooks, at least not yet anyways.  Blue Heron was an other plumage in wide use at the time.  These birds feathers have all of the attributes that one could look for; slender quills and large hackles this feather can do it all. You can tie either from the rear of the shank or were ever you would like.  The problem is, it illegal to have.  Eared pheasants come in three varietals. White, brown and blue eared; the first two being under Federal protection.  Blue eared pheasants on the other hand .

Dub the rest of the body and rib the whole body from the rear to the front.  Then wind the hackle forward and tie it off.  Pull the fibers down.

Pluck or trim the pheasant fibers that do not conform.  Apply two or three turns of teal in front of the pheasant hackle.

are under no restrictions and are farm raised.   Lucky for us because they have superb quality feathers for fly tying. The feathers are plucked from anesthetized live birds.  The rump feathers have very long barbules that can be bleached, then dyed in many different colors. Blue eared rump is sold in different sizes ranging from small to large, and in whole skins.  This offers a wide spectrum in sizes from size sixes to your largest long shanked Dee's.  Luckily the bulk of the feathers are perfect for our steelhead size fly from 6-3/0 size flies.

To work with these feathers one must either find exceptionally long quills to hackle from the rear of the hook, or use two feathers or start approximately 2/3 up the shank with a single average length quill. One can  either strip one side of the hackle  for a sparse fly.  They usually very well this way.  Or you can fold the hackle as per the photo. Eric Tavener wrote, "I have discarded the old method of stripping heron from one side because some excellent fibers were thereby lost and the weak lower fibers as well as the

Tie in a Mallard flank wing, dressed low.

Finish the fly with a small head.

quill were retained. Its far better  to keep the strong dark fibers near the top, double the feather and wind it with the quill next to the body, so that every fiber stands out from the body."  To work with these feathers one must either find exceptionally long quills to hackle from the rear of the hook, or use two feathers or start approximately 2/3 up the shank with a single average length quill. One can  either strip one side of the hackle  for a sparse fly.  They usually very well this way.  Or you can fold the hackle as per the photo.

In his classic book, Salmon Fishing, published in 1931, Eric Tavener wrote, "I have discarded the old method of stripping heron from one side because some excellent fibers were thereby lost and the weak lower fibers as well as the quill were retained. Its far better  to keep the strong dark fibers near the top, double the feather and wind it with the quill next to the body, so that every fiber stands out from the body."  In this case heron was used but it still holds true for the eared pheasant feathers. Remember that you may apply the feather either way depending on the look you want to achieve. The fly shown here was tied without a secondary rib that is tied in at the other side of the shank and crossed over the hackle.  This is just another option that could be used. What ever way the hackling is done eared pheasant lends itself perfectly to steelhead speys and traditional salmon tying.   (All the pictures above are mouse-over).


Black Spey
Hook: Alec Jackson Spey Hook, Gold, (Size 1.5 pictured here).
Thread: 8/0 Black Uni Thread
Tag: Flat Silver, size 14
Rib: Flat Silver, size 14
Body: Black SLF
Pheasant Rump Hackle: Black, with fibers 1 1/2 to 2 times as long as the hook
Front Hackle: Teal, with fibers 1/2 the length of the hook
Wing: Strips of bronze mallard flank to reach the rear of the hook
HEAD: small black


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