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Thread: PURPLE AND NOT STARLING - Fly of the Week - October 4, 2010

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  1. #1
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    Default PURPLE AND NOT STARLING - Fly of the Week - October 4, 2010

    PURPLE AND NOT STARLING

    Much has been written about hackling over the years, by a variety of authors. I love silk thread and I personally like sparse hackle on all my flies, the fish like them. I hope you enjoy them too.

  2. #2
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    Default About Purple and not Starling

    This is Henrich Schlarb's first contribution to Fly of the Week, and what a great way to start with possibly the first fly patten that was used in early days of fly fishing, a soft hackle wet fly.

    Heinrich Schlarb did a wonderful job in the FOTW article, showing how simple a soft hackle wet fly is to dress. Just about any hook, thread, and hackle will do the trick. It does take some practice, if you have not ever done a soft hackle pattern, but a few trial runs and you will have it down pat.

    Starling is a favorite material for soft hackle flies, specially those of British origin. Dressers of hooks need to remember that what may be legal in Britain, may not be legal in the USA. Although starlings were brought over to New York City, from there they spread out across most of the USA, in many states they are protected song bird, along with the Blue Jays, Crows, and Raven and might be illegal to use in fly tying.

    As for soft hackle, hen hackle is used today for various hackle material that has become hard to procure, or is banned. You do not need silk thread, any thread will do, as is for wire or other ribbing material. If you want to use muskrat that is alright and legal, but you can use other natural and man-made dubbing also. ~Parnelli

  3. #3

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    Heinrich,
    I received one of these in a swap recently and I must say that it is a VERY nice pattern!
    The Green Hornet strikes again!!!

  4. #4
    Normand Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven McGarthwaite View Post
    Starling is a favorite material for soft hackle flies, specially those of British origin. Dressers of hooks need to remember that what may be legal in Britain, may not be legal in the USA. Although starlings were brought over to New York City, from there they spread out across most of the USA, in many states they are protected song bird, along with the Blue Jays, Crows, and Raven and might be illegal to use in fly tying.
    after reading multiple pages on the world wide web about what bird is legal or not, The European Starling is one of only three birds not protected by the United States government. The House Sparrow and the pigeon are the other two.

    i hope we are using the European starling for fly tying purposes.
    Last edited by Normand; 10-04-2010 at 01:53 PM.

  5. #5

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    Normand, it is the European starling we use in fly tying. I have never heard of them being labeled as a "songbird". Our state regulates them as a pest... no season, no limit. Also: pigeon are fine table fare if you are finding them outside of town...
    The Green Hornet strikes again!!!

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    It's nice to have an unregulated source of such fine soft-hackle feathers---life is good! 8T

  7. #7
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    Heinrich, excellent tie and tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

    Kelly.
    Tight Lines,

    Kelly.

    "There will be days when the fishing is better than one's most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse. Either is a gain over just staying home."

    Roderick Haig-Brown, "Fisherman's Spring"

  8. #8
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    Default

    Hi,

    Starling is one of my favorite soft hackle feathers. For a long time it was a highly undervalued feather, but recently it seems to have made a come back. I've noticed a lot more people using it, or at least admitting to using it now! A size 16, purple and starling (but the black tip part of the feather), is a good midge type pattern. I think it's called a "little black" (wax the purple silk with cobblers wax to darken it; and the silk also darkens in the water when wet anyway). The "purple and not starling" as presented looks to be a really good pattern as well, and I'm sure a collections of starlings and not starlings would do anyone proud on the river.

    - Jeff
    Am fear a chailleas a chanain caillidh e a shaoghal. -

    He who loses his language loses his world.

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