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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Dorsal view of a Holocentropus (Polycentropodidae) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This one seems to tentatively key to Holocentropus, although I can't make out the anal spines in Couplet 7 of the Key to Genera of Polycentropodidae Larvae nor the dark bands in Couplet 4 of the Key to Genera of Polycentropodidae Larvae, making me wonder if I went wrong somewhere in keying it out. I don't see where that could have happened, though. It might also be that it's a very immature larva and doesn't possess all the identifying characteristics in the key yet. If Holocentropus is correct, then Holocentropus flavus and Holocentropus interruptus are the two likely possibilities based on range, but I was not able to find a description of their larvae.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Jan 18, 2014January 18th, 2014, 8:01 am EST
What about Collins Hackle?
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jan 18, 2014January 18th, 2014, 11:49 am EST
Yes, what about it??? I don't know very much about it but they have been providing hackle for years. I personally use Hoffmann which I think is no longer in business and Whiting is also very good.

Since I tie primarily dry flies in a #16 - #22 size ranges I would buy a full #1 or #2 Hoffman saddle and each saddle has provided me with enough hackle for the past 15 years and there is still probably enough for the rest of my tying years. The initial cash outlay is relatively high but you will be very satisfied in the long run buying a saddle rather than a neck unless you need to tie lots of #8 - #14 dry flies.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Roguerat
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Jan 19, 2014January 19th, 2014, 6:45 am EST
I'm not familiar with Collins Hackle, is this brand direct-order or also available in Fly Shops?
I tie primarily with Whiting Hackle products, although I've also found Keough to be pretty fair stuff. Fortunately I'd stocked up on normal-sized necks before the fashion craze hit. A couple weeks back I saw necks that were maybe 2/3 the size of my 'old' ones but still priced at $ 65.00 ea. Ouch!

Roguerat

I Peter 5:7 'Cast your cares upon Him...'
TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Jan 20, 2014January 20th, 2014, 7:21 am EST
Has anyone used Collins Hackle? Just curious about the product.
Roguerat
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Jan 20, 2014January 20th, 2014, 11:11 am EST
I just Googled Collins Hackle; the website lists 7 dealers- in the East and Midwest. A quick perusal of other sites shows that tyers are positive about the products, one noting that cost is 1/3 that of high-end hackle. Apparently Collins also sells at major Fly Fishing Expos, notably Marlboro.
I'm going to do some more digging on this, if the feathers are as good as reputed they will be worth pursuing.

Winter cool stuff (pun intended!) I built some basic tying benches and purchased beginner vises and tool sets for my grandsons, ages 8 and 10. Great Christmas presents, now pretty much every Saturday we go to their Jr League Hockey games then head home for a lesson on Buggers and simple patterns. This coming summer is going to be really fun!

Roguerat

I Peter 5:7 'Cast your cares upon Him...'
Roguerat
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Jan 20, 2014January 20th, 2014, 11:23 am EST
Collins Hackle, addendum;
The Feather Emporiums sells Collins products, their website has pictures and pricing. They seem to be a great bargain, since the cape and saddle are sold as a package- with free shipping. I've not personally purchased from Feather Emporium but the title comes up in a lot of sites and posts I've seen.
Again, I think this is worth looking into.

Roguerat
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jan 20, 2014January 20th, 2014, 1:45 pm EST
I've had good and bad experiences with Feather Emporium. The owner last sent me a neck and told me to look it over and if I didn't like it I could return it. It was darker than what I wanted, and I decided to return it. He took a very long time with the refund, then charged me a hefty restocking fee that had never been mentioned previously. I've decided not to do business there again. If you do, I'd advise not to order anything to look over, because if you send it back you're out the return shipping and a restocking fee. And you may have to ask for your refund more than once. As others here have noted, it's best to check the feathers personally at the source before buying. Some guys I know love Collins hackle, which they get at shops they frequent. If you do order feathers, it's hard to beat Whiting for generally consistent quality.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jan 20, 2014January 20th, 2014, 5:25 pm EST
"Apparently Collins also sells at major Fly Fishing Expos" Collins used to have a big booth at the somerset Show. If I remember on the aisle side opposite the fly tiers but stuff changes. Just look at the program.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Roguerat
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Jan 21, 2014January 21st, 2014, 8:34 am EST
'Good and bad experiences'
This is a good case of caveat emptor, guess I'll stick with buying stuff from places I've had consistently good results with over the years- or see it before plunking down the $$.

More belated Christmas stuff, my wife surprised me with a Simms wading staff.
Too many ankle surgeries have taken their toll, AND she doesn't want to wade in to rescue me (I guess).

Roguerat

I Peter 5:7 'Cast your cares upon Him...'
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jan 21, 2014January 21st, 2014, 2:05 pm EST
"More belated Christmas stuff, my wife surprised me with a Simms wading staff."

I started using one when I turned 65. There was a flood on the West Branch of the Delaware in June of 2006 and many of the pools and runs I used to fish changed alot with the addition of far more rubble and big rocks than before the flood. The staff is invaluable when you are up to your waist and are having trouble turning around in current to get back to shallower water.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jan 26, 2014January 26th, 2014, 4:30 pm EST
"Apparently Collins also sells at major Fly Fishing Expos" Collins used to have a big booth at the somerset Show. If I remember on the aisle side opposite the fly tiers but stuff changes. Just look at the program.


Matt & Tim,

Just got home today from Somerset, saw the Collins Hackle booth, and decided to buy a couple neck/saddle sets...His Grade #1. A Golden Grizzly & a Barred Ginger which is a bit paler. So, I'll get back with you once I've had a chance to tie with them.

Your memory is correct Matt...Right across from the row of tyers...and Eric's pal Thomas Baltz who ties some wonderful, wonderful flies...Thanks for the heads up Eric...Had a nice talk with him and had the chance to see his work.

I also shared a refreshment with our friend Casey from good old Troutnut...I'll post some pics later.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Catskilljon
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Catskilljon on Feb 22, 2014February 22nd, 2014, 10:31 am EST
Having been a user of Charlie Collins's hackle for over 10 years, I can give a little of what I have found. Charlie is an "old school" breeder, specializing in the old style colors and attributes of hackle. He will be the first to tell you that his program is small, tiny actually compared to the big hackle guys like Whiting and Metz. The beauty of Collins hackle is just that...they are beautiful. He raises birds with the goal of getting the coloration of the old time hackle, but with a more modern quality feather. His duns are spectacular, with subtle flecking and sparkle, and his barred capes are fantastic.

The prices, while not cheap are still lower than the big hackle dealers. Also he includes the saddle with his higher grade capes. His "commercial" capes are very inexpensively priced and at the shows he always has a $10.00 bin with remarkably good for the dollar capes.

In my opinion, his saddles are a little soft and the size range of feathers is less than other big brands, but he basically throws them in for nothing when you buy the cape.


I am a little bias, because I not only love his product but I am a friend of his also, but dollar for dollar, and if you want to replicate the classic dry patterns perfectly his stuff is the best. CJ
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Feb 22, 2014February 22nd, 2014, 12:13 pm EST
Sorry I have missed this thread until now. I absolutely love his product. As CJ stated the colors are amazing. I have had no issues with stem breakage or twist and for the price they are every bit worth it.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn

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