In this small article we shall talk about feathers, which are used to create various wet fly patterns. I am sure, that for most of you this information will be familiar, but I hope newbies can find some basic information. On my blog there is a first part of this article, but it is in Georgian, may be later I'll translate it in English. This is the first article written by Georgian fly fisher in English, so I hope you'll excuse me for my English, which is far from perfection.
Of course there are much more feathers which are used to create a wet fly, but here I'll talk only about those, which I use. Let's start.
Duck quills are used to create wings in numerous wet flies. Mostly you can buy them in "hand matched pair" variants, which should mean, that those feathers are taken from the left and right wings of duck. But in fact you can face some problems. Here is a photo of Wapsi pairs (in a package you'll get 2 pairs)
As you can see, it's hard to say, that they are "matched", of course there are 3 feathers from the left and 3 from the right, but for best results you'll need for example second primary from the left and second primary from the right, because they'll be really symmetrical and it's easier to tie them in for ideal result. Let's say some words about online ordering. It's great pity, that there are no fly fishing shops in Georgia, so I have no chance to see the real quality of the item I order, if there is a fly shop in your city, it's better to go there and check it out. Another option is Ebay, sometimes sellers provide you by macro photos of what you really will get, don't miss such opportunities. As for me the best way is to have hunters among friends, pair wings provided by them will be of the best quality.
Peacock Swords are used for winging and tailing purposes in a such brilliant fly as Alexandra. You"ll also get them in "matched pair" variant, because you"ll need to tie them in as duck quill paired segments. In this photo you can see the best "pair" from 4, but it's also far from perfection
Goose shoulder feathers - nice stuff for tailing some wet flies. Two segments are set in a way you tie in a classic wet fly wing. It's easier to use segments from upper third part of a feather, where barbs are a little bit stiffer.
Golden pheasant tippets are mainly used for tailing purposes, but if you buy the whole neck, you can also use the smallest feathers from the upper part for "golden spider" variants. Simply wrap them in a way partridge feather is wrapped in a Partridge&Orange fly.
Starling feathers are used in such a great patterns as Stewart's Black Spider and Starling&Herl, which are my favorites of 2013 season.
As you see this skin also is not a perfect one. Next time I'll get it from Ebay and not from Hareline.
Teal (on the left) and mallard flank (on the right) are used for legs,tails and wings, these are feathers from bulk packages, tips are broken, as for me, it's better to get the whole skin from hunters. Teal has more distinct barring and I think it looks better on the fly.
I hope this small article will be helpful for beginners. Tight Lines!!!!