Flies with ostrich feathers? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Flies with ostrich feathers?

02-09-2002, 10:23 PM
Are there any flies that call for ostrich feathers?

Has anyone ever purchased ostrich feathers, and if so, which part of the big ole' bird did you need?

Any idea on the price of these feathers as well?


~Mark Doogue

02-09-2002, 11:03 PM
Mark -

Ostrich is used in a variety of flies with a surprisingly long history of use for something that seems somewhat exotic. It's twisted to form the little butt between the rear body and tag on classic salmon flies for instance. It's also used in a variety of trout patterns as a natural chenille in a similat fashion.

I like to use it for tentacles on certain squid patterns. It's very well suited to this because the barbs do not compact together. There are some pacific northwest patterns that use it as long hackle, in a Spey hackle style.

I'd imagine it could be used to make excellent crab legs if rubber legs weren't so easy to use instead.

I'm not familiar with feathers from various parts of the bird but the ones I've seen sold are those that are like the ones on the ostrich feather dusters, but dyed.

02-10-2002, 07:43 AM
Mark, in the butt end of the Taboury Snake Fly, you tie in about a 6-12 ostrich herl, tie in at the start if the hook bend. Tom D

02-10-2002, 09:44 AM
Mark. as Juro said..... I use those feathers for squid ... I have only three colors for SWFF... White, orange and pink.

Mean Gene
02-10-2002, 11:17 AM
I use it for the bodies on small leeches...works great.

02-11-2002, 08:18 AM
Mark, unless you concentrate your efforts in the tackle shops area, you're gonna be hard pressed to find an ostrich duster. Most now are made of turkey feathers. The ostrich plumes sold in the craft stores contain fine barbules; the kind most likely used on fresh patterns and very small salt stuff. No real length to the material at all. Perhaps trying a industrial cleaning supply company will help.

This admission may shock the venerable President of the Gearheads, but I must admit to it: I do not have a resource for any and all things:whoa:

02-11-2002, 10:31 PM
Thanks Dave, I posted the question because I do have access to ostrich feathers and was wondering if they were worth asking a relative about.

On a totally unrelated note, how do you like your Perception Carolina? Pros? Cons?


~Mark Doogue

02-11-2002, 10:52 PM
A great source of ostrich feathers was the late Dowager Duchess of Steeple-Bumpstead,(UK) collection of spring hats which, for a few coppers, could be suruptitiosly "plucked" by small mischievious boys as the unsuspecting lady took her afternoon nap following that extra glass of sherry with lunch :D

Sadly the hats in question have gone the way of the late Dowager D but a bit of ferreting through an antique theatrical design store could yield all manner of treasures :devil:

02-12-2002, 09:32 AM
Frankly, I'd love to have access to ostrich feathers. I recall a thread somewhere about someone being related to a breeder or some such and so forth - anyone else remember the same thread?

Mark - you're welcome to try it. I like it fine as the best compromise of needs/wants versus wishes/dreams, on parallel with an OT 'Nantucket'. I think we discussed this before. Anyway, you're welcome to try it out - I made the same overture to Mikie, so if you guys wanna figure out where or when, whether it's at the lake after ice-out, or in some salt scenario, okay with me. Talk to Mikie first, as our conversation touched on he and the bride coming by the lake. Let's see how/where it plays out.

John Desjardins
02-12-2002, 10:47 AM
Mark, all I've ever seen offered for sale is ostrich plumes in either a pure white or died. Some craft stores have some hiddeous colors. I'd love to use feathers that are a natural mix of browns, grays or have a metallic sheen. Since I haven't seen an ostrich up close in a long time, I can't tell you where the feathers come from on the bird.

02-12-2002, 06:52 PM
I am the person related to the ostrich breeders(in-laws).

They have 100+ birds on the farm in Virginia. Here is the only info they offer about the feathers on their site:

Natural color and dyed, body feathers tend to be more drab in color than do wing feathers. Prices range from $0.50 to $10.

Now, I plan to approach them about some type of arrangement where I'll sell their feathers for them. I don't think they have tapped the correct market yet. The feathers have to be going to waste. I'll let you all know if anything comes of it.

For now, if anyone wants to check out their site you can email me at smdoogue@mediaone.net and I'll forward you the site. I don't want to post the address because they are not exactly sponsors of the Forum. They ship ostrich patties, jerky, steaks, sausage, eggs and leather goods like wallets.

~Mark Doogue

02-12-2002, 07:11 PM
Aw hell!!!

Thanks to the people at AT&T my new email address is smdoogue@attbi.com. Therefore, disregard my old email address from the previous post.