Cape Crusaders at Lakeland Fly Tying
Many of you will be familiar with genetic dry fly capes but it's not widely appreciated that the same breeding and selection process has also been used to produce high quality consistant wet fly hackles.
American Rooster Capes
Since the early 1990's Dr Tom Whiting PhD from Whiting Farms Inc. set about forming a foundation stock to start a breeding programme in response to numerous requests from fly tiers around the world. He drew on his experience when it came to choosing stock, he chose a breed that he had raised before as a boy outside Denver, Colorado. In 1993 1000 chicks of this breed were purchased and so the breeding programme began. It then took 5 generations of careful intense genetic selection and applying lessons learned from the dry fly genetic programme to arrive at what is known today as genetic wet fly hackle. Do not confuse these capes with small hen capes that are lightly feathered. These are capes which are large and fully feathered, each feather is nice and broad, round tipped and densely webbed and also long enough to use when it comes to palmering a body or winding a dense head hackle. The capes are all carefully washed, cleaned and dyed with no excess fat or grease on the back and are presented in a grip lock bag with the cape fixed to a rigid card with an absorbent pad underneath, the reverse of the card has information about Whiting Farms history and grading policy. The Grizzly dyed colours are particularly useful for saltwater patterns or palmering large egg sucking leeches. There are over 30 different colours available including Black & White.
Hebert Miner Pro Grade capes
The Herbert Miner dry fly hackles that are exclusively from Whiting Farms are a dry fly hackle of extraordinary quality for the most discriminating fly tier whether for exhibition use or premium quality flies to fish with. The exceptional quality of the Herbert Miner capes from Whiting Farms can be traced back to the mid 1950's when the legendary US fly tier Harry Darbee provided Andy Miner with some of his Darbee hackle stock eggs. Later in 1974 Ted Hebert of Laingsburg, Michigan, USA obtained the best of the Miner stock and for the next 20 plus years he worked hard to advance the stock, both improving quality and the colour range. In 1997 the work was continued by Dr Tom Whiting PhD the President of Whiting Farms Inc. The current hackles qualities of fine supple quills, lack of web, high barb count, uniform barb length, and high barb strength are all a result of this meticulous selection and husbandry. All of the capes are full and have generous quantities of hackle making them very economical and excellent value for money. The capes are graded from Bronze through to Platinum, the grading system reflects the quantity of a particular hackle size on the cape rather than the overall quality of feathers available to the tier. Half a dozen or more flies could easily be hackled from a single feather taken from these Pro Grade capes. The capes are all carefully washed and cleaned with no excess fat or grease on the back and are presented in a grip lock bag with the cape fixed to a rigid card with an absorbent pad underneath, the reverse of the card has information about Whiting Farms history and grading policy. There are over 12 natural colours available.