wood pigeon

philm

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When I was 13 (early 1980’s) I acquired an air rifle and began collecting my own fly tying materials to supplement the feathers and furs which I had procured from beating on the local shoot. The most plentiful quarry was the humble wood pigeon and naturally I tied a few flies up using their plumage, however I could find no established patterns that used any part of a ‘woody’. Around that time I attended a Chatsworth Angling Fair (anyone remember them?) where I watched a fly tying demonstration. Although I can’t remember the tier I can remember him stating categorically that wood pigeon feathers were frustratingly useless for tying flies because of their frailty. Maybe it was because I was young and impressionable but somehow it must of got embedded into my psyche because despite shooting thousands of ‘woodies’ over the last 30 odd years they have never featured in my flies since those early days.

This morning I received a copy of ‘At The End of The Line’ by George Barron, a quick flick through confirms that this is a book which I am going to enjoy over the next few evenings and no doubt beyond. However, the wood pigeon features heavily in his tying! Does anyone else use woody feathers? Have I been wrong all these years?:eek:mg::)

Phil:)
 
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guest54

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I have used them for midge wings but only because they were there, can't think of any use for them that is better than other materials..
 

snake plissken

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Over on Donald Nicolson's Wet fly and Spider site, he has several pages from Skues The Fly Dresser's Birds list. If you haven't read it, it lists all the birds that were used for tying way back in alphabetical order and how useful they were. I copied what it said about the Wood Pigeon.

Pigeon, Wood. - This bird affords a number of beautiful blue feathers of colours that look admirable, whether one resorts to neck or wing, or back. But there is a harshness, a stiffness and opacity, and a tendency to split about the feathers which are characteristics common to all the feathers of the pigeon tribe, rendering them very disappointing to the dresser. Still, they are given in some of the books, and, without recommending them, the writer feels bound to give them. For all purposes for which the lighter coloured feathers of the woodpigeon can be used, the feathers of the common gulls and sea swallows are greatly to be preferred.
 

johnclayton

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Fishermen who tied North Country wet flies used feathers and furs that were available from birds or animals that lived in the area where they lived.
Al lot of game bird feathers were used as were other like sea swallows [terns] Throstle [thrush] tom tit [wren] and there were even some flies that used cormorant.
From memory I couldn't remember seeing wood pigeon feathers being used in any fly dressing and following a cursory look in a few books actually found two flies that used the feathers for wings but not for hackles.
The two flies the Pigeon-Blue Bloa and the Little white Spinner appeared in John Jackson book 'The practical fly fisher' published in 1854 and both used pigeon the first one neck feathers and the latter from the inside of a pigeon wing.
As the pigeon would have been readily available it appears that it was rarely used although am sure it would have been tried on different flies.

JohnClayton
 

philm

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Thanks for the replies.

can't think of any use for them that is better than other materials..

Maybe not better but George seems to use them in place of a ‘blae’ wing where I would usually use duck. Pigeon are a lot more plentiful than duck.

Over on Donald Nicolson's Wet fly and Spider site, he has several pages from Skues The Fly Dresser's Birds list. If you haven't read it, it lists all the birds that were used for tying way back in alphabetical order and how useful they were. I copied what it said about the Wood Pigeon.

Very interesting, thanks for the effort.

As the pigeon would have been readily available it appears that it was rarely used although am sure it would have been tried on different flies.

Exactly John, but George seems to make it work for him. Again interesting and I appreciate the effort.

There’s only one thing for it, I’ll get the decoys out and try it for myself.

Phil:)
 
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guest54

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Maybe not better but George seems to use them in place of a ‘blae’ wing where I would usually use duck. Pigeon are a lot more plentiful than duck.
I find that duck "beds down" better, if you know what I mean, makes the wing sit better.
 

Rob Edmunds

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Personally I think that yes you can tie with feathers from a "woodie" and yes you will catch with patterns made from them NOW and then

But there are much better feathers easily available. ....it's daft really to bother with them........why do you think they are not mainstream, its because they are cr@p

Some people think that by using a different material your special or unique, sorry that's utter Sh!t.....


The best thing you can do with a woodie is pan fry the breasts lightly and serve with a redcurrant and garlic gravy. ...had it twice already this week. .....it's second only to venison in my opinion
 
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philm

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But there are much better feathers easily available. ....it's daft really to bother with them........why do you think they are not mainstream, its because they are cr@p

Thanks Rob. Pretty much my thoughts before seeing George's book, which made me have a re-think.

Surely you must have a book in you Rob? Maybe two; one on fishing, one on cooking:rolleyes:;):D

Phil
 

osg

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Jan 7, 2010
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No one has mentioned the obvious, use the wing quill as a sub for heron herl, it is a bit short on the one hand but then again it is from a bird that is not on the protected species list.
 

sthen

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No one has mentioned the obvious, use the wing quill as a sub for heron herl, it is a bit short on the one hand but then again it is from a bird that is not on the protected species list.

Geoffrey Bucknall states in one or a few of his books that he prefers to tie the Kite's Imperial with wood pigeon, and that it gives him several different shades of grey. He uses it in spite of having access to heron herl. To him, heron would be a sub for wood pigeon.

s
 
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guest54

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I was 18 then.


Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk

So was I. :eek: serendipity ? It's a small world sometimes.
It came with a Rimfly reel and a Kingfisher level line(dark blue).
 

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