Help a newbie sort freshly plucked feathers

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psguardian

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I recently picked up a male Temmincks Tragopan (poor thing got into a fight with a Rat it seems). I was going to skin it out. However being my first time attempting to skin an animal, + the fact that it was a slightly damaged hide to start with, I only succeeded in producing hand sized skins that I then plucked.

The feathers got a light Dawn bath & rinse, laid in news paper & weighted. Then put into a pillow case & tossed into the dryer for a final dry. I'm not sure how to deal with them now, In the image below I have taken a handful & sorted them into the three patterns that seem present in the body feathers.

(left->right) large dot chest feathers, med dot w/black & white, small dot w/black & white.
P1200137.jpg
So here come the questions.

What is the best way to sort these buggers out?
Is the downy fluff on the bottom worth keeping for wetfly dubbing?
(keep in mind I have NOTHING yet & trying not to waist any of this)
Does anyone have a pattern that they could share which will star these beautiful feathers for trout/steel/salmon ?

Also the tail & wings are still in the freezer, what to do with them?

~psguardian
 
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psguardian

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30 views & no pluckers? Someone has to know what to do lol. Please.

~psguardian
 
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FishFinger

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I haven't used those specific feathers but they are beautiful. Wish I could see them a bit better. If they are like the pictures in the link I imagine some of the smaller eyed feathers could be subbed for jungle fowl for a non traditional spey or salmon pattern.

As far as the fluffy aspects, probably don't want to use it for dubbing. I imagine you could experiment using it as soft hackle as long as the quill isn't too thick to wrap around the hook shank.

As for the wings and tail. stretch the wings out and tack them to a piece of plywood and allow them to desiccate fully before storage. One completely dried out they should last you for years.
 
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psguardian

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...Wish I could see them a bit better...I imagine you could experiment using it as soft hackle as long as the quill isn't too thick to wrap around the hook shank...
Ask & yee shall recive
P1210141.jpg

As for the tail & wings... wife is having a fit about home taxidermy lol. I'll likely end up plucking, washing, bagging as with these. (it will be a good warm up for her, I doubt it'll be my last hole bird)

~psguardian
 
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joesnuffy

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those are some good looking feathers. I wouldn't know what to tie with them but they have some nice colors.

Personally, I'd cut the feathers in half. Fluff on one side tips on the other.
 
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psguardian

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I saw a big salmon fly that used the eye portion of three feathers to imitate a bait fish (but I don't want to fight them on my 5/6wt rod yet). I don't want to squander them using 4-6 tips to get a decent hackle, so i'll likely sit on them until I know what I'm doing. I just want to sort them out in the best way for storage.

~psguardian
 
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psguardian

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First thing I would try is what FishFinger suggested and use them for soft hackle. I use partridge for mine but that stuff might just work well.
YouTube - Partridge and Orange

That looked REALLY easy to tie lol. It would surely work mechanically, where/how would this be best fished? Maybe with a little lead to put it under faster?

~psguardian
 
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GungasUncle

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I'm seeing streamer bodies, hackle for wet flies and nymphs, and yeah, you could strip the fuzzy stuff and use it for dubbing. I have, and it does actually work, at least for the patterns I tie up (simple nymphs and buggy wets w/ no names).

You can also use small groups of those fibers for tails on nymphs, wets, and maybe even dries if they're stiff enough.

Fly tying is awesome - you can experiment and find new ways to tie old flies, or use new materials to tie new flies, make your own things, go your own way. That's a lot of the fun - what kinda crazy stuff can I make that a fish will still eat?
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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Hot dam those are some fine soft hackle feathers. Soft hackles are one of my favorie flies. Lots of ways to fish with them. Drift them down riffles by themself, tie them on behind a wooly bugger and retrieve or cast then out under a dry. I tie them a little different than the vidieo. After putting on the floss I add a single strand of crystal flash, then tie on the hackle tip first. No need to cut the fluff stuff off just hook your hackle pliers to that end of the freather take the tip and pull some the individual fibers to create a spot to wrap and away you go. I like size 16, 14 and even 12. Do you have a picture of the tail feathers??
 
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psguardian

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Tail & wings are still in the freezer, I have a wild pheasant tail in my salt tub right now, in a week or two I'm going to trade it out for the Trag tail, then cycle the wings through.

~psguardian
 
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