One of our pro reps, Lee Blanton, recently tied a fly that has proven to be quite popular while he’s been attending fly shows. He’s named it the Clearwater Special. And we quite like the name! :-). The recipe is on the picture (click to expand).
He used some of our special JV Hen hackle that we developed and named Hungarian Partridge. It is an awesome substitute of the wild bird, and in many ways superior. The color is not an exact match but is close. The stems are so much easier to tie with compared to the wild Hung Part, and the feather fibers undulate in the water in such a way that they mimic an insect quite closely.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, however you look at it) we sold out of all of our Hungarian Partridge skins in less than a week after posting. Won’t have any ready until summer 2014.
Check out this new video that explains the various feathers you can expect to find on a JV hen skin. It also discusses some great uses for the feathers such as: tailing and legs (especially for use with patterns such as the Copper John), beards on wet fly patterns, and soft hackles.
These are just a few possibilities for utilizing hen hackles. The JV hen is a very versatile product for both wet and dry fly tying.
When building our facilities we made them “predator” proof. At least for the common predators we see in the area: bear, wolf, coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, and the occasional adventurous child ;-). What we did not consider were stray cats.
This past week a wild cat found its way through a ventilation hole and then gorged itself on several young birds. One of which was a rare Chili Pepper cockerel showing lots of promise, a heavy loss. We were able to scare the cat off but not catch it.
[Note: Chili Pepper is a new version of Cree we have been developing. Exclusive at Clearwater Hackle. Email us to inquire about current inventory.]
It’s not just the loss of a bird that hurts. It’s the loss of the genetics the cockerel possessed. He was the culmination of meticulous breeding and careful planning. Our breeding objectives for these genetic hackle chickens span years. We have the next 5+ years planned out and the results we want to see. Losing a prized bird like this could stunt the program.
Fortunately we identified a brother that is displaying the right traits too. It’s been our practice to keep a back up, a Plan B if you will, of the birds. Thank goodness for that.
Last night we set live traps, and I just saw that we caught the cat. We will be taking it to a new home here shortly.
Chocolate JV Hen skins sell out quickly. We’ll have a few coming available this summer. Check www.clearwaterhackle.com for more information, and be sure to sign up for the Best the First to Know mailing so that you can be notified of new products and specials.
Popular authors and recent recipients of the Fly Tyer Lifetime Achievement Award, Al and Gretchen Beatty, enjoy using Clearwater Hackle’s products. Here’s what they said:
“All of the Clearwater hackle is a great value; the natural colors are awesome. We especially like the untrimmed pelts offered by Clearwater. Those feathers that many other hackle companies trim from the pelt are there waiting to tie extra flies at no extra cost to you. We like all of Clearwater’s feathers but the Juvenile Hen fills a need no other company on the market can. Use Clearwater Hackle, you won’t be disappointed! Tight Lines.”
Gretchen & Al Beatty