Gobble Gobble – Turkey’s Multiple Uses In Fly Tying

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By Kent klewein

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and there’s going to be leftovers!

Do you ever find yourself wanting to pull of the road to snip off some feathers when you see one of these guys? I know it would never work, but it still doesn’t stop me from finding myself wanting to try. Turkey feathers have been used in fly tying since the very beginning, and many of our popular fly patterns today still incorporate turkey feathers in their tying recipes. Turkey tails work great for tying wings in many of our dry flies. It also works equally well for tying wing pads and shellbacks in thorax’s of our nymphs. I love to use the two toned turkey under feathers (basically marabou) for tails in my nymphs and woolly buggers. Dig in deeper and I think you’ll find several other useful situations where turkey feathers will serve you well in your fly tying fresh or saltwater.

G & G Tip: Find a buddy that turkey hunts but doesn’t fly fish. You’ll be able to get your hands on all the turkey feathers you can cram into your fly tying bins.

Happy Thanksgiving from Gink & Gasoline

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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3 thoughts on “Gobble Gobble – Turkey’s Multiple Uses In Fly Tying

  1. Great point Kent! There are too many uses to list in a short post, but my very favorite use of wild turkey feathers is the flats. Wild turkey flats make fantastic leggy hackles on intruders! They are a little thinner and stiffer than rhea, the fibers are twice as long as schlappen, and they have the iridescence of peacock! If I wasn’t flat out of them, they would be my most used feather! 😉

  2. Good post Kent.

    Came across a Tom freshly killed (by coyotes I presume) on my property when walking back to the cabin from the river a couple years’ back. I snagged a bunch of the best feathers and went to the cabin to get some containers to tote some of the smaller and more diverse feathers, but when I returned the predators had returned to the scene and moved the carcass. Still, I was glad that I was able to get a lifetime supply of good quality tying feathers.

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