With the winter tying season on its way it’s time to start picking through your fly boxes and filling in the empty spaces. Whether you’re tying classic steelhead flies or a Parachute Adams, chances are you’re going to need hackle and a lot of it. We here at Waters West highly recommend checking out our selection of Whiting’s capes and saddles. The benefit of purchasing a whole cape or saddle isn’t just that you get a large amount of feathers, but also a large variety of sizes to choose from. That way you can tie a #14 stimulator and a steelhead intruder with the same saddle.
Top: Sol Duc Spey (tied by Sean Dalquhist) Middle: Isabella Spey (Tied by John Alevras) Bottom: Winters Hope (Tied by John Alevras)
Whitings “American Rooster Capes” are everything you’re looking for when it comes to tying classic steelhead flies. We offer a large variety of colors and styles of these capes including grizzly, badger, black laced white and solid colors. All of these styles make beautiful wings on flies like the Winters Hope, Isabella Spey, and Sol Duc Spey. The same feather that’s used on the wing can also be used as the hackle or collar on the same fly. They also tie in surprisingly easily so even an inexperienced tier can tie some beautiful feather wing patterns with a little practice.
Not only are they great for steelhead flies, but they are perfect for small tails on trout flies. The fibers stick straight off the back of the hook and are stiff enough that they won’t foul up around the bend of the hook. These hackles have also been the feather of choice for tying tails on saltwater patterns such as Lefty’s Deceiver. They’re stiff enough that they don’t constantly foul up, and their translucence helps it look like a natural bait fish under the surface.
Whiting’s “High and Dry” saddles are a fly tyers dream! When it comes to tying intruder wings or camo squids these feathers are exactly what you’re looking for. They’re long, soft, webby and come in an incredible variety of colors. Tied in as a tail these feathers explode in the water with pulsation and movement and are still extremely durable. You don’t have to worry about their fibers falling off in the current or tips breaking after a few smacks on the rocks.The pointy tips also make them great for wings on smaller summer flies such as a Silver Hilton or Orange Summer Run.
Not only are these saddles great for steelhead tying but they are perfect for any of your trout flies. The large variety of colors and fiber lengths makes it easier to customize your dry flies to your exact specifications while still being able to use the same saddle for any of your streamers and nymphs. They wrap in wonderfully to make a great bugger hackle or even for nymph legs such as a bitch creek special.
You can find all of these capes and saddles on our website! Click here to check them out.