Thoughts on sorting Schlappen & Saddle Feathers

This is an example of how I store pre-sorted saddles and schlappen feathers.

This is an example of how I store pre-sorted saddles and schlappen feathers.


I often tie with strung schlappen and saddle feathers, and prefer to pre-sort these before I begin a mega tying session. In contrast with saddle and neck patches, strung feathers usually have a lot of scrap feathers on the string. This is not a poor reflection on the material distributor, it is just a fact of life these days. The material distributors are providing the best materials they can obtain, and it is our job to sort through and select the best feathers for the fly we want to tie.


I am particularly determined to use the very best feathers on my flies and no doubt other tyers would be happy using feathers that I might discard.

So please do not think that you must end up with as large a pile of discards that I do. Just make sure that you are being sufficiently discriminating when you sort your feathers.

You also might want to sort your feathers into more categories that I have in this video.

Here are links to several feathers that are amenable to sorting:

saddles – dyed over white
UV2 Strung Schlappen
saddles – wooly bugger
UV2 strung saddle hackle
saltwater neck hackles

I hope you find something interesting here and wish you enjoyment at your fly bench.

Jay Nicholas – Septemer 2-17

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