With my home state being placed under a Stay At Home Order fly tying has become even more of a central theme in my daily routine. In order to pass the time, I have been mixing it up with new patterns or trying to incorporate different materials into classic flies. One lesser used material that I have spent a lot of time playing around with is chickabou.
Some Whiting Farms soft hackle pelts, in particular the Brahma Hen, come with a patch of chickabou feathers on them (the top portion of the pelts in the photo above.) This feather looks fantastic on subsurface flies. It is like a finer version of marabou that provides a lifelike look where the material appears to almost breathe in the moving water. Some of my favorite applications for the feather are using it for the tail on flies like damselfly nymphs, to wrap it up the body for buggy caddis fly patterns, or to incorporate it as fins on streamers. If you are looking for a new material to play around with or want to spice up some classic patterns, order some chickabou and bring some extra life to your subsurface flies.
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