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Another newbie question for the learned:

Hackle, it seems to come in lots of colors, combinations, sizes and qualities...

I've picked up "strung saddle hackle" and "loose neck hackle", pre packaged for tying and got two packages labeled "wet fly hackle" and "dry fly hackle" in a material kit my wife ordered me from ebay.

My difficulty has been that with what I have purchased to date, the only fly I've tied where the hackle looks appropriate is some wooly buggers... with everything else, the hackle I have been trying seems over sized and comes out a bit sloppy looking.

Could someone offer a few words on purchasing and what to look for in selecting an appropriate feather for a particular fly? Or if anyone is aware of something written on the subject offer a link?

Many thanks,
 

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Hi Michael
Come November, we meet every Tuesday evening at the Mug and Anchor in Mahone Bay for an evening of beer and flies. Paul, Tim, Greg, Gary and whoever else gather there are able to tell you more than you need know about hackle and flies in general. At least more than I need know.
We'll be looking forward to seeing you.
Paul
 

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You can buy "hackle gauges" to help in selecting hackle sizes. This is more critical for dry flies than other types, although still important. A guideline is to match the length of the hackle fibers to the gape of the hook you are using. Some shops will sell hackle that is already sized, but if you buy a neck or a cape, the sizing is up to you.
 
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