Dotterel Reference Photos

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Re: Dotterel Reference Photos

Postby Old Hat » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:54 pm

For the neck and breast feathers, I've got some mourning dove that would work well as a sub.

Also, I found some very nice subs for the back feathers on the leading edge of the underwing of both the bobwhite quail and california quail. However there are not very many and they are smaller on both bird's being in the #16-#18 size range. Maybe a few in the #14.

For ease of retaining and a close match I don't think you can probably beat the natural underwing coverts of a starling.
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Re: Dotterel Reference Photos

Postby fflutterffly » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:17 pm

Now I know I'm totally out of my league on this forum. You have stuffed birds in your house for reference to fly tying!!!????? The only thing I have that is honey dun in my house is the carpet. You guys are just to expert for this old gal. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Dotterel Reference Photos

Postby lykos33 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:47 pm

All I can say is when I first saw the pics I thought it was a sea gull. There are 3 different types of sea gulls here in my part of Nova Scotia and that bird looks like one of them in coloring...the"Herring Gull"...are gulls legal to use? (they are all over the roads ...literally)
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Re: Dotterel Reference Photos

Postby Greenwell » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:18 pm

Dotterel was a of course a very popular feather in the 1800’s for Spiders. By the end of the century it was becoming scarce and substitutes were needed. The most common and easiest to obtain, and the one suggested by Edmonds & Lee, is the under wing feather from a young starling.

In “Silk, Fur and Feather” Skues says; “The bird is now a rare one and the angler is driven to the use of substitutes - the honey dun feather under the starling’s wing, the golden plover’s shoulder and neck hackles, and the curlew’s shoulder hackle being the substitutes generally used.”

Skues described the color of the dotterel hackle; They are a sort of pale brown dun (coffee and milk color, with plenty of milk) with a fine rim of yellow round the edge of the feather, so that every fiber is tipped with a yellow point. They are the model of a honey dun.”
“Silk, Fur and Feather” is probably the best reference for the older feathers and their substitutes. It is a compilation of articles that Skues wrote and was published posthumously in 1950. Fly Fishers’ Classic Library published a reprint in 1993.

Leonard West’s “The Natural trout Fly and it’s Imitation” has a series of color plates showing many of the rarer feathers. Unfortunately, both editions, 1912 and 1921, are getting rare and expensive, especially the 1912. Also, both were rather fragile books and good copies of either edition are hard to come by. However, the color plates are actually quite nice and show the materials very well.
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Re: Dotterel Reference Photos

Postby letumgo » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:29 pm

Thanks John. Great contribution & very interesting historical references.

Thanks also to Bob, Jeff and Carl. All excellent suggestions.

Murray - You better check your local laws in Nova Scotia. I'd hate to steer you wrong.

Ariel - :lol: :D ;)
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Re: Dotterel Reference Photos

Postby flyfishwithme » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:44 am

yes, the Dotterel was mainly shot out for a number of reasons. Fishing being just one. It is not a shy bird and therefore was easy to catch/shoot.
A substitute I have been using is the under coverts of a Euroasian Jay. They are brownish/pink colour and the fly tied with them has been deadly for me. The bird here is not the same as a 'Blue Jay'.
Wings are reasonably easy to obtain.

Re: Dotterel Reference Photos

Postby Bazzer69 » Fri May 26, 2017 12:26 am

Ray, I am intrigued by the feathers from the Landrail and those of the Dotterel, I'm convinced the wing I have is Dotterel. The reason I say this is I have a original copy of Brook and River Trouting and referencing the color plates, mine is in very good condition with all the tissue separating the pages, I'm convinced the wing is Dotterel. Color plates 25a and b show the feathers quite clearly whereas the Landrail is shown as barred rather than edged. Either way I'm using the feathers to tie a few patterns, both as soft hackle and upright winged ( dries ). They will be saved and not used, I think I can resist the temptation to use them?
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Re: Dotterel Reference Photos

Postby wsbailey » Fri May 26, 2017 8:44 am

House sparrows have some feathers that look similar to dotterel. The feathers are very soft.

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Re: Dotterel Reference Photos

Postby Johnno » Fri May 26, 2017 5:59 pm

Nice. I have always eyed up sparrows but thought the feathers may have been too small or soft/webby to have any meaningful use. How do you find them? Pretty good?
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Re: Dotterel Reference Photos

Postby wsbailey » Fri May 26, 2017 6:26 pm

I was able to buy a couple of skins off of eBay. I don't know about NZ but I know where to get them by the dozens here in the US; frozen and unskinned. Here are some tips for using the feathers: ... dont-tell/
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