TURKEY FEATHERS
FLY TYING FEATHERS
FLY TYING INSTRUCTION
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Turkey Photo

TURKEY FEATHERS
The male turkey is larger and more colorful than the female. Turkeys have a wide assortment of feathers that can be used in a variety of fly tying applications including wings, bodies, tails and legs. There are about a half dozen wild varieties of turkeys, but a few breeders have selectively bred varieties for a wider range of colors and patterns.

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Turkey Tail Feathers

Most fly tying shops will have turkey tail feathers in stock or should be able to order them. The tail feathers are generally sold as matched pairs and average 12 to 15 inches long. Turkey tail feathers have long, strong barbs that are ideal when constructing feather wings for a flies such as hoppers or muddlers. Barbs from turkey tail feathers are often used in wedded wing patterns on Classic Atlantic Salmon Flies because their speckled pattern.

Turkey Secondary Wing Feather
Turkey Secondary Wing Feather

Most commercial fly tying shops only carry tail feathers, but turkeys have a wide variety of body and wing feathers that could be used with good results when tying a fly. Turkeys have some appealing feathers and if you know a turkey hunter it would be great having a complete skin.

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Turkey Body Feathers

The above body feathers have a iridescent quality and would be perfect for applications such as cheeks on streamer and salmon flies with a shimmering effect reserved for royality. Can be used in similur fashion as tippets. The complete feather can be used with cheek designs or individual barbs for tails and such.


QUALITY CONTROL
There is no governing body concerning feather quality and you need to determine if they meet the standards required for the style or application desired. Most turkey feathers sold through the local fly shop will be decent quality, but that is not guaranteed. A close inspection of the feathers should be performed before buying, that includes pulling them out of the package. When buying feathers from the big chain stores, it should be assumed they are low quality until inspected and proven otherwise. Buying feathers online can be a risk. Read the description closely and make sure that any photos are of the actual feathers. It is a common practice for online sellers to use stock photos.

Premium quality turkey feathers can be hard to find and will be reflected in the price. For most fly tying applications the commercial quality turkey feathers will serve the purpose.

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Strung Turkey Flats


The above turkey flats were strung together and sold in packages of about fifty feathers. As you can see the feather on the left could be used for spey fly hackle with the long barbs, but the barbs marry together for a clumpy appearance. The feather on the right would be better suited for marabou hackle applications.

Marabou Feathers
Strung Marabou Feathers

Marabou feathers can be dyed and are
available in a wide variety of vivid colors

MARABOU FEATHERS
Most commercial marabou come from domestic turkeys. They are normally considered in a category by themselves and most fly tyers don't think of them as turkey feathers.

Turkey Biots
Dyed Turkey Biots on the leading edge
of a primary wing feather.

FLY TYING BIOTS
Turkey biots are readily available and sold in a variety of dyed colors. Biots are from the leading edge of primary wing feathers. They are single barbs that are stiff and distinctly taper to a point. Can be used for tails, legs, antenna, or body parts such as wing pods. The biots can be wrapped to produce segmented bodies on small flies. Turkey biots are larger and more rigid than goose biots

Male turkeys are more colorful than the female as is the case with most species of birds.

Some varieties of turkey feathers you might find include:

Black Mottled
Black Smoke
Black Wing Bronze    
Blue Palm
Bourbon Red
Brown Mottled
Calico
Del Sol
Dyed White
Golden Palm
Harvest Gold
Narragansett
Regal Red Plain
Regal Red Speckled    
Royal Palm
Rusty Black
Silver Turkey Tails
Slate
Spanish Black
Speckled Palm
Sweet Grass
White Tip Turkey

When buying complete bird skins, the skin should be stretched flat and scrapped clean of any residue.

Commercially available bird skins and feathers bought in a fly tying shop will be clean and have uniform color when dyed. If acquiring bird skins and feathers from other sources then precautions should to be taken to avoid insects or other pests that could infest your fly tying supplies.

FEATHER CARE AND STORAGE
Some general advice about cleaning and storage of feathers.

ANATOMY OF A FEATHER
Description and parts of a feather

BUYING AND SELECTING FEATHERS
What to look for when buying feathers. As a beginner we bought a lot of worthless and damaged feathers. This page will help in the selection of good quality feathers.
 

MATCHING FEATHERS
How to match and pair feathers when tying feather wings on a fly.

FLY TYING FEATHERS:
AM-GOLD PHEASANT
ARGUS BODY FEATHERS
ARGUS HEN QUILL FEATHERS
ARGUS PRIMARY TAIL FEATHERS
ARGUS SECONDARY WING
BANKSIAN COCKATOO
BARRED WOOD DUCK FEATHERS
BIOTS (GOOSE / TURKEY)
BLUE EARED PHEASANT
BLUE EDGED MANTLE BODY
BRONZE MALLARD FEATHERS
BUSTARD FLORICAN FEATHERS
BUSTARD KORI FEATHERS

CDC FEATHERS

CHATTERER
CHUKAR SKINS
COQ DE LEON
COTINGA
CRANE FEATHERS
EMU FEATHERS
GADWALL DUCK FLANK
GOLDEN PHEASANT SKINS
GOLDEN PHEASANT CREST
GOLDEN PHEASANT TAIL
GOLDEN PHEASANT TIPPETS
GOOSE SHOULDER FEATHERS
GRAY PEACOCK SINGLE EYES
GUINEA FOWL FEATHERS
HUNGARIAN PARTRIDGE
INDIAN CROW
JAY
JUNGLE COCK
KINGFISHER
LADY AMHERST CENTER TAIL
LADY AMHERST TIPPETS
LEMON DUCK FEATHERS
MACAW TAIL FEATHERS
MALAY PEACOCK SINGLE EYE
MALLARD SIDE FEATHERS
MALLARD WINGS
OSTRICH HERL
PARROT FEATHERS
PEACOCK FEATHERS
PEACOCK HERL
PEACOCK NECK FEATHERS
PEACOCK QUILL FEATHERS
PEACOCK SWORD FEATHERS
RINGNECK PHEASANT
SCARLET MACAW
SILVER PHEASANT
STARLING SKIN
SWAN FEATHERS
TEAL FEATHERS
TURKEY FEATHERS

WOOD DUCK FEATHERS

HACKLE FEATHERS
Hackle feathers are a complete subject in themselves and these pages will sort through some of the confusion.

MARABOU FEATHERS
Marabou are fluffy feathers that have a breathing action in the water.

FLY TYING INSTRUCTION
http://www.flytyinginstruction.com
Fly tying equipment and materials
reference guide. Learn how to tie
flies for fishing and display.

FLY TYING FEATHERS
TURKEY FEATHERS