Last October I was lucky enough to be tying on the Whiting Farms stand at the Denver American Fishing Tackle association manufacturers show. (AFTA, you know, that’s what they write on your fly rods to denote the size of line to use. This is where it comes from!) Anyway, I was tying my favourite soft hackled wets wen my attention was drawn to a Whiting Hebert Miner sadd. Not only was it a fantastic colour but the length of hackle was astonishing.
Arriving home I put in into my box of saddles and forgot all about it until this week when I received an order for some Stick flies , a pattern I first tied 35 years ago. The only change in all that time is that the collar is now of glo-brite floss and not embroidery wool. I decided to use the Hebert Miner saddle as the colour was spot on. However, In my wildest dreams I wasn’t imagining that I could get 5 flies from each feather. The barb density coupled with the thinness of the stem meant that two turns of hackle were sufficient to form a dense collar. Four flies later and I had still only used one feather! The remaining tip was too chewed to use as wing or anything else so I binned it, but 5 flies from one feather! WOW! It makes these saddles remarkably good value. While they wont tie small flies there are loads of 12s and 10s and a good number of size 14s too. Keep your eyes out for these as it isn’t the most produced range in Whitings catalogue but i’ll certainly be buying more.