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> > blue heron feather???



DitchJuly 29th, 2010, 12:06 pm
Fuquay-Varina NC

Posts: 36
first is it legal to pick them up or are the protected.

second does any have a fly that i could use them for before i start using them for something out of my head

Phil
There are no bad fishing days.
OldredbarnJuly 29th, 2010, 12:22 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Phil,

HERONS AND THE LAW
Great Blue Herons are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. It is illegal to capture, possess, or cause harm to a Great Blue Heron or its nest or eggs.


Not really a good idea. Think of it this way...Do you really need to tie something up with them? There are other more plentiful feathers out there that cover all most every situation...In the past we have, as fly tyers, used just about every feather out there and some of the original old patterns even called for them. Michigan's Borchers originally called for wrapped Condor quill for the abdomen.

There are some rather famous cases where some rather well known tyers have had issues with the Feds here...You will probably never get caught with them, but is it worth the hassle?

Even the guys who tie those beautiful traditional salmon flies have found or developed alternatives to the plumes from rare birds.

Just my opinion here fella.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
MartinlfJuly 30th, 2010, 12:39 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3164
Also, substitutes are available. A google search might turn up some possibilities. For a start, search Mike Hogue and flytying to see if Mike has a substitute.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3July 30th, 2010, 8:31 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Typically heron feathers are used to tie speys, but the feathers are illegal to possess and should not be kept. Blue eared pheasant is probably the best substitute and is legal. There are other options as well. Siskiyou (sp?) Aviary carries lots of spey feathers if you really want to tie with them.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
SteeliebumJanuary 31st, 2012, 2:23 pm
spokane valley wa

Posts: 2
To shawn, fred,& spence
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, however is is plain to me that none of you have tied with Heron. Blue ear is close but no cigar. Shawn, it is not illeagle to possess Heron. It is illeagle to possess Heron with out the appropriate paper work. I was fortunate enough to obtain some in a remote flyshop in alaska many years ago. Complete with the paperwork proving it was harvested before the ban. It would be a hassel to have to pack paperwork arround to prove it on the river but since I only use it for presentation or display flies I just attach a copy of the certificate to the back of the mount. As far as quality, Heron is as much superior to blue ear than blue ear is superior to that sorry burnt spey stuff that sells for $2 a pound.I have fished some big 2/0 and 3/0 Heron speys and they look awsome in the water, but guess what? The fish don't seem to care so why waste a $20 feather when a $1 one will do just as well without the hassel.
SteeliebumJanuary 31st, 2012, 2:29 pm
spokane valley wa

Posts: 2
see canadiantubeflies.com for some great spey paterns and heron substitutes
OldredbarnJanuary 31st, 2012, 3:10 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Steeliebum,

Some nice feathers there...I wouldn't mind trying some of those dyed stripped peacock herl...I wonder how they might work for quill bodies?

Here is a link to a dry fly using Heron or substitute. http://www.danica.com/flytier/pbailey/the_kite.htm

I think that's EP Fibers there for the post.

Spence

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
DoublespeyJanuary 31st, 2012, 3:11 pm
Posts: 61
I wouldn't be that concerned about possessing a few. Selling them commercially is where you can get into trouble more than likely. There are some good substitutes, but I always wanted to tie a spey hackled fly for steelheading using heron flank feather. Herons were all over my area. They got into the hatchery ponds and devoured fry. They got into private ponds, and eat their plants. Not as bad as a mink, or Otter would, but did some damage. I can remember a pond owner that told me one of his herons was about to have a hunting accident, but he never contacted me. I did do just as well without them, mainly because I had most of my success using small flies. You need a #2-4 steelhead hook to match up. On a similar note. I had a store, and my parents made jewelry, and I put some of it in my store for sale. Several pieces featured Brown Bear claws to be worn around your neck. A Game Warden came in to my store one day, and said to me, "When I turn my head, take those bear claws off of the display, and hide them. I'll pretend I ddin't see them." Embarrassing! I had no idea you needed paperwork on them. My parents lived in Arizona, and think they purchased them legally. ??
OldredbarnJanuary 31st, 2012, 3:27 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
I wouldn't be that concerned about possessing a few.


A Game Warden came in to my store one day, and said to me, "When I turn my head, take those bear claws off of the display, and hide them. I'll pretend I ddin't see them."


Hmmmm? There's your few and the next guys few and my few and then there were zero. Some rules, believe it or not , are there for a reason. There are markets in certain parts of the world where you can buy parts of endangered animals that are just about gone.

Poaching...In my less than humble opinion shouldn't be promoted or passed over just because you "want to tie a spey fly" with a particular feather...It just may not be that important and sounds a little selfish and maybe short-sighted.

In similar conversations with my fly tying mentor he would say, "It's just not needed Spence. There are other things to use." See my comments above about the old Borcher's Special that once called for Condor quills...I wrap turkey feathers there instead now and the fish haven't complained one bit...

Just one man's thoughts here...

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
DoublespeyJanuary 31st, 2012, 3:45 pm
Posts: 61
I'm not that law abiding I guess. I assume the federale's have other things to do than get a search warrant, and come into my house, and fine me for possessing a few heron feathers. I'd even stick an eagle feather in my hat if I found one in the woods. I think that is illegal also.
OldredbarnJanuary 31st, 2012, 5:12 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
I'm not that law abiding I guess. I assume the federale's have other things to do than get a search warrant, and come into my house, and fine me for possessing a few heron feathers. I'd even stick an eagle feather in my hat if I found one in the woods. I think that is illegal also.


To me it's not about the "federale's" defining what's right and wrong for us, but having some rationale beyond our own "wants" to define what's right or wrong for ourselves. Morality, it used to be called, I guess. :)

We all have picked up feathers...I have posted here about my mistake with Sand Hill Crane feathers and importing pheasant tail eating moths along with them...When I was a little guy I could not miss with my Daisey BB Gun and smacked a few state bird American Robins alone the way, until my grandfather sat me down and explained wasting things willy-nilly really didn't add up to much other than showing off...

He taught me to take only what I really needed and would actually use and to do it within the "rules"...Basically to behave myself. He only varied from this once that I know of and that was when he took me aside and explained to me that one of my uncles and consequently his family were on very hard times (this was in the 60's) and needed to put some meat in the locker...This uncle had a doe permit and if I happened to spot a large doe I could take her and we would use his tag...It is drawing a fine line, yes, but he felt that feeding the family was rather important enough to break the rules. Maybe not the same thing as tying flies. (?)

Hey...If you want to do as you please so be it, it really isn't my problem, and I'm not trying to hassle you...Just wondering why you feel we should set aside some simple guidelines just so you, and you alone, can tie some pretty flies? Who knows but they won't someday agree with you, that there are just too many of the damn things, and you can wrap to your hearts content.

Now don't get me going on those treble hooks...;) We'll be here all damn day!

Spence

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
DoublespeyJanuary 31st, 2012, 5:52 pm
Posts: 61Why? Because I found them. The bird can not be saved. No good can be accomplished by placing them back where I found them. In my moral world it would be like finding a dime on the sidewalk, and then running an ad in the newspaper trying to find the owner. The dime just goes in my pocket next to the feathers.
OldredbarnJanuary 31st, 2012, 9:54 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
OK

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
EntomanFebruary 1st, 2012, 5:12 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Ditch -

Being an independant cuss, I've never been one to necessarily equate morality with the law as the two often seem to be in conflict. However, harvesting a protected critter (or possession of it's parts) is not an example. The reason why the law is written so is to remove the commercial incentive for poaching. In this case, the only commercial value is in the feathers. Based on their appearance and diet I wouldn't think them toothsome.:)

Harvesting roadkill is illegal in some locales, not in others. Does the morality of the act change? There are some that ascribe to the philosophy that the act of breaking any law is immoral. As I said, I'm not in that camp. If you have some without paperwork? As Steeliebum says, it better be on flies, if you catch my drift. For example, what are anglers supposed to do with their priceless collections of Syd Glasso flies, burn them? If I had any heron (and I'm not saying that I do), that's were I'd have it.

Having tied and fished a few Spey flies over the years, I agree there's nothing like heron. The way it looks, the way it fishes.... Great stuff! However, I can't think of any other use for their feathers than Spey flies, which done properly is a fairly technical and specialized field for highly skilled tiers. Using a twenty dollar feather for anything short would be like grating wild truffle on a peanut butter sandwich.

Tight Lines!

"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
OldredbarnFebruary 1st, 2012, 10:18 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
I've never been one to necessarily equate morality with the law as the two often seem to be in conflict.


If someone wants to change a law there is a process...Most people are too damn lazy to get involved to effect change. They would rather assume that whatever their little brains imagine, no research or scientific backing what-so-ever, just their own egotistical view is of course always correct and they can do what they damn well please...They usually get away with this delusion for the most part, a good deal of the time, but when the real shit hits the fan they are the first to blame someone else and plead for government assistence...:)

Spence the Anarchist...;)

All I'm saying here is that using TroutNut to basically tell everyone it is open season because "I say so" isn't probably such a great idea. We sportsmen/women usually talk of "good form" and sportsmanship not that its ok to blow away a Great Blue Heron with a 12-gauge because I need some pretty frigging feathers.

We have this issue along the Au Sable...It has a Natural River's Act designation, but anyone that has a cabin there feels these rules just don't apply to them and they mow right down to the river bank so they can see it from the breakfast nook while they sip their morning coffee...We had a legislator, who owns a cabin on the Holy Water change the rules in Lansing so his little kids could dunk worms and keep a trout in the No-Kill Flies Only section...Rusty had offered to outfit the kids and teach them how to fly fish...Not good enough for him.

Where do we draw the line here boys? Maybe I should gather up some of my old Finlander friends from the UP and we'll stump-buster fish your favorite hole with quarter sticks of dynamite and scoop em up with really big nets, eh?! Them trout are damn tasty! :) Maybe you could let us use your garage for a meth-lab? What-da-ya-say?

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
PaulRobertsFebruary 1st, 2012, 1:20 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Hmmmm... cabin fever?

I don't believe anyone here is calling for open season on herons. I have an owl feather stuck in my egg collecting basket as an aesthetic reminder to keep watch over my flock.

It IS a slippery slope though, and the hard place a CO is in when he finds our illegal feathers, or shrubbery (I'm thinking of the nice suburban ladies busted for digging up mountain laurel for their gardens -and incensed they were!), is that he most often has to play hard ball bc it's his job, and his reputation. I, for one, don't want to put someone in his position between that rock and hard place -although I've done it (having once upon a time fletched a grouse hunting arrow with a goshawk tail feather I found). When I was young we had a CO who it was said would "turn in his own mother". I know, from a personal experience with him early on in my hunting career, that he was a pretty thoughtful guy, and we parted with me forever grateful, and his reputation intact.

We do give up some of our individuality to exist in a larger society that works. Our model of fish and game management is a marvel,something to be VERY proud of, and not to be taken too lightly.
OldredbarnFebruary 1st, 2012, 3:14 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Hmmmm... cabin fever?


Paul...Don't you know it!!! Hell I even went to a fly tying show Saturday to talk with guys I've known for years, who were tying the same flies they have tied for years, just to get out of the house and hear some gossip! :)

I could of done a lot better by sitting at home cranking some out for my own boxes...Opening Day is just around the corner here after all. Matt is right...I'm spending way too much time blathering on this thing! If I could only convince my wife/boss to let me bring in the vise and tie right here at the desk...;)

Speaking of cabin fever...As you pointed out when Matt and I were barking at each other last week that we may actually be different sides of the same old rusty coin. He and I just need to wet a damn line...It's so warm here I may go out in to the back yard this evening and practise tightening up my loops...:) Just think of our long suffering wives! :)

My dad used to tell a story about a time when he was put on a train from Detroit to Marion MI to work on his uncles farm one summer. The two of them were out in the woods behind the house and my great uncle Arlie, who seemed never informed that there was such a thing as a hunting "season", was carrying some gun with him...Not sure shotgun or deer rifle.

There heard someone coming through the brush and Arlie laid the gun down along the bottom of a downed tree and walked away from it. The CO came walking up, "Hey Arlie. What you two boys up to out here today?" My great uncle said, "Joe. We have a calfing cow out here somewhere. She busted out last night. We are trying to find her." "Well boys...I think you two need to just get back up to the house...She'll find her way back home."

After a little chat he walked off. My great uncle gathered up his gun and they walked back up to the house.

Years later when I was hanging around his fruit orchard in Bear Lake as a small boy he had a beautiful leathered pocket pool table out in the pole barn...Many a deer was butcher on that table spring, summer, fall & winter.

I was sitting in my aunt's home after a day out deer hunting in the late 60's...My grandfather and I were having something to eat when another uncle walked in all excited...He had shot a deer on the backside of this hill on my grandmother's place next door...We headed out and I remember looking up to a clear, cold, very starry night and wondering to myself..."The distance from where this deer has gone down and the house isn't that far...If my aunt was out on the back porch and I yelled to her she would hear me...This deer was shot after sunset! A ways after sunset." Hmmm.

My grandfather and I gutted the deer on the back of that hill in pitch darkness and I was the lucky one who, grinning ear-to-ear, drug it through the field to an apple tree where it was hung up.

Paul...I know from where I speak...I have dealt with these things all my life...Grandpa knew I was paying attention and was taking it all in, and he knew the lessons would not be wasted on me. :) Whats that about "the sins of the fathers?"

Spence

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
GldstrmSamFebruary 1st, 2012, 3:56 pm
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
Play it safe. Obey the laws.
There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
EntomanFebruary 1st, 2012, 6:27 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
To me it's not about the "federale's" defining what's right and wrong for us, but having some rationale beyond our own "wants" to define what's right or wrong for ourselves. Morality, it used to be called, I guess. :)

So... What codifies this "rationale beyond our own wants to define what is right or wrong for ourselves"? Are you referring to natural law? Civil law? If the latter, only the "federales" can impose it, and that can be as slippery a slope as the fudging around the edges of game laws we've been talking about. Taken to the extreme, it gave humanity the gift of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Luckily, their civil law governing this concept lost to ours. What if it hadn't?

As for me, I tend to look to the former for guidence I guess. Must be my Catholic upbringing.:) Regardless, I think we can all agree nations are capable of passing unjust laws and that individuals can and do think they are above the law. Both are bad extremes that exist in the human condition, and nobody here is condoning either that I can see.

Serious violation of our conservation laws should be punished severely. Having said that, I'm not going to get my underwear in a bunch because Jere or Ditch tied a fly with or put in their hat some feather they found. The truth is I've done the same with feathers countless times in my life from sources I haven't a clue!:) I think I have some turkey vulture feathers around somewhere I found next to a rabbit carcass. I remember they're big... My God, what if they're CA condor? :)LOL
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
PaulRobertsFebruary 1st, 2012, 6:54 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Serious violation of our conservation laws should be punished severely. Having said that, I'm not going to get my underwear in a bunch because Jere or Ditch tied a fly with or put in their hat some feather they found.

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