"Sometimes, you just need to go downstairs and waggle a rod..." - Scott Hanson

"Write what you know. If you don't know, make it up..." - Scott Hanson

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

It's A Good Time To Dye...

There are times when I want a color of hackle that I just can't seem to find anywhere. Like recently, I decided I just had to have some grizzly hackle that was dyed a wine or claret color, but I needed it to be high quality dry fly hackle, and I really only needed it in sizes 16 and 18. I already have a claret colored grizzly saddle hackle patch, but the feathers on it are big and webby, perfect for Wooly Buggers. When I started to look around for claret-colored grizzly dry fly hackle, the only thing I could find was a Keough saddle that only tied down to size 16. I really needed 18s, at least that's what I told myself. So what was I to do?

I'll tell you what I did, I dyed them myself! And it was easier than I ever thought possible. All it took was some hot water, a little bit of white vinegar, and some Kool-Aid powder. I had heard of dyeing things with Kool-Aid before, but had never had a reason to try it until now. It really worked! Here's how I did it:

This is all you need. For this first batch I used just one packet of Black Cherry Kool-Aid
A couple of cups of water starting to heat up on the stove.
Once I stopped watching it intently, it finally started to boil...
After letting it sit for a minute or two to cool off, I added a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar and the packet of Kool-Aid.
After mixing it up, in went the bundle of 15 feathers
It's hard to see, but the feathers are in the Kool-Aid concoction. I left them in for about 15 minutes.
Right after I took them out.
After drying a bit.
I am very pleased with the results, although I think next time I will add a touch of Blue Raspberry Kool-Aid to try to get the color a little darker. I don't want it to be too purply, though, so I won't add much. This time the feathers are a little more red than I was hoping, but they will still work. I will post a pic of the fly I will be tying with them in the next day or so. Oooh, I can't wait to see how it turns out...

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