Keough Hen Necks

During the International Fly Tying Symposium a bit over a year ago, at the exhibitors' dinner I happened to sit next to Bill Keough of Keough Hackles. The next morning, before the show opened, I stopped by his booth and asked if he had any natural brown hen necks.

For some time, I have carried dyed brown India Hen Necks for inclusion in the Ishigaki "One Fly" Tying Kit™. I once heard from a source I trust that natural feathers and furs are more productive than dyed feathers and furs. Something about the colors not being completely uniform, I think. In any event, I wanted to find some natural brown hackle for the Ishigaki flies.

It turns out that he didn't have any natural brown hen necks in stock. The next couple times I contacted him, he didn't either. My timing must be terrible, because each time he had just completed a large sale, which left the cupboards (or rather the henhouse) bare.

I finally caught him with hens on hand. He had told me from the very beginning that each would be unique and he was certainly correct. I know people like to buy hackle at a fly shop or fly show, so they can go through the pile and pick out just the shade they are looking for. The closest I can come to that is offering each neck separately. The one you pick will be the one you get.

This way, you can choose a neck that suits your own idea of what an Ishigaki Kebari or Killer Kebari, or your own kebari should look like. The lighter feathers on some of the necks would work very nicely with my Hen and Hound fly, which uses a ginger hackle and a Pearsall's Hot Orange body. I use golden retreiver hair as a dubbed thorax but you could use any regular dubbing, or peacock herl or decide on no thorax at all.



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