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Owl feathers
Post 24 Apr 2022, 09:35 • #1 
Sport
Joined: 04/19/22
Posts: 33
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
In my country, owls are among endangered species and well protected. If I'm lucky, I'll find some feather in the forest.

It's a terrific material for both bodies and wings. Great natural colours, especially good for cinnamon sedges with grayish wings.









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Re: Owl feathers
Post 24 Apr 2022, 10:30 • #2 
Guide
Joined: 02/02/16
Posts: 313
Location: Georgia
Great looking flies! I always enjoy seeing owls - a large barred owl swooped in front of my car this week carrying a squirrel in its talons.

We also have great horned owls in my neighborhood, but it’s more common to hear the familiar hoot of barred owls around here. Do you know which owl species your feathers came from?


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Re: Owl feathers
Post 24 Apr 2022, 11:31 • #3 
Sport
Joined: 04/19/22
Posts: 33
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Thanks ! Agree with you, owls are such a beautiful creatures.

Unfortunately, I can't be sure about the feathers I've found since we have ten different species of owl here.

The most desired feathers are from ušara owl, Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo). Sort of a Holy Grail for fly tiers.

Here's a step by step article of a well known imitation of October caddis, which is made from Bobo bobo owl feathers,
tied by one of the very best fly fisherman, tyer, and rod builder from ex Yugoslavia region.

https://www.musicar.rs/sovjak/


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Re: Owl feathers
Post 24 Apr 2022, 13:09 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 2141
Location: South of Joplin
In USA all native migratory birds including owls are so protected that it is unlawful for us to have feathers from them even if picked up from the ground or a road kill. We can use domestic feathers, and feathers from game birds and from a very few invasive species like starlings.


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Re: Owl feathers
Post 24 Apr 2022, 14:16 • #5 
Sport
Joined: 04/19/22
Posts: 33
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Thanks for the info, didn't know that the laws are so strict.

Are you allowed to own feathers of a birds that are not native in the USA ?

I see some being sold, it looks like people use them for hairstyle and hat decorating.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1181680327 ... ch_click=1


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Re: Owl feathers
Post 24 Apr 2022, 15:43 • #6 
Guide
Joined: 02/04/14
Posts: 139
Location: US-MA
What is that beautiful fish? A grayling? My biggest regret about traveling to the countries of the former Yugoslavia was not fishing or hiking much!


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Re: Owl feathers
Post 24 Apr 2022, 15:51 • #7 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/19/14
Posts: 3824
Location: USA - Illinois
Do you mean these? ;) Great Horned Owls, 2021







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Re: Owl feathers
Post 24 Apr 2022, 16:27 • #8 
Sport
Joined: 04/19/22
Posts: 33
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Running Ape, yes it's European grayling (Thymallus thymallus).

jhuskey, awesome pictures !

It' looks like Great horned owl and Eurasian eagle - owl are relatives living on a different continents.


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Re: Owl feathers
Post 27 Apr 2022, 12:41 • #9 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 2141
Location: South of Joplin
"Are you allowed to own feathers of a birds that are not native in the USA ?"
The restrictions are on migratory N. American birds, part of a treaty with Canada https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migratory_Bird_Treaty_Act_of_1918
https://www.fws.gov/law/migratory-bird-treaty-act-1918
We are also restricted by Cites https://cites.org/eng/disc/species.php from endangered species, that might have been used in historical salmon flies. But I think we can use most feathers that are not on those two lists, my thoughts; if it's in doubt, don't.


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Re: Owl feathers
Post 28 Apr 2022, 09:36 • #10 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 8508
Location: US-ME
Wanted to thank Trev for the cautionary info which he contributed before I got around to it. Or if in doubt, check with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and/or state agency


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Re: Owl feathers
Post 28 Apr 2022, 09:50 • #11 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18077
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
a good discussion and kudos to MM84 for such pretty flies and nice photos.


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Re: Owl feathers
Post 28 Apr 2022, 16:06 • #12 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/19/14
Posts: 3824
Location: USA - Illinois
Absolutely - I sure wish we here could legally use them in fly tying, as stated, they are beautiful feathers.

As an aside, our nesting pair here again had three owlets this year. The largest and boldest was branching several days before the other two... he/she was blown off the branch onto the ground by 50 mph gusts a couple weeks ago and ended up on my neighbors front porch (bad omen). Broom'd into a large plastic bin and handed off to an area rescue org - they will strengthen the owlet up and bring him/her back here at some point. The other two owlets are across the street in one of our neighbors large white oaks.


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Re: Owl feathers
Post 29 Apr 2022, 11:51 • #13 
Master Guide
Joined: 04/07/18
Posts: 382
Location: Reston VA
MMR4.

The attached picture is of a small collection I have of flies tied-in hand by local fly fishermen I met 40 years ago while fishing in Bosnia. Most were tied out of materials in small plastic bags that had a few hooks, wool yarn, feathers -- some undoubtedly owl (Sova) -- and tying thread. One fly tyer I met named Bozidar Moraca was a real master -- he would snatch a drake out of the air; whip up an imitation on the spot; and be fishing it while I was still rigging up. Bozidar still had a fly line that was crafted out of silk parachute chord from WW II. This was all before internet videos and really high tech fly fishing and tying gear became available.

At the time I was assigned to our Embassy in Belgrade and took every chance I had to get away into the mountains on fishing trips. I have great memories of the scenery, exceptional waters, and friendly, hospitable, people. I fished the Una near Kulen Vakuf, Ribnik, and Pliva among other streams.

Here's hoping that those waters are not spoiled by the planned construction of power dams there.



Last edited by Heddonist on 29 Apr 2022, 21:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Owl feathers
Post 29 Apr 2022, 14:30 • #14 
Sport
Joined: 04/19/22
Posts: 33
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Heddonist, thanks for the reply and great photo, that's very nice collection.

Yup, these are kind of flies the oldtimers used to ty on the spot, without vise, just using hands. The knowledge of successful imitations has been passed through the generations, so we owe them quite a lot.

Also, it's very true that 40 years ago, fly lines were very hard, if not next to impossible to find in the Eastern Bloc, so all kind of alternatives were used.

Regarding the rivers, Una, Ribnik and Pliva are safe, for now. Ribnik and Pliva are doing great since they are under Fly only regulation and catch and release is mandatory.

Others, such as Sana, Neretva and many others are in danger and it's hard to be optimistic.
New generations are coming and the most important thing for them is smartphone, and they have to charge it twice a day. :(


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