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The marvelous Reeves Pheasant
#1
My experience with this bird is limited to one full skin plus tail.  So I am no expert.  When I purchased it, even with my budget,  it seemed inexpensive.  The body was full of opportunities and the tail in particular worked for me (it married well).  I love the distinctive variety of chocolaty colors found through out.  Even the wonderful Argus Pheasant comes in second place in that regard.  It is a good consideration as a material for those looking for earth tone colors in their work .  Each of these flies showcase parts of the Reeves bird that have a hard to duplicate color that is a mix of tomato/cinnamon/ and chocolate.  The color of a dark mole sauce in Mexican cuisine comes to mind.


The first is a Blackeresque fly that uses uses Reeves Pheasant as a leading actor in the tailing, veiling, hackle, and main wing. I'm sorry that I did such a cob job cropping  such a quality hook.

The second is a size 8 low water wet with Reeves as the main wing.  It plays well with the color of the sprigs of GP tippet under wing

The last is an earlier effort that uses Reeves tail feathers ( along with a slice of Argus) in the tail assembly.  It's also used in the keel

This is one of the many extraordinary materials you will not find in classic asf tying.  Worth a look 

dave


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#2
Nice trio Dave. I agree, there are a number of wonderful "common" birds that are too often overlooked for reasons I can't understand. Like you, I try to use not rare but very cool feathers. Were I requested, I like these flies in the order presented. Thanks ol boy!!!
Happy Trails!

Ronn Lucas, Sr.
ronnlucassr.com
ronn@ronnlucassr.com
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#3
That center section in the tail on the 3rd is special. Dig the bushy head too. I dont remember ever seeing that fly. Man, that is good stuff.
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#4
no2 was made by gucci.
all gold and tones and more gold.

cheers,
shawn
the difference between art and a hobby is you can plagiarise for a hobby.


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#5
Now that a couple of busy days are behind me...WOW !!! Dave. I've seen and am just a little familiar with the look of the Reeves Pheasant...but you've shown what a cool yet classy fly using a much overlooked material can be. A major thank you for this triple hit!!
Petri Heil,
George
The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits - Albert Einstein
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#6
Very nice Dave! I especially like the first presentation. I just received a Reeves, along with a Lewis, Brown Eared and a Mikado pheasant. Now just have to skin them without hacking them up too much.

Regards,

Marty
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#7
(01-25-2019, 10:38 PM)2ndmillion Wrote: Very nice Dave! I especially like the first presentation. I just received a Reeves, along with a Lewis, Brown Eared and a Mikado pheasant. Now just have to skin them without hacking them up too much.

Regards,

Marty

Thanks and good luck with those birds Marty.  Are they whole birds or full skins?  Is the Reeves' tailing tattered?

dave
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#8
They are whole birds. I skinned the Lewis late last night, which ended up as a hack job. The others are in the freezer so can’t comment on the tails. Thinking about taking them to a taxidermist, or the Omish, to skin them properly.

Regards,

Marty
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#9
If the birds are frozen, how can you skin them? Its easy to skin birds once thawed. With the bird laying on its back cut the skin from the base of the throat with scissors being careful not to puncture the interior. Just cut the skin all the way down to the vent. Move your hands around down each side releasing the body from the skin. peal the skin from the legs as far as you can, to about the knees and cut the bone and little bit of meat that's there. peal the skin as far down the tail and cut the base of the tail/feathers . Then do the same with the wings including cutting the bone at the elbows. Cut the skin and peal the skin off of the bone and get as much of the meat out of there. Now the whole body should be free from the skin to the base of the neck. Turn the skin up the throat like you would with rubber gloves up to the base of the head and cut free. Now you have two options. If the feathers are dirty with blood/dirt or whatever, you can wash the whole thing with warm, soapy water. Roll it up in a towel to get as much water off. You will be thinking at this point, what the heck have I done!!!! Calmly take a hair dryer and dry the inside of the skin and the feathers a bit too to make it a little easier to handle. Or, you can do the hair dryer and salt the areas mentioned. I pin or make wire hooks like the letter S and use them to stretch the skin around the skin and attach it to a screen or cardboard to dry. This will take a few days or a week or two. Don't put the skins in plastic bags until everything is absolutely dry!!!!! If they aren't dry, they can rot or get moldy and smell.

I've got a dozen or so birds in the freezer too. Good luck!!!
Happy Trails!

Ronn Lucas, Sr.
ronnlucassr.com
ronn@ronnlucassr.com
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#10
Thanks for the advise Ronn. This was my first rodeo for skinning birds. I pretty much followed the process that you explained. I had some difficulty around the wings and tail. The Lewis was not frozen at the time I skinned it. The others were placed in the freezer for another day. I figured I can try it and see how well it worked out. Far better than plucking all the feathers.


Regards,

Marty

   
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