Photograph by Steve Barnett

Saturday, 8 February 2014

The Best Badger Capes I have seen... the last twenty years.  I fact I think they might be the best I've seen ever!

From left to right, Grade One, Grade Two, Grade Three!
Thank Heavens that the British Fly Fair International event has at last reverted to the close season.  Many of us have missed these excellent occasions recently because they were during one of the nicest parts of the Trout Season.  Fishing takes priority over shows for your faithful blogger and dry fly fishing takes priority over just about anything so the shows were a long way off the agenda.  Now we are back to the happy state of being able to engage in retail therapy to keep us from depression as we wait for the trout season to start again.  Thanks to "being there" today a fantastic opportunity was not missed...

Six or seven years ago at the Game Fair, your correspondent was engaged in an educational conversation with Christina Tooley of Chevron Hackles.  She explained that she was engaged in a programme of breeding cockerels with badger marked capes.  She had some success but at that time was stuck in the paradox of what to do with the best birds.  Kill them and sell their skins?  Or keep them in the programme to benefit from the input of their genes?  She chose wisely if the experience today was anything to go by.

Imagine the disappointment earlier today when schlepping around the show, searching every sales point for good quality badger cock capes, but finding nothing anywhere near what was desired.  It looked like it was going to be another failed attempt to find these very important capes.  Imagine the slight lift in optimism on arriving at, then scanning the Chevron Hackles stand and spying what looked like a properly marked badger cock cape up on the rack.  Consider the further elevation in spirits when realising that there were actually 10 or more of these capes on the rack...

Trying to look calm and unflustered the whole rack was taken down and one-by-one, each cape was carefully removed from its clip-lock bag, examined carefully, returned to the bag and either returned to the rack or retained in the grip of the third and fourth fingers of the right hand whilst the inspection continued.

"You've cracked it!  You've definitely cracked it!  These are perfect!  I'll have these three please..."

The rest were returned to the display for the next lucky fly tier to find.  Frankly. if the money was available, none would have gone back on display.  They are all that good!

Normally I wouldn't recommend buying capes unseen and unexamined, but if you cannot get to the BFFI Fly Fair tomorrow, (Sunday 9th February) then you could do a lot worse than to contact Christina via and ask her to supply you with badger cock capes like the ones bought today by Regular Rod...

Regular Rod


  1. You have found yourself some fine feathers there.
    I'll be waiting to see the first fly tied with them>

  2. Hi, very interesting capes. What's the difference between the grades? I guess the size of the flies?

    1. Thank you for your question. Each cape has high quality hackles on it but the Grade 1 capes have more hackles in the sizes best for the most useful sizes of dry flies, 14,16 and 18.