Three different species of emu were found in Australia prior to European settlement. In 1788, the last of the small emus became extinct. Today the world's second largest bird roams the savanas and woodlands. They stand close to seven feet tall and have only three toes, an adaption for running. They are nomatic, traveling far distances for food. Like other birds, they eat stones to aid in digestion, however, emus also eat charcoal, something scientist are still questioning.
Tying with Emu Feathers
While the Ostrich is native to Africa, the Emu is native to Australia. There is not much to note historically in regards to fly tying. A most recent development is the use of stripped Emu quills for some of the larger bodied mayflies such as the Hexagenia genus.
Unlike the Ostrich, the Emu produces two feathers pout of each follicle. One feather has a stiff, thick quill while the other has a fine rachis and is the usable choice.
Other uses in fly tying are for gills on nymphs, for palmering on bugger type flies and both natural and dyed for saltwater flies like deceivers, tarpon flies and shrimp patterns. Uses for the creative craft person are endless, such as decorative dream catchers, boas, etc.
- feather assortment
- dyed plumes
- fly patterns
- links to other exotics
There is quite a variety of feather types on and Emu and I've included them all in one picture so you can see the difference in size. The tails are stiff, almost like straw, while the body feathers are long, narrow, and soft.
Click on the image for a larger view.
tail fibers- $/12 pack
body feathers - $/pair
display feathers - $/pair
full 50 feather assortment - $/set
These are the plumes from the breast of the bird, both male and female. The fibers are stiffer than those on the body.
Responding to the demand for dyed colors, I've dyed some of the prime display plumes. Click one of the thumbnail images for a larger view.
I'm looking for pictures of flies and the recipies you used to tie them. Please give me a call or email me for more information.
Male on his nest
Dyed light blue
On the run!