red golden pheasant feathers

Explore the Uses of Golden Pheasant Feathers

Rooster pheasant feathers hold a special place in the hearts of fly tiers. Their iridescent head, olive gold body, and tail feathers provide an excellent base for nymphs, dries, hoppers, and streamers.

Pheasant crest feathers were once all the rage in salmon flies. Their neck (tippet) and topping feathers are a great substitute for more expensive plumages.

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Golden pheasant feathers are a popular and versatile material for hats, fashion, Aztec dancers, and other arts and crafts projects. They are also incredibly useful for fly tying, and a single skin yields an incredible number of feathers in various colors.

A full male golden pheasant skin, often called the “GP,” holds many amazing feathers in many beautiful colors. The crest feathers from the head are used for classical salmon and trout flies, the red shoulder feathers make excellent substitutes for Florican bustard tail feathers, and the dark barring at the base of the tail makes an awesome feeler on prawn patterns.

Additionally, on the flanks of the GP are larger marabou-like feathers that many tyers use for tailing on smaller Wooly Buggers and as body material for nymphs, damselflies, and even for collars on smaller streamer patterns.


Male golden pheasants have a distinctive, striking appearance. Their crest is golden yellow with a light tinge of red, and the face, throat, and chin are rusty tan. They also have a ruff or cape that is light orange.

The wing feathers of the golden pheasant are often used in classic salmon fly patterns, making great substitutes for Florida bustard wings. The brightly-colored feathers from the base of the tail are also useful for tying prawn and shrimp patterns.

The Golden Pheasant body skin is a versatile natural with many feathers that can be used in many fly-tying applications. The crest and saddle feathers can be used to create tails on wet flies, and the wingcases can be tied into various fly patterns. The feathers can also be used to droop the head of a wet fly or as a collar hackle on Spey flies. The skin also contains feathers that can be used for legs on nymphs and worms.


Golden Pheasant feathers are a great choice for millinery, Aztec dancers, and many other arts and crafts projects. They’re also a staple in fly tying.

The GP skin yields a wide array of different and useful feathers, but they are best known for the crest and topping feathers used in salmon and trout flies such as the Black Pennell, Green Highlander, and Dunkeld. The long, yellow wing feathers from the tail are also essential for many tying applications, including saltwater flies such as Grunwald’s Morrum.

The brilliantly colored male pheasant displays its stunning feathers during courtship to impress females. It also roosts in trees at night to avoid predators during the day. In the wild, pheasants are preyed on by birds such as hawks, eagles, and owls. It is illegal to harvest and possess pheasants without a permit. This is due to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which was approved in 1918 and made it a crime to kill, capture trade, or own migratory birds.

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