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I’ve occasionally tied flies using this method. The main problem I’ve encountered, though, is that it tends to make for a rather lopsided wing, as many feathers aren’t evenly balanced on both sides of the stem. This particularly applies to bronze mallard, which is very definitely ‘sided’ in one direction or other. The fly you’ve shown photographed from above in post #2 uses a dyed feather, which goes some way to getting round this, but I can’t see how you can achieve this with a natural feather. Can you explain further, and do you have any pictures of the ‘wrong’ side of flies tied this way using undyed feathers?
 

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Thanks for that. I can see how that feather would work as a flatwing, as it's nicely symmetrical so would form a wing that looks good on both sides. However, it's not what I would call typical bronze mallard!

This is what I think would be most people's idea of bronze mallard. As you can see, the individual feathers are very far from symmetrical, which was why I questioned their use in this way.

 
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