Since 1866 my family has been on the same Pennsylvania farm, passing from one generation to the next. We are passionate about preserving our heritage and our way of life. We currently crop 350 acres and milk 80 cows. Our connections to agriculture provide a unique opportunity to raise hackle from a farmer's perspective.
I work diligently to select breeding stock to provide the best possible feathers. Feathers that wrap true, aren't too dense or too sparse, and do not have thick, undesirable stems. My flock has origins from a few different places, most notably from my friends and mentors Charlie Collins (Collins Hackle Farm) and Jan Pickel (Bobs Hackle Farm). These two deserve all the credit for getting me started, teaching me everything I know about raising hackle, and for being there to help lend guidance and direction anytime I need it.
The genetics of Sideling Hill Hackle birds trace back through the hackle history books to names like; Harry Darbee, Doc Freid, Bill Tobin, Andy Miner, and others. We owe everything to these real pioneers of the hackle world. Without them and their dedication to enhancing the qualities of the feathers, we would most likely still be working with barnyard chickens and would have a much harder time tying those well-manicured flys we all strive for.
Those old time “backyard" flocks carried color variations and speckling mostly lost to the ways of the commercial hackle industry, resulting in almost “cookie cutter” type necks. These variations and speckling in the colors are what I strive to produce.
Because of my smaller size, having adequate supply for demand has been a challenge. In past years, I have hatched around 1000 birds a year, but as of this season, (2022) I’m aiming toward 2000 to help bridge this gap. My aim is to grow steadily over the next few years, in order to be prepared for when Charlie has moved all of his product.
That being said, if you don’t see it listed, please reach out to me by email at email@example.com and please give me about a week to get back to you, as my days start a few hours before sunrise and often go until dark, seven days a week. To those who have utilized the Etsy site in the past, I hope this website provides a more personalized experience, and allows for smooth browsing, purchasing, and communication. I am extremely excited for what the future holds for Sideling Hill Hackle and look forward to providing product to all who are passionate about the art of tying flys.