View Full Version : Quill Bodies

01-07-2010, 01:32 PM
Can I tie all my usual dries using quill bodies, or is that not normally done? Not that it matters because I will tie them and fish them just to see if they are effective, I was just wondering if it was well thought of and effective. Thanks.

01-07-2010, 02:05 PM
I don't know if I would do that Blueraider. Supposedly there is a group that wanders the streams looking for heretics like you. On discovery, their flies and equipment are confiscated and they are given a dunking until they renounce the practice. Seriously, I like quill bodied flies. They look good and do not soak up water. Their main shortcoming is the quill can be damaged by trout teeth. I cover my quills with superglue after the fly is tied. If using dyed quills, test it first to be sure the glue does not alter the color. Good luck, Silvercreek

01-07-2010, 03:13 PM
:biggrin: Hey, you never know! I once got a spankin' on general principal! I hear tell ya gotta soak em in water for a few minutes too. Thanks for the tip on the glue. I will give it a shot.

01-07-2010, 04:00 PM
I depends on the type of quill. Biots and peacock quill generally do not have to be soaked. Stripped hackle quill generally has to be soaked. strangely, I have gone the other way and have recently tied up some quill bodied soft hackles. I like the look. As you can see from my avatar, I like the quill bodied dries. regards, Silvercreek

01-07-2010, 05:43 PM
They are quite nice. Very realistic.

01-07-2010, 07:57 PM
I like tying with quills. I'll have to tie some up this winter. If I'm able to make it to the mountains this spring some Quill Gordons will come in handy.

Have either of you guys substituted quill for moos main hair? I've tried it and the look is very similar.

I don't see any real advantage (breakes just as easily) other than something to try.

I do always put some clear nail polish over the quill body because it is so delicate.

Anyway, watch out for the fly tying police. If you're not careful, someone's going to go on the internet and tell you to take fly tying lessons because your fly isn't just like the one in the books. :biggrin:


01-07-2010, 08:52 PM
Never tried Moose for a "quill" body. Ought to float well. Thanks for the idea. regards, Silvercreek

01-08-2010, 01:39 PM
(Disclaimer: I'm not upset at everyone poking fun). My reasoning by asking is it "acceptable" is because I know that there are a couple of hundred years (give or take) of modern fly fishermen/women that have reached many of the recipes on tying for a reason. E.g, they are most effective. I'm not really worried about a persons criticism of tying something that is not normally tied, I just figure there is a reason that people tie flies the way they do and to venture too far out might be a waste of time. Having said that, I will tie one version of a fly I think might be effective just to try it out. I just don't want to tie a bunch of quill bodied march browns if it's a waste of material. I really do like the look of the quill and hope it's effective. At the very least, I can put them in a shadow box and hang it on the wall. ;)

01-08-2010, 04:56 PM
I like to tie quill bodies for my imitator dries. Tie a light body of dubbing similar to color of quill beneath your quill and counter wrap them. Biots which I prefer DO BETTER IF SOAKED SLIGHTLY. Quills from peacock herl I bought stripped or have had for a while I also soak briefly. With Biots, you can wrap tying thread over the front of the wrapped biot securing it. Alternate biot wrap, thread wrap over the front of the biot, then biot wrap over the thread, etc. You can also counter wind with mono thread/ 6-7X tippet. I used to use super glue or Sally Hansens to cover my quills, but by using a light dubbing base with quills wrapped on top and counter wrapping, I find the hackles, wings etc. usually go before the quill bodies, so no longer use them.
A.K. Best uses moose mane for bodies on his smaller midge emergers (16-20,?) and just thread bodies below that!

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum

01-08-2010, 05:49 PM
Thanks for the info...lot's to this tying stuff ;)

01-08-2010, 05:50 PM
Kytroutbum, so the dubbing cushions the quill and prevents it being torn or do you also have to counterwind the quill with something to preserve it? Thanks, Silvercreek

01-08-2010, 08:19 PM
I got the idea of dubbing under the quill from one of AK Best books. He dubs to cushion when he ties with hackle quills. I've tied with them some hackle quills but prefer the biots for my bodies- cheaper.
I know many of the early Catskill tiers used to counterwind gold wire over their peacock herl quills to strengthen them. So I use a few wraps of clear mono- thread/ or 7x tippet instead to strengthen them.
The biot technique- light dubbing, then alternating wraps of biot and tying thread- over the front of biot, I believe came from another tyer's video (who?). Can't remember well, and I'm not functioning well enough to look it up now. I had a wisdom tooth out yesterday. I don't like to use superglue/epoxy/ sally hansen's more than necessary. It has a habit of getting to where it doesn't belong.

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum

01-10-2010, 09:29 AM
Hmm; yep I like 'em

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_y-lBmAG3meE/Swxcyx_8_rI/AAAAAAAAAzM/-QMi912-wog/s400/DSCF0374.JPG (http://lh4.ggpht.com/_y-lBmAG3meE/Swxcyx_8_rI/AAAAAAAAAzM/-QMi912-wog/s400/DSCF0374.JPG[/img)

01-10-2010, 09:50 AM
No. 16 peacock quill soft hackle.

01-10-2010, 11:57 AM
Good looking flies guys.

01-10-2010, 09:11 PM
I came across this thread on another site.

Randall Sale

01-10-2010, 09:25 PM
Thanks KY, good stuff :smile: