The emergence of the Quill Gordon along with the Blue Quill signals the coming of Spring in the Eastern United States. The aquatic insects mimicked by the Quill Gordon create excitement among trout fly anglers as it is one of the first hatches of the year. The size of this insect is normally a #12 or #14.
Spring and the emergence of the Quill Gordon varies depending on water temperature. Due to that condition, these insects will begin their reproductive mating at different times in different locations. For instance, Quill Gordons mate later in higher elevation mountain streams because the water is colder there. Also, the Quill Gordon will emerge and usually mate in the South earlier than in the Northern States.
It is said, by experts, the Quill Gordon becomes active when the water temperature reaches 50 degrees for a sustained period of time. Many anglers say that period is 5 days or more. In the Great Smoky Mountains and Southern Appalachians this aquatic insect is usually active in late February or early March though it can happen earlier or later. In 2012 the Quill Gordon hatch was noticed during the second week of February in the Smoky Mountains as this was the warmest year on record.
This quill bodied mayfly pattern dates back to the early 1900ís at the time of New York Catskills angler and fly tyer, Theodore Gordon. Many historians give credit for the creation of this fly to the Father of American Fly Fishing, Theodore Gordon.
Anglers in the Smoky Mountains should have some of these flies, in addition to Blue Quill and Blue Wing Olive patterns to be ready for the first major Spring hatches.
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