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Thread: Quill Gordon

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    Quill Gordon

    After reading Mike Valla's wonderful Tying Catskill-Style Dry Flies, I figured I'd take a shot at tying a Quill Gordon. I haven't used many Catskill style flies over the years, but the beauty of the flies in Mike's book, along with the rich history, has really sparked a desire in me to catch a few trout with them this year. I'm thinking: Quill Gordon, bamboo rod, Neversink river, - brown trout. That would be nice.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Stripped a lot of peacock eyes, but just haven't been able to find the ones with that nicely defined contrast.

    I've been tying for many years, but attempting these flies has been humbling, and really gives me an appreciation for the skills that the great traditional tiers have.

    Similar Threads:
    "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. When you can fake that, you've got it made."

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    Re: Quill Gordon

    Quote Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
    After reading Mike Valla's wonderful Tying Catskill-Style Dry Flies, I figured I'd take a shot at tying a Quill Gordon. I haven't used many Catskill style flies over the years, but the beauty of the flies in Mike's book, along with the rich history, has really sparked a desire in me to catch a few trout with them this year. I'm thinking: Quill Gordon, bamboo rod, Neversink river, - brown trout. That would be nice.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	P2110029.jpg 
Views:	1230 
Size:	287.4 KB 
ID:	6570

    Stripped a lot of peacock eyes, but just haven't been able to find the ones with that nicely defined contrast.

    I've been tying for many years, but attempting these flies has been humbling, and really gives me an appreciation for the skills that the great traditional tiers have.
    Mike Valla's quill gordon is probably what you should be studying.

    It isn't soooo difficult to get a neat looking quill...

    At least I don't think it is too difficult?!...

    You get that, and you got this pattern down.


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    Re: Quill Gordon

    A quill gordon wet fly is far more effective for hatches. I do agree that Catskill flies are beauties.


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    Re: Quill Gordon

    Barleywine, you are doing just fine at the bench. Keep up the good tying. Here is my Quill Gordon Catskill style:





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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.

    Re: Quill Gordon

    Hi Barleywine,

    Finding the right type quills for these is not super easy. Only the longest stemmed eye tail feathers have the light/dark contrast. These are the first to grow back after they moult their old feathers, and are on the tail the longest. They also have the largest sized eyes. Not every one of these will have the best contrast either, so you have to buy at least a dozen or so to sort through them. Their stem length is 45 - 50" plus. Most shops only sell "eye feathers" that are cut at a foot or so, and you really have no way of knowing what the length was before they were cut. Here's a pic of three good ones. Look at the top part on each eye. Many of the longest eye feathers that are good will have a space, or look bald at the top of their eye. The one in the middle looks pretty much the same as smaller feathers, but still has really good contrast. The one in the center that's down a bit is a regular sized one, and is useless for Quill Gordons since it's too small and doesn't have enough contrast. You can get pre-stripped quills, but there's still only about half in a package that have really good contrast.

    Regards,
    Mark




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    Re: Quill Gordon

    Barleywine:

    There are two ways of finishing off this head:

    1) Hand whip finishing which was done on the fly in the picture
    2) Use an english whip finishing tool which is a little tricky to learn, but once you do it's a snap

    Ever noting on the tail that sometimes they have a tendancy to point downward when you wrap the body? to prevent this issue, after the tail is tyed in and on place I take one wrap of UNi thread and go under the back of the tail. This gives it support and helps to flay the tail out a bit. This is an old technique that was used by the Dette's and Darbee's. The body is formed with the Wind and Tail materail and tapered with tying thread before the quil body is wapped. Tha's how the body looks uniformed and appears in a nice even taper. Hope this helps you out a bit in your tying endeavors.

    Sincerely
    Andy Brasko


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    Re: Quill Gordon

    Quote Originally Posted by mvendon View Post
    Hi Barleywine,

    Finding the right type quills for these is not super easy. Only the longest stemmed eye tail feathers have the light/dark contrast. These are the first to grow back after they moult their old feathers, and are on the tail the longest. They also have the largest sized eyes. Not every one of these will have the best contrast either, so you have to buy at least a dozen or so to sort through them. Their stem length is 45 - 50" plus. Most shops only sell "eye feathers" that are cut at a foot or so, and you really have no way of knowing what the length was before they were cut. Here's a pic of three good ones. Look at the top part on each eye. Many of the longest eye feathers that are good will have a space, or look bald at the top of their eye. The one in the middle looks pretty much the same as smaller feathers, but still has really good contrast. The one in the center that's down a bit is a regular sized one, and is useless for Quill Gordons since it's too small and doesn't have enough contrast. You can get pre-stripped quills, but there's still only about half in a package that have really good contrast.

    Regards,
    Mark


    Thank you Mark for the detailed reply to my problem finding the proper quills. I've got some work to do searching through fly shops, but the info you provided here will be a great guide.

    Thanks to Andy B. for the tip on the tails. I actually did put one wind underneath, but probably didn't snug it up enough to get the lift. My quill body got lumpy towards the thorax area, and that was from the lumpiness of the thread base underneath. So what you're saying is to leave the tail along the shank were I'll be wrapping quill, so the increased thickness of the barbs from the tail will create a natural taper when I cover them with thread. Great tip!

    Thank you again gentlemen.

    Chuck

    "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. When you can fake that, you've got it made."

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    Re: Quill Gordon

    classic quill gordons are beautiful with a little time you will get them down....

    TF

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    Re: Quill Gordon

    Quote Originally Posted by A Brasko Fly Tyer View Post
    Someday ... maybe someday..............................


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    Re: Quill Gordon

    Funny I came across this thread, just last night I tried to tie some of these...stripped my own quills, ran out of lemon duck feathers, but had some success. A lot of the quills would snap when I wound them, but many had a nice contrast. I found if I tied the tail in further down the shank, then used tying in the wing for the base of the body worked well, I still need loads more practice...I agree very humbling.
    Does anyone tie thread or wire over the quills anymore for a stronger body?


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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.

    Re: Quill Gordon

    Build a smooth thread base on the hookshank. Apply a very thin coat of Fly Tyers glue or Crazy glue (the ones that come with the brush) before you wrap your herl. Don't overlap the herl as much either as you go, and you will be golden.

    Roll up the windows Brian, you're letting the stank out.

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    Re: Quill Gordon

    Quote Originally Posted by Trout Fever View Post
    classic quill gordons are beautiful with a little time you will get them down....
    Post a classic quill Gordon, you monkey.

    If its good, I might let you back in my swap.


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