Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rainy days, a fly legend-The quill gordon.

  Well, its raining here in great north east....again! So much rain this year, its rather remarkable for sure.  With the rain falling I decided to stock my plates with a fly of what is now becoming legend. The quill Gordon.  Theodore Gordon "The father of dry fly fishing" is credited with its creation. Although he never mentioned it in his writings, he only mentioned the "blue quill gordon". Perhaps that what he called the quill gordon.  Never the less Theodore Gordon was an amazing fly fisherman with a wealth of knowledge. Unfortunately he didn't like to share!  However he did make a great impression on the sport and art of the fly. He did leave us with a great legacy of  the Catskill fly tier. Ok enough of the history lesson.

  The quill Gordon to me is a deadly fly February right through mid April.  I tie them 3 ways. Catskill, Wet fly, and Parachute.  I use the catskill in the riffles, the parachute on flatter waters and the wet fly any where.  The wet fly is a great producer in the late winter and early spring. With a great deal of takes coming on the end drift swing and hang.  I tie the wet in sizes 12-18, with 16 being my most commonly used. The dries, I tie them in 14s to 18s. I haven't seen a larger one then a 14 in my area.

  The nymphs of this fly are clingers, they are commonly found in shallower riffles, and other areas of swift moving water.  The trout can found in these areas at hatch time, a good number of trout will also sit in the transition from riffle to run or to pool, and wait for the duns to come riding down in the film.  The nymphs hatch on the bottom and in the water column on the way to the surface. This why the wet fly is important.      

Now the fun part, Lets twits some up! This tutorial will be for the wet fly. I will do the dries in upcoming tutorials.

Hook- Daiichi Alec Jackson soft hackle hook #11 Great deals on these at my sponsors store. Check it out.
Thread- Black M.F.C. 8/0
Tail- Wood duck
Body- Stripped peacock hurl
Wing- Wood duck
Hackle- Dun hen neck

Start the black thread and wind back to the just a turn past the barb

Tie in the tail and run the thread up and trim the butts

Get yourself a wood duck flank feather, strip off the fluff.

Tie it on top of the shank, concave side up, with three loose wraps.

Pull the butt of the feather to draw the tips in, keep checking the length of the wing by bending the tips back. The wing can extend back to the end of the tail at its longest and to the end of the body for its shortest.

Once the wing length is set, trim the butt of the feather and cover it all up. Be as neat as possible, you will want a smooth body to wrap the quill on. Stop the thread at the back of the hook.

Catch in a quill by the skin on the butt section. Advandce the thread forward and leave about a mil for the hackle.

Wrap the quill, You can put super glue down on the thread before winding for more durability, or you can coat the quill body with lacquer.

Tie in the the hen hackle by the butt.

Wind the hackle, make two complete turns one in front of the other.  Catch the hackle with the thread, two times behind the wing.

Bring thread in front of the wing, and tie off the hackle

Trim the hackle out of the way, Pull the wing back and wrap the thread back over the wing, forming the head.

Varnish the head. You now got yourself a deadly wet fly.


  1. Ugg your killing me JU. Each day i read your blog im longing for my vise and materials on this island :0( Great patterns & step by steps.

    Ill call ya Mon.

  2. Wonderful J.U.
    I fished wets more this past season and loved them.
    Light and Dark Cahills were a favorite.

  3. Mad Man- How could you forget a vise, you know its your vice! lol. Hope your having a blast!, cant wait to hear about all the bones.

    Brk Trt- Thank you, Give the gordon wet a try from late feb to early april. It wont disappoint. I will be doing a post on the cahill gang some point, they are also great flies. Not to mention fun to tie!

  4. Very beautiful fly.