Quill nymphs - can you get a sexier fly body?

iainmortimer

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One of the flies I just love to tie whether it’s beaded or unweighted. The bodies are just so natural when done and varnished.

Hook: Hends BL510 #14
Thread: wisp 8/0 olive
Tail: olive cock hackle fibres
Body: stripped peacock dyed olive
Thorax: Troutstalker Appleby Olive

917BD5CE-44CD-4906-8006-2FFA69239AE8.jpeg
 

Vermontdrifter

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For some reason stripped quills just tear in my hands be they home made, polish quill or bought from troutline! But I love the effect so I replicate it using either moose hair, wild boar or peccary. You can color the white hairs with a sharpie before tying to get different colors and the finished product is a bit more durable than quill.
 

wobbly face

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Nice nymphs Iain. (y)
I do like the quill bodies but they can lack a bit of movement. However, a coating of varnish or resin adds shine/flash. For those new to fly fishing, some natural nymphs fill with gas in order to rise to the surface and this can give the nymphs very silver/flashy appearance. This gas also helps to split the nymph's skin when adults hatch. I do like a bit of flash. ;)
 

iainmortimer

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Nice nymphs Iain. (y)
I do like the quill bodies but they can lack a bit of movement. However, a coating of varnish or resin adds shine/flash. For those new to fly fishing, some natural nymphs fill with gas in order to rise to the surface and this can give the nymphs very silver/flashy appearance. This gas also helps to split the nymph's skin when adults hatch. I do like a bit of flash. ;)

Agreed. These had a coat of Sally Hansens before the thorax was added ;)
 

Rob Edmunds

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I've tried tying with the artificial HD Quills 😡😡😡 .....numerous brands aaarrrggghhh

Theoretically they should be great, longer than the natural quill just as thin, stronger, same colours, even sticky on the reverse.....

In reality I hate them.....in fact I can't tye with them at all despite repeated attempts, I stretch them so they warp, they look absolutely rubbish when I've used them....so I gave up, screwed them up in a ball and threw them across the room - I was so infuriated with them.......

Never ever again.....they are not for me and I will stick with the natural quill that I love...
 

BobP

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For some reason stripped quills just tear in my hands be they home made, polish quill or bought from troutline! But I love the effect so I replicate it using either moose hair, wild boar or peccary. You can color the white hairs with a sharpie before tying to get different colors and the finished product is a bit more durable than quill.
Try damping the quill before tying it in. Makes it more flexible and easier to wind on. Care is still needed, but they don't break as easy.
 

blithfield2

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Try damping the quill before tying it in. Makes it more flexible and easier to wind on. Care is still needed, but they don't break as easy.

I think it was Phil from Fly tying Boutique, who advised using a smear of hair conditioner when you run the quills through your fingers
 

Vermontdrifter

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Any chance you could share a hair rib nymph.....?? I'd like to see how it compares with quill....

Just in case I'm missing out 😉
My tying talents being less than brilliant and my camera being an old iPhone it’s better for me to post one of Barry Ord’s brilliant videos. He ties a fair number of his flies with this type of body.
 

roger h 10

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For some reason stripped quills just tear in my hands be they home made, polish quill or bought from troutline! But I love the effect so I replicate it using either moose hair, wild boar or peccary. You can color the white hairs with a sharpie before tying to get different colors and the finished product is a bit more durable than quill.
I have found Polish Quills to be the best. I find that the easiest way is to use small hackle pliers to wind the body and get very few breakages even when tying down to size#30.
 

bigtel

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One of the flies I just love to tie whether it’s beaded or unweighted. The bodies are just so natural when done and varnished.

Hook: Hends BL510 #14
Thread: wisp 8/0 olive
Tail: olive cock hackle fibres
Body: stripped peacock dyed olive
Thorax: Troutstalker Appleby Olive

View attachment 35611
I always snap mine bloody nightmare ian
 

pentlandflyman

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Get hardly any breakages using the rotary function on the vice now, any breakages I got before were from changing hands or catching on the hook point. Rotary hackle pliers also make the job easier.

The pseudo quills are awful and I hate them as well, flies just look wrong with them imo a bit like with the fake JC. The only fake quill type body I was ever semi happy with was the two different coloured strands of flexi floss wound together up the shank, starting tight and gently releasing the tension as you wind to give the tapered body effect. Great on buzzers.
 

grandad keith

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For some reason stripped quills just tear in my hands be they home made, polish quill or bought from troutline! But I love the effect so I replicate it using either moose hair, wild boar or peccary. You can color the white hairs with a sharpie before tying to get different colors and the finished product is a bit more durable than quill.
Try soaking the quill in water for half an hour before using.
 

iainmortimer

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I find the only time I break them these days is when I lose focus and catch the quill on the hook point. I find the easiest way is to tie them in with the dull side facing you and then as you start to wind you fold it over so that the 'right' side is now showing.

To help visualise what I mean, see the photo below using double sided blue/copper tinsel. Assuming the copper is the shiny side of the quill and so the one I want, I tie it in with the ‘wrong’ blue side facing me so that when I wrap it the copper is then on the outside.

With quill, if you tie it in with the correct side facing out, it tends to split at the tie in point.

The other tip is to wrap it one turn at a time and use your other hand to trap each wrap before you make the next as it means you tend to use less force to keep the wraps in place.

I hope that helps someone!

7932427B-61A4-4764-9089-93001A0B4726.jpeg
 
Last edited:

iainmortimer

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Joined
Apr 5, 2014
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For some reason stripped quills just tear in my hands be they home made, polish quill or bought from troutline! But I love the effect so I replicate it using either moose hair, wild boar or peccary. You can color the white hairs with a sharpie before tying to get different colors and the finished product is a bit more durable than quill.

I always snap mine bloody nightmare ian

See post above. It might be teaching you to suck eggs but hopefully it'll help someone.
 

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