Quill nymphs - can you get a sexier fly body?

iainmortimer

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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...

That'll do me for useful feedback. I've been tempted to try the artificial ones myself a few times for the length but not now! I find that with care, if I need more length, after winding the first quill and securing, a second can be added and tied in by the 'thick' end. That generally gives enough extra wraps to achieve what's wanted before it starts to noticeably thin, and so is unnoticeable.
 
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Rob Edmunds

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Like everyone I occasionally snap a natural quill but not that often.... for me they are do much easier to tie with than those horrid "imitation quills".....plus they look better.

My advice ...stay with natural
 

BobP

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All I do is to wet my lips and then run the quill between them. Seems to work well enough. Also I always seat the hook well into the jaws of the vice so that there is no nasty little hook point sticking out to catch any of the materials. I was told that by Jackie Wakeford, a Hampshire pro fly dresser back when I first started tying back in the 1970's.

Much as I like the look of the quill buzzer and have a good few in my fly box I have found over many seasons that a pheasant tail buzzer takes one hell of a lot of beating. The one that I use is just a smaller and weighted version of the Cove Pheasant Tail using tungsten beads in the 2.5 - 3mm size depending on how deep I want it to go. The body is 3-4 cock pheasant centre tail fibres tied flat - not twisted into a rope and ribbed with copper wire. There is a thorax of seal fur mix with a hint of red in it right up tight behind the bead. Hook size is 14-10 with 12 being the most useful.

The only downside with this fly is that once the pheasant tail fibres get chewed takes dry up. Therefore it pays to have a few of each ready to hand. It only takes a few minutes at home to strip the dressing off and tie a new one onto the same hook.
 

Wee Jimmy

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Much as I like the look of the quill buzzer and have a good few in my fly box I have found over many seasons that a pheasant tail buzzer takes one hell of a lot of beating. The one that I use is just a smaller and weighted version of the Cove Pheasant Tail using tungsten beads in the 2.5 - 3mm size depending on how deep I want it to go. The body is 3-4 cock pheasant centre tail fibres tied flat - not twisted into a rope and ribbed with copper wire. There is a thorax of seal fur mix with a hint of red in it right up tight behind the bead. Hook size is 14-10 with 12 being the most useful.

The only downside with this fly is that once the pheasant tail fibres get chewed takes dry up. Therefore it pays to have a few of each ready to hand. It only takes a few minutes at home to strip the dressing off and tie a new one onto the same hook.
More trumpet blowing from the forum blowhard.All very interesting if we were debating the effectiveness of PT over quill bodies.......but er...we’re not...🙄
 

dgp

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Like everyone I occasionally snap a natural quill but not that often.... for me they are do much easier to tie with than those horrid "imitation quills".....plus they look better.

My advice ...stay with natural
Prefer natural but quality can vary even with Polish sourced quills. Here's one tied with artificial - we know the difference but the fish don't seem to mind.
P1010349.JPG
 

len1

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Feb 20, 2013
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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
Really lovely fly and very well tied. I'll have to go and copy them immediately.
 

Rob Edmunds

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Bob I'll happily fish with you on Rutland, Grafham, or Farmoor at prime buzzer time ( May) and even pay for the boat...

I'll use stripped quill buzzers, you use pheasant tails and we pay each other £1 per fish they catch...😉😉....Be an interesting experiment at least.

Like you I lick a natural quill and its fine


Dgp, your artificial quill buzzer looks ok......mine end up nothing like that 😡
 

Spider

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May 25, 2006
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I only fish rivers and the stripped quill nymphs out fished thebl pheasant tails.
 

Bongoch

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My only bugbear with natural quill is its durability. Some of my favourite flies have quill bodies and even though I do cover/protect them with UV resin I find they can still be shredded first time out, it all depends on how the fish takes it!
 

Oldbones

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The Don
All I do is to wet my lips and then run the quill between them. Seems to work well enough. Also I always seat the hook well into the jaws of the vice so that there is no nasty little hook point sticking out to catch any of the materials. I was told that by Jackie Wakeford, a Hampshire pro fly dresser back when I first started tying back in the 1970's.
I have one of her books on fly tying methods, although its quite old now, it a wonderful resource for me.
 

BobP

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I have one of her books on fly tying methods, although its quite old now, it a wonderful resource for me.
She was a very good fly dresser. She was doing a demo at the Wessex branch of the Fly Dresser's Guild in Winchester when I was first starting to cobble a fly together. She finished off a fly with a whip finish - 4 turns in about three seconds flat. I just stared in disbelief so she showed it in slow motion two times. When I got home I got my vice out and practised what she had shown and have never used a whip finish tool since.
 
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