I like the look of, and enjoy tying, quill bodied flies, they're just so buggy!!!
I've had a packet of large black cock hackle feathers unopened in my fly tying box for at least 12 years, so today I decided to do something with them. I've stripped off the barbs and used the quill.
The photos below show how versatile quill can be. But not just bird feather quill can be used, I've used, coloured mono, various plastics, horse tail and hair. The bottom right is a peccary hair quill, an excellent body material.
Tie them with touching wraps or use looser wraps and let the under body wrap show through.
Quill bodies work well on wet and dry fly patterns.
There are times when larger flies just don't work. I rarely use anything bigger that a size 14 and even these are occasionally to big. Over the last couple of weeks there have been a few times when smaller dries are needed.
This is when gnat patterns come in to their own.
These griffiths gnats are tied on size 20 & 22 Daiichi 1110. I like these hooks as they have a straight eye, that is big enough the see even on smaller sizes.
The hackle is Natures Spirit cape tops, different colours are available but I've use grizzle (and purple for the variant) on the ones below. These are perfect for hackles on small flies
The body is peacock herl.
These are great little flies on river and lake for wild brownies and graying and are quick and easy to tie.
I had a good day out on the Dee with Willem, from Belgium. He'd not fished the river before but soon got into catching grayling on a dry fly, his final total was in excess of 10 caught and as many misses.
I've promised him a day on a remote mountain lake chasing wild brownies the next time he's over.
Kai, from Germany, was visiting Snowdonia and had never been fly fishing before so thought he'd have a go. After catching a few smaller fish, and missing a few move, he successfully brought a cracking grayling to the net. Kai tells me he's definitely taking up fly fishing when he returns home.