Winter Round Table
May flies have very thin, segmented, delicate bodies. Most freshly hatched duns have bodies that are fairly opaque. Many species have subtle, but distinctive banded coloration in the abdominal area. The anterior abdominal area often rests on the water surface as the insect dries its wings. It may be the single most visible target for the trout.
Very early fly tiers found that stripped hackle stem was the perfect material for many patterns. It is tapered at about the same rate as many may fly bodies. Because of this taper the quill will fit many sizes, depending on which diameter is tied to the hook. Many quills are in the #12 to #20 sizes.
This material is very realistic and comes in just the right colors.
For many patterns the right color can be obtained only if quill is dyed after the barbuals have been stripped from the feather. In the past this has been a messy, laborious task that appealed only to a few dedicated tiers.
Now you can tie quill body dry flies without all the hassle of manufacturing the quills. Simply remove a quill from the bundle by pulling on the big end. Place it in a bowl of warm water. Let it soak until it becomes pliable. Place enough quills in the bowl to supply a whole tying session. Do not replace unused quills back into the plastic bag while they are still wet.
Tie the quill to the hook where it will best implement the right body diameter for the size of fly that you are tying. Use each quill to tie your little flies first, then your medium, and then your large flies last. This strategy results in the least waste and the most flies for the dollar spent. The tip of the quill should be tied to the hook so that it provides a very smooth foundation for the exterior wraps or your body will be lumpy. The diameter of this wrapped down quill must be subtracted from the over all diameter of the finished body. Remember to think…thin.
Ideal proportions for the hair wing dun patterns are: tails = 2/3 to 3/4 body length, abdomen = 2/3 body length, three wraps hackle evenly spaced over the length of the thorax, overall width of hackle = 5/6 body length, the hackle is clipped flush with the bottom of the thorax so that the fly rides flat on the water, the wing is dressed to stand up as a thin fan, one body length in height.
HOOK: TMC 102Y, #17
THREAD: gray 8/0
TAILS: dk. dun Micro Fibetts
ABDOMEN: blue quill color Quill Body
HACKLE: #18 Hoffman saddle, dyed dark dun
THORAX: natural muskrat belly fur dubbing
WING: dyed gray deer body hair
HOOK: TMC 100 or 900BL, #14
THREAD: brown 8/0
TAILS: brown Micro Fibetts
ABDOMEN: red quill color Quill Body
HACKLE: #14 Hoffman saddle, grizzly dyed brown
THORAX: rust Scintilla
WING: dyed brown deer body hair with strip of white Hi-Vis over the top for visibility
HOOK: TMC 100 or 900BL, #16 - #18
THREAD: tan 8/0
TAILS: light dun Micro Fibetts
ABDOMEN: Frying Pan PMD color Quill Body
HACKLE: #16 natural grizzly Hoffman saddle
THORAX: shrimp pink Scintilla
WING: bleached deer body hair
The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR
1 (800) 266-3971