Quill Gordon

Welcome to the fly of the month! I’m excited to be heading up this section of the newsletter this year, and will strive to provide you with useful patterns and tying tips to help snag even the most elusive trout! The first fly we’re going to tackle is the Quill Gordon, a great early season dry fly…





HOOK: dry fly, size 14

THREAD: black

TAIL: medium or light dun hackle barbs

WING: lemon wood duck flank feather

BODY: stripped peacock eye quill

HACKLE: light and medium dun, mixed




  1. Start the thread on the hook just behind the eye and create a thread base. Make 3 or 4 overlapping wraps of thread at the bend of the hook to create a small thread ball.
  2. Tie in a small bunch of dun hackle barbs at the bend of the hook. These should be about the length of the hook. Wrap them flush against the thread ball you created in step 1, which will cause the fibers to fan out slightly.
  3. Bring your thread to a point about ¼ of the shank length back from the eye of the hook and tie in a wing of lemon wood duck flank feather, tips pointing forward. The length of the wing should be about the length of the hook.
  4. To create the wing, stroke and hold the tips of the wood duck feather back and take a few wraps of thread in front of the wing to maintain it in an upright position. Next, split the wing bunch in two and make two x-wraps with your thread to maintain the split. After this, perform two figure 8 wraps to gather each wing bunch together and orient them into a v-position atop the hook.
  5. Tie in a stripped peacock eye quill at the bend of the hook and wrap the body to a point just behind the wings. You can strip peacock eye quills by immersing a peacock eye feather in a solution of 50%bleach/50% water and allowing it to soak for a few minutes. The bleach solution will burn the flue (the iridescent colored fibers sticking out from the quill) off, leaving a bare quill. Remove the feather as soon as the flue is gone (leaving it in longer will damage the quill.) Rinse thoroughly in cold water to remove the bleach and store the feather in a jar of water for future use. These quills are delicate and need to remain moist in order to be able to be wrapped around the hook without breaking or cracking.
  6. Tie in 2 dun hackle feathers by the butt ends, pretty side facing you, just behind the wing, leaving a small bit of quill exposed behind the tie in point. Wrap each hackle. Tie off, make a small thread head, whip finish, and cement.
  7. As a final step, apply a coat of head cement over the body to reinforce the quill. This will ensure a durable fly that will withstand the pressures of all the fish that will be striking it on the stream!


Feel free to contact me with any questions at smcesari@epix.net or 610-730-7928.