Few things can start an argument among fly tiers than the subject of what makes an “authentic” Catskill-style dry fly. I’ve seen grown men almost come to blows over home many turns of hackle or thread wraps are too many or too few. I’m sure that some folks will find flaws with the Ginger Quill demonstrated here, but I guarantee that the trout will give it two fins up.
In this great video by Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, author and blogger Matt Grobert absolutely nails the proportions and elegance that make Catskill-style flies so prized by anglers and tiers alike. Grobert’s techniques for measuring, preparing, and attaching each material are not difficult, and the results are simply beautiful. Chances are, your first few attempts won’t look as good as Grobert’s, but practice makes perfect.
Hook: Standard dry-fly hook (here, a Dai-Riki #300), sizes 14-20.
Thread: Olive, 6/0 or 140-denier.
Wings: Mallard primary-feather segments, matched.
Tail: Ginger or brown hackle fibers.
Body: Stripped peacock quill.
Hackle: Same as tail.
Head: Tying thread.