Red Quills

So why is it a guy can't find a Red Quill nymph pattern to tie or buy? Have I discovered some over sight in one of the most OCD of all hobbies? Sure, there are a good number of dry fly patterns available but most guides will tell you they will not get assaulted. They are almost always there in good numbers and you will often see the emerger take a month to dry its tall grey wing. I never see fish really key in on the Dun; this bug really must taste like shit the closer to oxygen it gets. The only fly I can actually say I have faith in during this hatch is an emerger pattern that I can only find through Orvis. Its a beautiful quill body with a long gray soft hackle collar, fish it deep or shallow, it smells right. It's suppost to imitate a Hendrickson, an Eastern fly and I am sure it was named  after that stripped quill body. Some shmuck like me got to wondering the same thing years ago and ordered what he thought was a Red Quill and the valley got lucky. There was a nymph a few years ago with a real skinny body similar to the Burton PT , that dog hunted  too. The similarities in the imitations seem to be their thin abdomen, but thats about it. So I decided to dig into old books and the magic that is the web and look for a blockbuster of a Red Quill nymph for the 2012 season.

Red Quill Emerger from Orvis

I discovered that there is essentially, no real patterns out there for this black sheep of the Mayfly world. I dug deep into some circa 1950 stuff, I went East coast, West coast and read some Latin. I waded through some incredibly bad web content and worshipped all the groovy new fly catalogs.and basically got skunked. Weird for a bug I see so often. Latin wise it seems to be in the Rithrogena gang with March Browns, but the nymph patterns are all very fat. Most of the Hendrickson patterns look a whole lot closer size and color wise but I'm afraid they are bloods and not crips. I'm not looking to get wacked here for crossing a line with the Ephemera gang. Truth is, I still have no idea what it is we are trying to imitate, I just know there is not a nymph pattern of what I'm not sure I'm seeing. Superflys (tung, soft hackle PT's) work all summer long in the right water type so maybe there isn't a better mouse trap after all.

A friend of mine was fishing size 12 PT's with an over sized bead one summer when the Quills were around and he was killing it deep. Something or other he read he said. "These bugs worked real hard at getting back under things on the bottom in fast water" he says. Real similar to the March Browns back East, but no closer. Time to call my buddy the Bug Man. Either way, all this research and thought spawned that  Bead Head Red Quill for use this summer.....probably wont work, but I've got 3 dozen of them.

1 comment:

  1. Bob,

    Love the Red Quills especially the Shane's sunken rusty spinner. Hope that we can float the collie this friday