In the spirit of Thanksgiving, this months program focused on the use of turkey feathers in fly patterns. Several members brought some tying supplies and a pattern to share, and all three took turns demonstrating the tying steps to make those patterns.
First up was Erik Broesicke, showing a sulpher pattern that uses a dyed orange turkey biot for the body and an upright wing made of the feather material of your choice. This is tied compara-dun style with no hackle.
Thread: your favorite, try to use the smallest you can
Hook: Your choice to match bug size, usually 14 to 20 for our area.
Tail: Light dun hackle fibers
Abdomen: orange turkey biot, wrapped forward to thorax.
Wing: Upright feather fibers, tied compara-dun style. Quail was used at the meeting, but wood duck flank, mallard flank, or duck wing fibers can all work.
Thorax: Sulpher yellow or orange angora rabbit
This is a fly best used in slack water because there is no supporting hackle to help it float in the rough water. If you are getting refusals, try pulling it under to simulate an emerger.
Next Jeff Shafer showed off a pattern he came up with just for this meeting, which he dubbed the turkey tail nymph.
Thread: Black 14/0
Hook: Mustad nymph
Tail: Olive dyed pheasant tail fibers
Abdomen: Mottled turkey tail fibers wound around black wire
Thorax: Turkey tail fibers
Wing Case: Turkey Tail fiber
Legs: Olive pheasant tail fibers 4 on each side
Jeff's nymph is one of those that imitates many dark mayfly nymphs and will work well on our local streams.
Last but not least, Gary Fenstermacher presented a Gartside marabou streamer.
Thread: Whatever you grab
Tail: Crystal flash, what ever color you like
Body: Marabou Palmered forward to the hook eye. Start by tying a marabou feather in by the tip and wrapping it forward, stroking the fibers back as you go. You can mix feathers to create different color patterns or just use one color.
A nice finishing touch is to Palmer a lemon wood duck feather at the head of the fly, or even some crystal flash distributed around the hook.
This pattern looks like a bass/ warm water fly, but it works on trout too. Big ones. Gary like the versatility of being able to fish it like a streamer, or dead drift/ wet fly swing the pattern. The marabou makes the fly come alive in the water.
A big thanks, to Jeff and Gary for volunteering to show off their patterns and some insight into the philosophy behind some of the techniques.