Classic Video Tip: A Better Way to Strip Peacock Quills

Stripped peacock quills create beautiful segmented bodies on a variety of fly patterns.

A lot of great patterns–such as the Quill Gordon, the Stripped Peacock Quill Nymph, and the Blue Quill wet fly–feature bodies made from stripped peacock quills. For many tiers, making stripped quills is a real pain, so they simply buy packaged quills from fly shops. But this video from Tightline Productions shows you how to make your own, with a quick and easy method. Sure, you can simply strip a quill by hand or use an eraser, but Tim Flagler’s method is much more effective and allows you to strip and color a bunch of quills at once.

And, in case you haven’t checked it out, many of the Tightline videos we’ve featured here on the blog are now up on the Orvis Fly-Fishing Learning center on the new Fly Tying Videos page. You can browse the comprehensive collection of video instructions for tying dry flies, emergers, nymphs, streamers, saltwater and bass flies, and salmon and steelhead patterns. There is also a fly-tying techinque section that features fly tying videos with helpful tips and tricks to help you become a better fly tier.

A little trial and error will help you learn not to overbleach (left) or underbleach (right) the peacock, instead finding the perfect balance (center).

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