The Quill Gordon is one of the classic Catskill dry flies, named for Theodore Gordon, of course, who did as much to develop an American style of dry fly as anybody. This version of a Parachute Quill Gordon Emerger, by Pennsylvania tier Allen Landheer is a great combination of the traditional and modern. His use of Zelon and several kinds of adhesives creates a pattern much more durable than an old-school emerger.
Although I’m sure not everyone has a UV torch, 14/0 thread, or access to out-of-stock glues, I’ll bet you can find workable substitutes. To see how Allen ties a more traditional Quill Gordon dry, click here.
In this video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions walks you through each tying step, and as usual, he offers a couple tricks you can use to make the process simpler and to help you whenever you’re tying any parachute pattern. The way he creates the post, wraps it up, and the wraps the hackle downward makes a lot of sense, as does the use of the half-hitch tool at the end.
Parachute Quill Gordon Emerger
Hook: Daiichi 1130, size 14.
Thread: Black, 14/0.
Wing post: Wood-duck flank feather.
Trailing shuck: Dark brown Zelon.
Adhesive: Clear Cure Goo Hydro.
Wing: Dark brown or dun.
Thorax: Snowshoe rabbit’s foot dubbing.
Head: Black thread.
Adhesives: Clear Cure Goo Hydro and head cement.
Tools: UV torch, half-hitch tool.