Marrying Mallard Quill

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2011/09/24 17:05:30 (permalink)

Marrying Mallard Quill

Had a question about marrying malard quill for wet flies - my apologies for the delay. The problem was handling individual slips cut from the wing and getting the tips to match up evenly. This tip was given to me from Don Bastian and it works pretty well for me.

1. The problem with cutting individual slips from the quill is that you are handling very thin pieces of the quill and trying to marry them. If you have big fat stubs for fingers like me - it can get frustrating.
You can cut wider slips and then seperate the individual quills but then that means some waste.

2. Instead of doing that, for the first slip - cut it wide so you have something to grab hold of. Cut the base of the slip on a slight angle to match the stem of the feather. Then hold the feather in one hand and marry the slip you just cut to it ..... as shown.

3. Count the number of barbs you want and cut the opposite color off the quill. Continue with the other colors as needed. Finally, when you have the final slip you need - then by using a bodkin or needle - count the barbs off the first slip you cut, seperate and remove.

4. By marrying to the whole feather and not individually cut slips - it's much easier to even the tips up and there's less waste.

"They say you forget your troubles on a trout stream, but that's not quite it..... you begin to see where your troubles fit into the grand scheme of things, and suddenly they're just not such a big deal anymore."

John Gierach


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