Turkey wing quill questions - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Turkey wing quill questions

I'm interested in tying dee style wings. I was lucky enough to harvest some eastern wild turkey wing quills last year. I'm having trouble getting the slips(?) to stay in position when tying down. I have tried slips from both the leading and the following edge of the quills, from both primary and secondary flight feathers, with the secondaries being slightly easier to work with. I'm waxing my thread and paying attention to the thread base that I'm tying them onto, so I'm assuming my problem is the inherent stiffness of the fibers. When I use turkey tail slips, I have no problems at all (I assumed it's because they are much more flexible). Anyone else have similar problems?

I was wondering if commercially available (I'm assuming farm raised turkey?), wing quills are any easier to tie with, making them worth the cost? Should I be selective (looking for certain attributes) when purchasing, or is it pretty safe to just order some sight unseen? Thanks for the help guys!

I'd also like to try some ocelated turkey. The colors on those feathers look awesome! Anyone have a source they would share here in the US?

-Sean
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 01:23 PM
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To keep it simple...forget the wing quills unless you are tying VERY small Dee flies. The tail feathers are the standard for a reason...and you've already figured that out...their flexibility/texture. Commercial tail quills will offer a variety of colors you won't get from a wild bird...other than that they are the same.

Contact John McLain at FeathersMc.com about turkey tail quills.

Good luck!!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 01:45 PM
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Personally prefer tail feathers over wing quills for Dee wings - and of the tail-feathers... the center are better still. But both quills and tails can be used for wings. Only the leading vanes (quills) are useful for wings.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys. Now I feel better about my tying issues with wing quills. The greater color contrast on the wing quills is why I was trying to use them. I'll check out FeathersMc.com and see what they've got. Thanks!

-Sean
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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CSFT, just for curiosity's sake, what would you consider a VERY small dee fly?

-Sean
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 11:58 AM
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Sean...probably something like a size 4, 6 or even an 8. It seems that for the usual Dee patterns sizes 1/0 or 2/0 are the norm...and even a bit larger depending on the water/river being fished. That's my experience anyway.....

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 12:51 PM
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Remember gents, not all "Dee" flies are "V" shape quill wings ... a Blue Charm is a "Dee" fly.


Mike
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Ok CSFT. I do tie VERY small dee style flies for trout. #4 is the largest hook I use for my local browns. I have been tying some slightly larger to try on my first NY steelhead trip, but nothing larger than #1 (no more than 1/2" hook gape for the river).

GR8LAKESFLYER, I had no idea the blue charm is a dee pattern. I tie those for my local trout too. Actually it has been my most productive fly this past year. I assumed all dee flys had V-shaped slip wings... I don't really study flies or their history in depth, if I see one on the interweb that looks pretty, I try to tie one and fish it!

-Sean
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captcaveman View Post

GR8LAKESFLYER, I had no idea the blue charm is a dee pattern. I tie those for my local trout too. Actually it has been my most productive fly this past year. I assumed all dee flys had V-shaped slip wings... I don't really study flies or their history in depth, if I see one on the interweb that looks pretty, I try to tie one and fish it!
The term "Dee fly" gets used rather often and quick ... and most often, misguided and directed
Dee flies fall into different categories, mixed wings, married wings, strip wings, "V" wings or "Delta" as some call them. But they are all feather wings.
Colin Innes has a wonderful website called Feathers, Flies and Phantoms, it is filled with real Dee patterns, history and examples ... some other cool stuff too. You will be shocked to see some patterns that are listed as "Dee" flies
He has written a book called "The Lost Flies of Balmoral", which is a fabulous read and I highly recommend it for all Dee fly wannabee tiers. It really gets into the history of the originators of patterns that we only typically know their names. Colin has researched these fore-fathers of the patterns and gets right into their lives ... cool stuff. Some patterns in the book I have never heard of, so many were a surprise. Check it out.

Yes, the Blue Charm is one of those flies that is like ringing the dinner bell on the river, no matter the quarry
I found other patterns on Colins' website and in his book that have much the same "charm". I'll give you one ... The Clunie (Cluny). You will have to go to Colins' site for the recipe though


Mike
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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I'll get on it ASAP! Thanks!

-Sean
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