When winter fades and the days warm the flowing waters of the Northeast, something miraculous happens on our trout streams. The aquatic nymphs of the mayfly called Ephemerella subvaria by the scientific community, mature and hatch into winged insects we fly fishers call Red Quills and Hendricksons. The Hendrickson and its imitation represent the female of the species, and the Red Quill the male. When this happens, the trout just happen to be getting their spring appetites up and running, creating ideal conditions for the fly angler.
Last year we did a video on how we tie the Hendrickson, and now we complete the pair with the Red Quill. Both flies being tied in the Catskill style tradition of fly tying. We typically tie the Hendrickson in a size #12, and the Red Quill in a size #12, and more often a size #14, the male being smaller than its counterpart.
Here's a photo of a natural Red Quill, taken by our friend Dennis Cabarle, somewhere along the Upper Delaware River. Unlike many of the mayflies, the male and female of this species are distinctly different. While the male is smaller and a deep mahogany color, the female is larger, has small eyes, and its body is a grayish tan with hint of pink. Both are wonders of the natural world that fish and fisherman alike look forward to seeing each and every year.
In New Jersey, this species typically hatches in April, usually around the 10-12th of the month. And in the Catskills, late April and early May, depending on the river and water temperatures.
Thanks to Tim and Joan Flagler for another fine video production. If you all knew how much time and effort Tim puts into editing these videos, you would truly be amazed. I just tie the fly, he does the hard stuff, and he does it as well as it can be done.....I may do some voodoo when I tie, but what Tim does is magic.
Sharpen your hooks!