Detached Olive, Halford

Shell Fly, Berners
Quill Gordon   English  fly
  American dry fly. This is an imitation pattern of a mayfly of Epeorus pleuralis made by Theodore Gordon. It is also called Gordon Quill. It is a masterpiece fly representing Catskill style dry flies. It appears that initially it had only one rolled wing and Gordon called it Blue Quill Gordon. In the 1930s, a fly with a divided upright wing was made by Reuben Cross. In Cross's pattern, the body was ribbed with gold wire. Roy Steenrod, who was a good friend of Gordon, has mentioned that the body of the fly was originally made of a quill body plus gold wire ribbing, and Gordon used to say that it was stronger and that it lasted a long time. Although Art Flick (1947) mentioned Quill Gordon without a ribbing in later years, he noted that the body becomes stronger with ribbing of gold wire.
  Because this fly pattern became so famous in the United States, it is interesting to note that the mayfly of the species Epeorus pleuralis came to be called Quill Gordon. It is a fly that fishes well, and it was the fly of last hope for the author until he obtained a CDC. It is a basic pattern used even now.
Tying MaterialPreston Jennings's pattern (1935) Refer to color and XX page.
hook: Hardy, # 10-11
wing: mandarin flank feather, rolled wing
tail: light blue dun, barb
body: light peacock quill (eye feather)
ribbing: fine gold wire (a pattern without a ribbing is common now)
leg (hackle): light blue dun
Reference A book of trout flies, 1935. Trout (Schwiebert), 1978. The complete fly tier, 1950 (1936). Tying American trout lures, 1940 (1936). Streamside guide to naturals and their imitations, 1947. The collector's guide to antique fishing tackle, 1989. Fly patterns and their origins, 1944 (1943).
Theodore Gordon, quill body, Catskill dry fly, Epeorus pleuralis
Selected Headings


A wagtail is often seen on the middle stream of a river.
Since it shakes a tail up and down rhythmically,
it can be recognized easily.