[by Dave Klausmeyer]
The Light Cahill is one of our most famous mayfly patterns. On some rivers, the duns have a tendency to emerge throughout the day and the trout never seem to key into them; on other waters, you might encounter a more vigorous hatch that gets the fishes’ attention.
There are many patterns designed to imitate the Light Cahill insects, and the Cahill Quill is certainly a member of that family. This important pattern is delicate and perfectly proportioned; use it as a model when tying your own Cahill Quills.
HOOK: Regular dry fly hook, sizes 16 to 10.
THREAD: Tan 8/0.
TAIL: Ginger hackle fibers.
BODY: Stripped herl from the eye of a peacock herl feather.
WING: Wood duck flank fibers.
HACKLE: Ginger saddle hackle.
Making Split Flank-Feather Wings
There are a couple of ways to make lovely wings on a Catskill-style dry fly. Some tiers place one wood duck feather on the hook, and then divide the fibers in half to create the two wings. Traditionally, however, tiers used two feathers placed back to back. Here’s how: