Peacock Quill Body

  • Select one herl from the blue part of a peacock eye.
  • Hold the herl by its base and pull it away carefully from the eye. Cut it free from any herls that come away with it, preserving the small amount of pale quill tissue at its base. The tissue at the base of the herl helps to keep it in place, once tied in.
  • Scrape off the flue with a sharp knife, working toward the butt of the herl.
  • Prepare the hook shank with close turns of foundation thread to the tail position. (S)
  • With the dark edge of the quill nearest the bend, tie it in, using the chenille method. Take the tying thread in close turns to the hackle position. (S)
  • For a secure dressing, now lacquer or glue the under-body.
  • Wind on the quill; do not overlap the turns.
  • If a single quill is not long enough to cover the shank (as was the case when we photographed this sequence) unwind the tying thread and tie off the quill before it becomes too narrow. (S) Cut the surplus, then tie in another quill, taking the thread back to the hackle position. (S) Re-lacquer or glue the underbody and wind on the new quill.
  • Repeat as required until the hackle position is reached.
  • Tie off the quill, leaving room for a hackle. (S) Trim off the surplus quill.

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