Fly Tying: Stripped Peacock Herl Chironomid
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Fly Tying: Stripped Peacock Herl Chironomid

Peacock herl is a great material for an array of flies but often becomes too bulky & hard to glue without ruining its iridescence.  One use for peacock herl that is often overlooked is stripping the fibres and using the quill as a body material.  It creates beautiful segmentation as well as a very natural looking colour for a chironomid pupa.

Stripping peacock herl can test your patience, and using only the bottom half of each piece where the stem is stronger will result in less breakage during the wrapping process.  This fly can be tied with a multitude of ribbing combos, this red holo tinsel & copper wire double rib has fished really well for me over the years.


  • Dai-Riki #285 hook (this fly is tied on a size 18)

  • Black, Black Nickel or White Brass Bead (I’ve used a 1/16″ here)

  • UNI-Stretch White

  • UTC 70 Rusty Brown

  • UTC Red Holo Tinsel (Small)

  • UTC Copper Wire (X-Small for this size of fly)

  • Stripped Natural Peacock Herl

Step 1:  Slide bead onto hook with the larger bored end facing the eye of the hook.

Step 2: Tie in UNI-Stretch gills and trim back end.  Usually I will double the gills over to create two strands but 1/16″ beads can be difficult to fit over a doubled gill due to the small diameter.

Step 3: Whip finish, slide bead over gills and trim.

Step 4:  Tie in UTC Copper Wire behind bead.

Step 5:  Tie in UTC Red Holo Tinsel (Red holographic flashabou also works in place of this)

Step 6:  Tie in one strand of stripped peacock herl.  To strip the fibres you can either use your thumb and forefinger or a rubber eraser.

Step 7:  Form a tapered thread body

Step 8:  Wrap stripped peacock herl forward to form the body.

Step 9:  Wrap UTC Copper wire forward to form the segmentation.

Step 9:  Wrap UTC Red holo tinsel forward in front of each wrap of wire.

Step 10:  Apply brushable Zap-A-Gap or glue of your choice & patiently wait three months for ice to come off of interior lakes!!

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Jordan Oelrich












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