Posts Tagged ‘marabou


Deer Damsel Fly Pattern

The Deer Damsel: I spun/dubbed a thorax collar of deer hair to represent legs. The rest of the pattern is the more traditional materials: stacked marabou tail and dubbed abdomen of hare’s ear with guard hairs.


Box of Woolly’s…

Woolly Buggers-fly pattern-fly box-SwittersB


Stillwater Dragon Fly…


rainbow trout-SwittersB-photography-fly fishing-SwittersB-2

Oregon Rainbow Trout, Caught/Released by SwittersB

The abdomen of the dragon fly pattern is densely wound marabou (staggered colors) in a dubbing loop. The shaggy body is then trimmed with scissors or a razor blade (I prefer scissors). A wound hackle for legs and pheasant tail fibers for the wing case over the top of the plastic dumbbell eyes. The head here is dubbing but can be wound marabou fibers or ostrich herl fibers. I do not weight this pattern but prefer to take it subsurface with an Intermediate sink line fishing the shoreline of lakes out to the drop.


Marabou: Excellent Fly Tying Material

brushed leech SwittersB

The macro lens reveals the Marabou tail feather is not of the best quality that I used.

Here is an excellent piece re Marabou feathers by Paul Joergensen at Global Fly Fisher


Sexy Stuff: Marabou

Isn’t it sexy? Can you imagine it wet? No, not her baby doll. That sexy, undulating tail on that damsel. I said not her. Ok, I haven’t really posted one naughty insinuation on SwittersB in ages. So, its over…relax.

For the beginning fly tier, marabou is one great material to become familiar with for tails, abdomen, wings. It pulses and undulates with the slightest movements. Learn the types of marabou feathers and how they are used for various patterns. Never treat marabou with any floatant materials (same with CDC). Let it work its magic. This will also encourage you to visualize how you are presenting a fly beneath the surface.

Sexy: Provocative, Seductive, Appealing, Exciting….This Rainbow Trout took a marabou enhanced streamer pattern. Caught/Released.


Stillwater Damsel Fly Pattern (Cope’s Damsel)

Olive Green Damsel Pattern (Based on Cope’s Damsel)

Stillwater Fly Fishing: I have for several years tied a very fluid damsel pattern (Georgi’s Damsel) with the bushy marabou/chickabou tail. Or, I’ve tied the more static, more slender Cope’s Damsel version. I really think they both have been perfect damsel patterns.

Brown Damsel Pattern (Cope’s Style) SwittersB

Georgi’s Tan Damsel (SwittersB)

As much as many of us opt for the more fluid materials to impart life, the slender, more static Cope style (originated by Jim Cope) is a very productive pattern. Not the first time I have shown these patterns, but well worth a revisit.


Fly Tying: Culling Marabou Feathers

The Green Meanie (SwittersB)

As a beginning fly tier, it is easy to assume your fly tying materials are uniformly prepared and packaged for quality assurance. With marabou feathers, if they are packaged loose or strung together, I would (without sneezing or making a mess) spend a little time to check the quality of the feathers before purchasing. High quality marabou will be evident to you after awhile and the better brands will become evident. Here is a few comments by G Smolt at an outdoor forum discussing marabou quality:

“I just have one concept to add, and that is feather culling. The average bag of strung hackle and schlappen has very few high-quality quills in it, a lot of B and C quills, and a few duds that aren’t fit to use anywhere on a fly. Lots of folks grab the first feather their fingers touch and just start wrapping

Feathers need to be selected, not just grabbed willy-nilly.

I say this because the hackles on both the black bugger and the purple egg-sucker are far too short to be using on such a fly – the “fluffy” barbules at the head of the fly are a dead giveaway. Now, will this cause fish to not eat the fly? Of course not. Will this affect the way the fly looks, and perhaps skew the tier’s perceived ability to “tie the fly right”? Most certainly.

SELECT YOUR FEATHERS. Make sure they will be long enough to complete a wrapping task. Look for missing barbules, clips, or anything else that deem a feather a “cull”. Select for quill stiffness as well – proper quills will wrap, thick quills will break. 

PREP YOUR FEATHERS. Pick off the fluffy barbules at the bottom of the quill, break the barbule hooks on schlappen and cheap hackle (velcro hooks work awesome for this), back-comb the quills to separate the barbules, and fold before you wrap.”  Outdoors Directory Forum

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