For those guys who don’t know so much about Catskill flies the Catskill dry flies are developed in north of New York on the river with the same name. The particularity of these flies are in how they are build. The body is slim and delicate, the tail is sparse and long , even 3 times long compared with the body or with the hook shank. The Hackle is tied in the minimalist way, for example for a size #12 fly 4-5 turns are enough. To help the floatability of the fly the hackle is longer than usual, between 2 and 3 times bigger than the hook gap.
In some regions from Europe tying in this way is normal, in fact in East part of Europe the flies are tied more sparse that this because the flowing of the rivers are not so fast and a “bushy” fly will not catch fish.
Bellow is a classic Light Cahill tied in the Classic old style, lot of hackle , consistent tail too:
In the beginnings almost all of us we are looking for the best flotation of the fly but this is not the most important aspect. The presentation and how is the water print of the fly on the water, in my opinion is more important. Catskill flies demonstrate this: sparse hackle, long tails, thin and clear bodies and lots of fish caught after a fishing day.
A great fly that I like and I use for trout fishing is the Catskill Red Quill:
Hook: Maruto D04 #12
Thread: Uni 17.0
Tail: Brown Rooster barb or Coq de Leon Rubion
Body: Stripped quills /stems from rooster saddle or hen saddle or rooster cape
Hackle: brown rooster hackle from Transylvanian rooster cape
Wings: Mallard barred feathers dyed yellow
I hope that you have a “picture” about how these flies are tied. Is not a big deal, just to respect the following points:
*slim body with a clear profile
*long and delicate tail made of only 3-5 fiber barbs
Have fun tying and fishing too!