Favorite Flys “Fly Tying Terms”

Welcome to the Fly Tying Terms section. We hope this section enables and encourages you to become a fly tyer, or to enhance your fly tying skills.

From Perrault's Standard Dictionary of Fishing Flies
by Keith E. Perrault
Terms — P
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Palmered:
Application of a hackle to hook body by attaching at the bend and spiraling toward the head, around the body, is called palmered hackle. The process of winding thusly is to "palmer" the hackle.

Palmer Fly:
Type of fly which has hackle wound over body from tail to head. The name derived from the Palmer Worm or Caterpiller of old England. Usually these flies are wingless.

Palmered Fly:
Wet or dry fly with a thick body and a few or no tail fibers, but identified best by the thick hackle collar. No wings.

Parachute Flies:
Tied on specialty hook with a small wire tit on top. Also tied by winding hackle horizontal to hook shank, around the base of wings or around the little tit.

Paradrake:
Fly style developed by Doug Swisher and Carl Richards. Name comes from procedure of hackling in a parachute manner. Used effectively to float larger size flies.

Para Dun:
Dun fly patterns with parachute style wound hackle. Developed by Swisher and Richards.

Partridge:
Feathers from entire bird are used in fly tying. Hackles from rump and back are brown, from breast they are gray. Tail feather fibers used for nymph legs. A number of species of Partridge exist but basically the plumage is similar.

Pattern, Fly:
1. Name of a fly, as Muddler.
2. Combinations of fly types, as Streamer fly.
3. Fly dressing, as Hairwing-orange body.
4. The dressing materials used in a fly.

Pea:
Peacock. Wing quills are rare but substitue of gray mottled Turkey tail works as well. The herl of tail feathers is nearly a must on the fly tier's bench. Can be found dyed many colors although the natural is either bronze or green. The swords have a more blue-green tinge.

Pea Fowl:
See- Guinea. Not to be confused with Peacock.

Pearl:
Light gray and white barred duck flank feather. Also Pearl Hackle, which is a light gray and white barred grizzly.

Pearl Grizzly:
See - Chinchilla Hackle.

Peg:
Term used to describe a single tuft of material, usually hair, representing fly wings. Parachute flies have a peg, around which is wound, horizontally, the hackle. (That is horizontal to the shank.)

Perfect Fly:
The "perfect fly" is composed of the most popular or most often used fly tying materials and colors. It is a wet fly, size 12, to conform with most popular style and size. The most common fly (nearest to this description) is the Flight's Fancy trout fly.

Pheasant Rump:
Feathers from the rump area of most Pheasants and some Grouse are of a gray-brown-greenish color. These small feathers are used mainly in tails and leg representations on some flies.

Phentax:
Man-made yarn fiber used for bodies and wing material. Trade name.

Pig Wool:
Under hair of the pig. The softer furry hair under the bristles.

Pin Tail:
Whites and grays, and excellent fan wing feathers come from this common duck. The gray wing primaries provide good winging material. Especially good for dry fly production. Substitue either Mallard or Teal.

Pirling:
Old Scottish method of mixing various colored hairs by twirling the hairs by butt ends between the thumb and fore finger, thus mixing the colors.

Pointers:
Term sometimes used for primary wing feathers.

Polar:
Polar bear hair, creamy white to white with a touch of translucency. Used for winging flies.

Poly-I:
Man-made fiber yarn. Used for wings and bodies. Trade name.

Pontoon Hackling:
Process and term developed by Swisher and Richards for hackling a dry fly parachute style but under the hook shank rather than on top. A hackle is tied in at the thorax area with tip pointing down. A loop is made of the hackle rib, securing it to the shank. The remaining hackle is wound parachute style around the loop, then is secured to the shank, tip trimmed off, excess loop cut off, and thorax finished.

Pontoon Tail:
Term for "V" formation of tail material. Process is "Pontooning".

Primrose:
Color - Reddish-yellow. Sometimes lemon-yellow.

Profile:
The outline, generally, which a fishing fly presents to the fish. Should approximate size and configuration of the insect being duplicated. Refers mainly to wet flies, nymphs and streamers. For dry flies, see - Silhouette

Pukeko:
Marsh bird of New Zealand and Australia with multi-colored plumage of blues, purples, greens and reds. Feathers are used for some New Zealand fly dressings.

Pupa pl-Pupeae:
In methamorphsis of insects, the pupa stage is a dormant stage of chysalis stage. Most aquatic insects stage from egg to larva to nymph to adult. Some, like the Caddis pupate prior to the adult stage. The term Pupa, however is erroneously used by many anglers and fly tiers.


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