Wapsi - Ostrich Herl
Ostrich Herl can be used several different ways. It is a very good substitute for marabou and can be used as a tailing material. It is slightly stiffer than marabou and that can be an advantage if you are tying flies to be used in heavy water – where a marabou tail can collapse.Murray’s Helslgrammite (pictured above) is an excellent smallmouth bass fly which utilizes Ostrich Herl for the tail.
Depending upon the color Ostrich Herl you choose it can be an excellent substitute for peacock herl on midge and nymph patterns. The added benefit is the range of colors available which cannot be duplicated with peacock herl.
My favorite application for Ostrich Herl is as a full body material on nymphs, sowbugs, and scud patterns. Like peacock herl bodies, several strands of the Ostrich Herl can be twisted together and wrapped forward as a “yarn” to cover the hook shank. If tying a very durabile fly is important to you a small piece of Ultra Wire can be twisted with the herl to add rigidity.