This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is a Quigley Gray Drake Cripple.

Quigley Cripple Gray Drake |

I didn’t find a fly pattern sheet for a Quigley Gray Drake Cripple. This was tied for a customer and I pulled a few materials out I thought looked good for the fly. For instance, the body is a goose quill wrapped with black embroidery floss.

The following is information I wrote about the Quigley Cripple PMD in a prior TBT post.

The Quigley Cripple was developed by Bob Quigley in the late 1970’s for Northern California’s Fall River.

As the story goes, Bob was fishing a Humpy and catching fish with it. The wing got chewed up and he caught many more fish with the tattered fly. That got him thinking. Perhaps he should tie a fly with a wing facing forward. The result was the Quigley Cripple. I read where he is credited with inventing the term “cripple” to describe this form of mayfly.

The fly represents a mayfly emerging from the nymphal shuck. Many fish key on struggling bugs as they are an easy meal. Imitating this stage of insect can provide a great day of fishing.

The tail and body should be the color of the real nymph, whereas the thorax and wing will represent an adult trying to get free. Some versions use a marabou tail and body to imitate the nymph gills. A key identifying feature of the Quigley Cripple is the forward-facing wing.

You’ll find many more fly patterns these days with forward facing wings – the Mayfly Cripple from Blue Ribbon Flies and the CDC Last Chance Cripple from Rene Harrop are a couple that quickly come to mind. 

In my experience, fish key on cripples as they are easier to catch and don’t have to worry about them flying off.

Enjoy…go fish!

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