Tail: Yellow and crimson married
Ribbing: Gold tinsel
Body: Yellow floss
Wing: Brown mottled turkey with yellow stripe; may be married *
* The Ferguson is the first fly in this collection that employs mottled turkey and another color in the wing, (different from the Black Dose No.25). The Ferguson could be tied with a full turkey wing and a yellow stripe over-wing, but to me, the dark mottling of the turkey shows through the lighter yellow over-wing and reduces its visual impact. Fish don’t care, but fly tiers do, especially for presentation flies. Consequently, I choose to tie the Ferguson with a married wing. This fly and others calling for turkey and another color in the wing, if married, should be dressed using goose shoulder because its texture more uniformly matches that of the turkey. The reason is as follows:
The Prime Directive of Married Wings:
The wing ingredients of the Ferguson present an opportune time to introduce the ‘Prime Directive’ of married wings: Always strive as much as possible to maintain uniformity of texture with all components of married wings.
Duck quill sections do not match well with turkey. For starters, whether you prefer to tie concave side in or out, the curvature of duck wing quill and turkey goes in opposite directions when comparing top sides of the feathers. Turkey wing quill has a convex curve on the top side; duck wing quill has a concave curve on the top side. (See Don Bastian’s article in Hatches 2010 – Traditional Wet Flies for more detailed information on wet fly wings).
Also duck wing quill is generally stiffer than turkey, in part because turkey barbs (from wing and tail feathers) are up to four times longer than duck. Length alone of turkey and goose shoulder is almost identical, and this contributes to similarity of barb texture.