Definition of herl in English:



  • A barb or filament of a feather used in dressing a fishing fly.

    ‘Four natural peacock herls are also used to form the back and head.’
    • ‘Tie in silver oval tinsel under the hook, followed by peach wool tail and two peacock herls.’
    • ‘Bring the peacock herl forward to form a back to the fly and tie off.’
    • ‘The fish was taken, it's said, from Loch Ken by the gamekeeper on a peacock herl tied on a hook.’
    • ‘After winding the silk back to the eye, wrap the peacock herl round the shank and up to the eye.’
    • ‘The best combination of colours seemed to be chartreuse green and white, yellow, green and white, and a mixture of grizzly, white and dark purple and peacock herl topping.’
    • ‘The body is a bronze peacock herl tied fat and tapering to the rear.’
    • ‘Not so long ago the standard patterns were either seal's fur buzzers, or similar flies in pheasant-tail, or some dark coloured herl.’
    • ‘He casts the royal coachman - white wings and russet hackle, pheasant tippits and peacock herl - to feign the nymph and summon rainbows from a shadow world.’
    • ‘I had an immensely complicated pattern to imitate them, carved out of spun marabou with knotted black eyeballs of ostrich herl.’





Late Middle English apparently of Germanic origin and related to Middle Low German harle.