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Plakat

Choosing hackle size for parachute

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I have just started tying parachute flies. How do I choose the correct size hackle? I have tied a couple size 18's using size 18 dry fly hackle and they just look too small?

 

Thanks.

 

 

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The conventional wisdom says 1 and 1/2 times the hook gap for standard dry flies....the hackle gauges I've seen seem to be based on that. You essentially answered your own question..it looks too small, up the size to two times the hook gap. The other good thing about parachutes is you can use less than optimal hackle as long as the quill isn't too thick. Hope that helps.

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I've seen far to many parachutes tip over with standard size hackle. Remember- the hackle on a parachute is ABOVE the water, not on it, so the fly wants to tip until the hackles contact the water. Try slightly oversize (Say, a feather for a #16 on a #18 fly). It should be just fine.

 

Chuck

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Standard practice for hackling parachute dries is to use 1 size too big.

 

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If you think your hackle is too small- then it is too small. The reason it is small is probably because the diameter of the wing post is considerably smaller than diameter of the thorax where the conventional hackle would be wound. (For the same reason I usually use an undersized hackle on conventional flies which have a bulky thorax area, for example the Wulffs which have a good amount of calf tail tyed on the shank.)

 

There are three schools on parachute hackle size. Some, like Swisher and Richards, suggest an undersize hackle more closely matches the appearance of a natural's legs on the water's surface. Others recommend an oversized hackle, arguing the resulting fly is less likely to topple over. The rest of us take the middle road and use a size 18 hackle on a size 18 hook.

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I use a hackle gauge and tie all my parachutes using hackle one size bigger than standard -- i.e., size 14 hackle on a size 16 fly, size 16 hackle on a size 18 fly, etc. The end results look exactly right to me.

 

-- Mike

 

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post-15113-1210571754_thumb.jpg G'Day Plakat

 

Australia has a mulitude of fast flowing streams and parachute hackle flies are frequently used. Especially during Baetid hatches. I know there are a lot who will argue that your hackles should be longer than the size of the hook that you are using. But practice over here has found to question those thoughts.

 

It should be remembered that one of the first things that come into a trout vision such as a mayfly as it heads towards it is its upright wings. It is for this reason many of us will tie our posts a little longer and use a hackle a little shorter than standard to help feature the post. To me it is all about balance and holding that post upright.

 

I don't know if you are aware but when Parachute hackled flies were first released for sale by the House of Hardy in England they actually called them Ride-Right flies.

I suppose that makes us think a little does it not. The bottom line is if it looks good to you then that is the most important thing. Testing fly styles for your waters is a lot of fun and you learn a lot.

 

 

Cheers

 

Mick

post-15113-1210572219_thumb.jpg

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post-15113-1210621600_thumb.jpgThanks Joe nice to meet you.

I call it the Silver Grey and it works well for us. FYI the post is made from the new Enrico Plugisi

Triggerpoint winging material. called Quick Silver.

 

Cheers

Mick

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any one ever here of tied true catskill style dries i was at a show one year and figured out how to do it. when we read a hackle gage like a griffin hackle gage those are set a little big when you read the gage and the hackle cross the line it already 1-1/2 or even 2 times the gape so in other words a size 14 hackle on a 14 dry is wrong if you do it the tied true way you put a 16 hackle on the dry because of build up etc... of thread and wing material so using a size 16 on a size 14 yields a size 14 dry with 1-1/2 to 2 times the gape of the hook. if you use that 14 hackle on a 14 hook it almost always yields a 12 size dry. any ways try it and all you have to do to tell the difference between the two is drop them several time on a desk surface. the tied true fly will sit up almost every time and like it will in the water righting it self unlike the reg tied fly. any ways good luck and tight lines rhino....................

 

 

 

btw if you use loner shank hook use a reg sized hackle etc etc... just to proportion the body

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Like most of the other guys i use one to two size up in hackle depending on the size of the fly iam tying up

Tight Lines mike

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post-15113-1210571754_thumb.jpg G'Day Plakat

 

Australia has a mulitude of fast flowing streams and parachute hackle flies are frequently used. Especially during Baetid hatches. I know there are a lot who will argue that your hackles should be longer than the size of the hook that you are using. But practice over here has found to question those thoughts.

 

It should be remembered that one of the first things that come into a trout vision such as a mayfly as it heads towards it is its upright wings. It is for this reason many of us will tie our posts a little longer and use a hackle a little shorter than standard to help feature the post. To me it is all about balance and holding that post upright.

 

I don't know if you are aware but when Parachute hackled flies were first released for sale by the House of Hardy in England they actually called them Ride-Right flies.

I suppose that makes us think a little does it not. The bottom line is if it looks good to you then that is the most important thing. Testing fly styles for your waters is a lot of fun and you learn a lot.

 

 

Cheers

 

Mick

I know it's hard to judge size in a two dimensional picture, but if I measure the hackle on the parachute fly in your picture, it's definitely more then twice the hook gap and I think that looks good. I'm by no means an expert but I normally use a hackle that's one size bigger then the hook and that normally works out fine, at least to my eye.

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My belief is that parachute flies imitate emergers rather than the fully emerged adult dun.

 

Where is the hackle on your parachute fly? It is horizontally wound ABOVE the body. Horizontal hackle above the body CANNOT support a pattern above the film with just a portion of the abdomen of the adult touching the surface. The entire body of the parachute is in the film, with the hackle support above the body. Take a look at your fly and see what the pattern is designed to do.

 

post-15113-1210572219.jpg

 

As we learn more about emergers, the parachute is a late stage emerger.

 

[email protected] was the very first and only internet fly fishing mailing list which was active in the 1980s well before the world wide web. It was and still is a mailing list. Back then Jim Stagnowitz wrote, "The parachute is likely the best for stillborn or drowned adults. It also seems to work best on flat smooth water. (NOTE: you might, by selecting more buoyant materials and hackling a parachute more heavily help its effectiveness in rougher water). The parachute seems also, because of its low riding profile, less effective than conventional flies for fish feeding on the high riding adults.

 

I don't think that fish that are taking high riding adults mistake the parachute style for one of the mature insects. I think they take it as a stillborn that arrived at just the right time (opportunistic feeding)"

 

Our global community of fly fishers was discussing the same stuff over 30 ago on [email protected] but it's probably worth it to bring it up again since there is still the impression by most fly fishers that the parachute is an adult pattern.

 

Gary Borger wrote an article called "Film Flies, Five Stages Of Insect Emergence And The Best Flies To Imitate" for Fly Fisherman Magazine. It used to be on the FFM archive but is no longer available. The start of the article is available on the Web archive:

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20101230025309/http://www.flyfisherman.com/content/film-flies

 

Film flies are flies that are fished just under, in, and on the film. These are flies that imitate emergers. The use of the single term, “emerger,” to describe these flies and insect stage implies that they have a specific form or shape, but this is far from true.

 

Emergence is a seamless process. To better understand this process we have divided nymphs from emergers but that division is made so that it is easier for us to understand. For the organism, emergence is a process rather than a stage of existence.

 

Most mayflies and caddis emerge in the same fashion. The nymph or pupa plasters it’s back against the underside of the film.

 

For the mayfly, the floating nymph happens to be the earliest phase of change from nymph to emerger. I find it easiest to think of a floating nymph as an emerger because we fish it as an emerger and the trout take it just like an emerger.

 

The floating nymph is an emerger and the nymph in or under the film is just a bit earlier before the actual emergence begins.

 

Floating nymph in my opinion is a misnomer because the nymph is not actually floating on the surface, but in the film. The thorax of the nymph is against the underside of surface film. When the thorax breaks open, the dun begins to emerges into the air. This is the next stage in emergence.

 


35555723022_959efd8dab_z.jpg

 

The nymph never actually floats before, during, or after emergence. Only the emerging dun is on the surface using the nymphal body as an underwater platform.

 

The open thorax of the nymph is analogous to a window from the under water world of the nymph to the surface world of the dun. The dun pulls and craws out of this "window" and leaves the nymphal husk behind under the surface film.

 

As the dun of the mayfly or the caddis adult, pulls itself out of the thorax of the nymphal/pupal stage, it gradually changes shape from a formless lump emerging from thorax to a fully formed adult.

 

To better fish this process, Gary split emergence into 5 stages in his FFM article, each of which is imitated by a fly. The floating nymph would be stage 1. Stage 2 would be the early formless lump of the back of the adult protruding from the floating nymph.

 

5782867775_71b8ea3316_z.jpg

 

A frequently imitated stage is Stage 3, which is after the head and legs of the insect have emerged. This stage is imitated by the Klinkhammer and parachute adams.

 

Stage 4 is when the adult has emerged, but the wings of the insect are still not fully extended and the nymphal shuck is still attached.

 

37380556114_a7c0040026_z.jpg

 

At stage 5 the insect expands its wings and they start to harden and dry.

 

emerging_mayfly.jpg

 

This is a fully emerged dun

 

40829187304_6015603e38_z.jpg

 

A parachute is a very poor imitation of the natural above since the parachute has it's entire body fully in the film. The tail of the parachute is then interpreted as the shuck. Teh tail of the natural is above the water surface or a little of it may be on the surface. So if you are fishing a parachute adams, you are fishing in the film. You may think of these as adult patterns on the film, but they actually imitate an emerger stage of the adult.

 

Gary's book, Fishing the Film, has a more complete discussion.

 

http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/general-fly-tying-discussions/135714-reading-fishing-film-gary-borger.html

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Great information ... I think ... since it's TLDR.

The original poster had four posts and hasn't been active since 2008, when this thread was last active.

I hope they come back to see the new info !!!

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I go with A.K. Bests proportions and use a hackle 1 size up (eg. a size #10 hackle on a #12 hook). Everything seems to balance correctly for me. I also tie the hackle shiny-side out and wrap from top down, double half-hitching at the base of the wing post instead of tying off at the eye.

 

Regards,

Scott

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