+1 on phg's comments
Besides the wonderful quality of the genetic capes and saddles available today, I tie and fish almost
exclusively parachute patterns for my dry flies. Among the advantages of the parachute style fly,
these can be tied with an oversize hackle and really don't require as much hackle as the radially
hackled conventional dry flies. I have found that even the old India capes can work well for the
medium size patterns (sizes 12 to 18).
I have a few things that have helped me with tying parachute patterns:
I often use a fluorescent color for the post as a sight indicator.
I try to tie the hackle in so that some of the hackle stem becomes part of the post (for extra stiffness).
I wind the hackle from the top of the post to the bottom always winding counter-clockwise (keeps the hackle from un-winding when tying off).
Instead of trying to whip finish, I use multiple double half-hitches on the hook shank behind the eye (most beneficial on small flies).
Give these guidelines a try - they really have improved my tying and fishing!