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Baron

Learning the Parachute Adams

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I'm learning this fly slowly. I have the post/wing at the right place finally. I have identified the improvements needed in the body. It will get better.

I'd like to hear some critiques that would move me forward with this fly and I know this is the right place to ask for help. 

 

There does seem to be some controversy or preferences I was hoping you would help me wade through.

1) It seems that this fly eventually has some buoyancy issues something I like when after bluegill but I'll be using these on western trout.  Some guys seem to like tall posts and other folks prefer them short. I've seen it stated that the tall wing is much more buoyant and makes the flies sit nicer on the water.

2) Some folks like the total diameter of the hackle to be equal to the shank length while others like them longer. Below are three examples I've tried to tie to illustrate my questions. 

3) The Post itself is clipped in one photo and the others are natural stacked calf.

I'd like to know your preferences that I might emulate them for fishing success.

IMG_4981.jpeg

IMG_4982.jpeg

IMG_4969.jpeg

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1. A tall wing does nothing for buoyancy. The fly floats on the hackle and tail. I use a standard shank length wing.  

2. Hackle length is a matter of personal preference. I like the rear of the hackle to reach to or slightly past the rear of the body.

3. I don't clip a hair wing. The tapered tips just look better. If you use a synthetic wing clip it of course.

On your first fly, I would say the tail and wing are a bit long and the hackle is a bit short.

On the second, I think the wing is positioned a little too far back. It looks like it is at about the middle of the shank.

The hackle on the third is too long for my taste.

It's good that you are looking at these proportion details

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Since a parachute Adams is a very popular time honored and battle tested pattern there is just a little deviation on how to tie it and still have a parachute Adams. I would say your examples are that of a parachute fly but in no way are any of them a parachute Adams, and I'm far from a purist. Hackle size preferences are usually pretty minor. Some would use size 16 hackle on a 14 hook, some would use 16 hackle on 16 hook. Some go 1.5 times the hook gap while others want the hackle to end where the tail begins. I say who cares and tie some over sized, some under sized and some just right. That's the great thing about a general pattern that really mimics nothing at all yet represents many. 

I prefer synthetic posts. No reason other then it's easier and quicker for me. 

I prefer hackle ending at the begining of the tail the way Charlie Craven likes it. 

On your two bottom flies there is little to no seperation of the hackle and tail. The top fly has to much tail for my preference.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uWmDuslKnOU

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@Baron

(in addition to above comments...)

I think what you're tying there is a "purple haze"? Purple thread (including for body), Moose hair tail, calf tail (or calf hair) post, brown and grizzly parachute hackle....

Parachute Adams uses the same hackle as a purple haze and that's pretty much it. Gray or black thread, brown and grizzly hackle barbs for tail, your choice of post material,* muskrat or gray synthetic dubbing body.

* Here's a good article discussing parachute color and material choices:

https://www.jsflyfishing.com/blog/parachute-post-dual-picking-the-best-color-and-material/

 

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My take on this fly is what do the fish prefer- clipped, natural parachute, etc. I have tied a couple but, IMO, too much trouble. I can tie another simple pattern that I find equally effective.

flytire, my complements on the detailed photo!

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Jaydub, Very concise and helpful. I concur with all your points.

-Poopdeck thanks for the video.

-Chugbug I didn't realize that the wing was more for us to see and less for the fish to see. it is the purple haze I was tying. The two are almost Identical.

-Flytire, Very clean and clear photo. Very clean tie. I had the post on my flys closer to 60% because I had read that they float better that way. I can move it to 80%.  

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I make my wing a it shorter because I do not believe that the trout take a parachute fly as a fully emerged adult mayfly.

The water surface or "film" separates what is emerging from what has emerged. Emerging insects are making the transition from the underwater world to the above water world and the film is what separates those two worlds.

Where is the supporting hackle of a parachute fly? It is ABOVE the fly's body. Therefore, the body of a parachute fly does not sit ON the film. It sits IN and sometimes under the the film. The paracure fly is NOT a dry fly, it is an emerger.

The post of a parachute fly does NOT represent the "wing" of the adult mayfly. It represents the body of the emerging mayfly which is above the film while the nymphal body/shuck is in the film.

The parachute fly is a "suspender" pattern just like the Klinkhammer with the above body hackle "suspending"  or supporting the body which below the hackle lying in or on film,

This is what the parachute fly represents:

37380556114_a7c0040026_z.jpg

Way back in the 1980's on the [email protected] mailing list, there were discussions about the fact that the parachute fly is not an adult mayfly pattern.

The horizontally wound parachute hackle is also different from the palmered hackle of the Catskill dry fly. Dry fly hackle is NOT straight. It has curve. There is a concave side and a convex side. One must decide whether to wind the hackle with the concave or convex side facing down. If the concave side faces down, the hackle tips curve down TOWARDS the water and the fly will ride higher than if the convex side faces down.

I want my parachute flies to ride lower in the film and imitate an earlier or trapped in the film emerger so I wind the hackle convex side down so the hackle tips curve up and away from the water.

I have discussed this in detail in this previous post from from 2018.

 

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In regard to flotation issues, I second what Poopdeck recommends about wing material.  All natural materials will eventually absorb some water.  But synthetics such as EP fibers, Hi-Vis, Congo Hair, or any other poly type material (not Antron) will shed almost all water with 1 cast.  Keep up the good work.

Thanks, Bob H

 

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Bob,

Yes, I agree, the article that Chugbug posted above had some great comparisons to learn from. I fished the above flies today and nailed some Large Gills and Great Pickerel with them. So it isn't always wether they are tied historically correct. But working within my budget and abilities, and working with the assets and supplies I have, I like to focus on the original when practical.

 

Silver Creek Thanks for explaining what it is that this fly is supposed to resemble. I get lost sometimes in the materials and forget what I'm actually making.

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