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Thread: First Attempts at tying a parachute and a few Dry's

  1. #1
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    Default First Attempts at tying a parachute and a few Dry's

    I have never tied dry flies before, let alone parachutes, but I wanted to try my hand at it as I will need some for grayling fishing. I would love it if some of you more experienced guys would give me some feedback and pointers on making these little flys.

    Here is the first one, a Black Gnat:



    Here is my first attempt at a Parachute Gnat:



    My first mosquito, I had some difficulty keeping the hackle out of my whip finish:



    I also tied up some esl's and I wasnt real sure what sizes would be best (I tied them in #6's), what would you recomend on sizing?

    Thanks for looking.
    Fish when you can, work when you have to.

  2. #2
    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Nicely done! I think all will catch fish. Keep at it.

    Just a couple of thoughts... try to keep the hackle on your parachute closer/tighter to the base. Keeping the hackle out of the whip finish on small flies can be tough to get the hang of. I don't know if you whip finish with your fingers or a tool, but personally I do better with my fingers (I actually can't hardly use a whip finishing tool anymore). On size 18's and smaller, though, I still fight it. Don't think the fish mind too much.

    6's are great for ESLs, but I'd have a whole selection of sizes from 2s to 10s for salmon and trout.
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    Ive been trying to use a tool but the finger idea would work a lot better. On the posts do you need to wrap up loosely and fill in on the way down? Thanks for the input.
    Fish when you can, work when you have to.

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    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Parachute Posts

    I'm no expert, and I've never had a lesson, but this seems to work for me:

    I anchor my calf tail or yarn and start a good solid thread base around the bottom, going up the post 3 or 4 thread widths. It holds the post solid to make wrapping the hackle easier. Once the post is good and solid, I try to wrap the hackle only on the thread base, not going high enough to slip-off onto the post material. If you work the hackle up and down as you wrap, using a free finger of your other hand ( I don't use a parachute tool) to quickly separate the fibers of the previous wrap, you should be able to keep the hackle wrapped tightly on the bottom of the post, but still splayed-out like it needs to be. I usually only wrap-up the post about 2 quill widths, but with multiple wraps at each elevation.

    It's hard to explain this stuff without being able to show it, so I hope this makes sense.

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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    About the non-parachute fly - I read in a book if you draw a line from the tail to the back part of the hackle, it should just barely touch the bend of the hook. In other words, you may be using too small of a hook for that fly.

    I don't tie many parachutes because posting is such a pain. I think you want to wrap up a nice tight post, tie in your hackle and palmer it tightly back down. At least that's what I gathered from Kaufman's book.

  6. #6

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    They will all work fine fish wise.

    Your tails to me are a skosh tooo long on the standard dries. And maybe add a little more dubbing to the body of the parachute up near the post, and maybe a turn in front of it (again if you havent creeped up on the hook eye to much) same concept as a regular dry, tapered bod up to the wings and hackle. Looks kinda like my head, bald LOL!

    for the heads, leave more room behind the hook when tying off the hackle, this will leave you a place to tie off. If you have to scoot your post back a touch to help facilitate tying off till you get the hang of proportions, honestly the fish dont care, but if you end up trimming all the hackle off of a dry, they wont float. I do trim, or instead usually pluck the ones I catch tying off. If you do use cement these buggers will forever haunt you! Even if you dont, crowding the eye is a pain in the butt, not only in tying the fly but tying the fly on a hook!!!

    I prefer instead of a whip finish to lock things down with a couple half hitches on dry flies if I creep up on the hook eye to close. If I do it right, it's simple to whip with a regular whipfinisher. If not, you'll catch every hackle there is LOL! To do it, gently stroke or hold the hackle back (without really pulling things back to hard), with your left, and whip with your right....till you get the hang of it, it'll seem awkward, once you do it's quick and painless. Till you do get the hang of it, run a half hitch to ensure you dont loose wraps and the hole front end of the fly falls apart (and you'll be cussing me out in your den LOL).

  7. #7

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    thought I'd post you this......a neat tip on tying parachutes....

    http://www.wikityer.com/index.php?ti...hute_Hairs_Ear

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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    thought I'd post you this......a neat tip on tying parachutes....

    http://www.wikityer.com/index.php?ti...hute_Hairs_Ear
    So is the whole thing supposed to float, or just the parachute? If it's just the parachute, and it works, I've read about guys trying to figure out how to make that happen.

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    Now I noticed the lack of dubbing in front, in the last few I tied I corrected this. The tails are a bit long I know, I have figured out how to remedy this by lashing it down then moving it so that it is the correct length.

    Thanks for the pointers!
    Fish when you can, work when you have to.

  10. #10
    hap
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottsum View Post
    I'm no expert, and I've never had a lesson, but this seems to work for me:

    I anchor my calf tail or yarn and start a good solid thread base around the bottom, going up the post 3 or 4 thread widths. It holds the post solid to make wrapping the hackle easier. Once the post is good and solid, I try to wrap the hackle only on the thread base, not going high enough to slip-off onto the post material. If you work the hackle up and down as you wrap, using a free finger of your other hand ( I don't use a parachute tool) to quickly separate the fibers of the previous wrap, you should be able to keep the hackle wrapped tightly on the bottom of the post, but still splayed-out like it needs to be. I usually only wrap-up the post about 2 quill widths, but with multiple wraps at each elevation.

    It's hard to explain this stuff without being able to show it, so I hope this makes sense.
    I would suggest you should wrap the hackle tightly around the post and every wrap should be under the previous wrap. That will force hackle up the post and tighten it with every turn. Four or five turns is plenty with good quality hackle.

    I now tie off my hackles to the post and whip finish on the post, also. After dubbing or wrapping the abdomen I tie in the hackle on the near side of the hook shank, angled up at the tip, shiney side up, and take a couple wraps of thread around the hackle and post.

    The I dub the thorax right up to the eye. When finished the whip is hidden against the post and it is not only cleaner looking, but it protects the thread.

    After wrapping the hackle I wrap around the post, dropping the bobbin tip on each side to collect all of the hackle fibers. I take two wraps with the hackle pointed down, then two wraps under the hackle tip before whipping.

    One major advantage to starting the hackle as I do is the very low risk of breaking the hackle because the bend is not as hard when you start wrapping.

    There is an alternate backward parachute style utilizing a piece of mono for a post and it is ridiculously easy and quick to tie, but very difficult to describe. I will try to find a video link.
    art

  11. #11

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    Parachutes are supposed to sit in the film, basically an emerging pattern. The point where the caddis/mayfly is sitting waiting for wings to pop and dry enough to fly...or one thats hung up in the film as a cripple. Either way they are extremely effective! Which more often then not is what's being taken the full adults. They are, atleast for me, my last go to fly for the day before I give up, thankfully the few times I've had to go to them, they proved to be worth their weight in gold!!!

    JB, the lack of dubbing is no big deal, but most dub both sides. I still leave a gap behind the eye about the same as the hook eye itself, so a turn in front just to clean things up before wrapping the hackle. That super glue method I posted seemed pretty cool. There's lots of ways to skin this cat, you'll get it perfected in no time....honestly they'll work great...just nit pickn a little.

    I would use stiffer hackles on those adult dries though, or they may not float...been there LOL. You can add a bump of thread behind them to splay them out if you dont like a needle pointy tail. Trick used on stones, but also works for everything else, just use a smaller bump and dont splay them out as far.

  12. #12
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by hap View Post
    I would suggest you should wrap the hackle tightly around the post and every wrap should be under the previous wrap. That will force hackle up the post and tighten it with every turn. Four or five turns is plenty with good quality hackle.

    I now tie off my hackles to the post and whip finish on the post, also. After dubbing or wrapping the abdomen I tie in the hackle on the near side of the hook shank, angled up at the tip, shiney side up, and take a couple wraps of thread around the hackle and post.

    The I dub the thorax right up to the eye. When finished the whip is hidden against the post and it is not only cleaner looking, but it protects the thread.

    After wrapping the hackle I wrap around the post, dropping the bobbin tip on each side to collect all of the hackle fibers. I take two wraps with the hackle pointed down, then two wraps under the hackle tip before whipping.

    One major advantage to starting the hackle as I do is the very low risk of breaking the hackle because the bend is not as hard when you start wrapping.

    There is an alternate backward parachute style utilizing a piece of mono for a post and it is ridiculously easy and quick to tie, but very difficult to describe. I will try to find a video link.
    art
    That's an interesting method. I generally start the hackle on the hook, as you describe, but I also finish it on the hook. I then grasp the hackle, pull it out of the way, finish dubbing the abdomen up to the head and whip finish as normal. A parachute adams is the one and only fly I've ever had another tyer teach me, so I have just naturally tied them that way ever since. It works for me and I don't know if I could do it another way now, but I may have to give your method a shot.

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