Parachute flies are flies where the hackle is wound around a wing post. The hackle helps the fly to land and sit correctly on the water. This tying method is used for imitations of mayfl y duns or emerging insects.
Some say this pattern was a revolution in fly design. Even though half of the fly is submerged, it’s a dry fly as the prominent wing is very visible on the water.
The Klinkhamer is a generalist type of pattern, it is made to imitate a hatching insect. Hatching insects do have a specific appearance. The nymph body is sort of hanging off the water’s surface film, where the flying insect is crawling out of its old shell. An amazing and very dramatic “birth”.
Predators love such drama for a simple reason – their prey is momentarily stuck and cannot escape quickly. An easy meal, easy to identify because the body hanging under the water’s surface reflects in the film like in a mirror, so when looking at the fly from underneath one can see two bodies. The original and its reflection. This viewpoint rarely happens with other objects in or on the water.
The Dutch fly tier Hans van Klinken tried to imitate this image and came up with a pretty interesting design. The story is that he had the idea for the fly when fishing the Glomma River in Norway for Grayling. So one evening when their fishing party felt the need to give his creation a name they put part of Hans family name and the Norwegian word “håmer” (hammer) together. One can also call it a parachute emerger, if you will, but Klinkhamer has become a well known term.
Parachute is the key word here. The hackle is wound around a “wing-post“ over the hook, unlike on conventional fl ies where the hackle is wound around the hook-shank. By the time Hans invented the fl y, thinner threads became available for fl y tying that enabled him to tie the hackle off by the wing post.
Hook: Klinkhamer hook size 6 to 18
Thread: Dyneema 55
Body: Fly-Rite dubbing, #19 light tan, alter to match the hatch, black works well too, supposedly imitating terrestrials
Wing Post: Antron yarn / Polypropylene
Hackle: Rooster hackle in grizzly or ginger, many colours work here. The hackle is to be slightly oversized.
Some years back (2007), I did a step by step based on single pictures that was featured on the Partridge of Redditch website. At shows I tie the fly on a very large hooks so it was easier to see for the audience.
To prevent the hackle stem breaking I ended up webbing the hackle feather with the thread. It’s a very useful technique which I still use for large parachute hackles.
Fly Tying at Skålestrømmen
Fly tying classes are part of the inclusive packages we offer at Skålestrømmen. You can learn to make these all these flies yourself. Tying materials and tools will be supplied if cannot bring your own.
The fly shown works very well in Skålestrømmen (and around the world). There are of course many other, mostly more complicated types of flies that also work, but we like it simple and efficient.
However, do not worry. A selection of flies is included in the fly fishing packages we offer. You can also buy flies and materials in our flyshop.