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.
This fly and video are part of “Fly Tying – Modern Classics for Trout and Grayling – by Thomas Züllich” Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich is a digital book available on the apple bookstore and also via the Skålestrømmen online store. You can order and download a pdf version, which you can use in conjunction with the instructional videos on YouTube. https://www.skalestrommen.no/product/fly-tying-by-thomas-zullich/
The book includes 90 minutes of video, over 100 pages of text and a many interactive graphics. The beauty is that you can read and learn about fly tying techniques at your own pace and then use the videos on your computer.
The intention is to make the fly angler understand and fabricate effective trout flies and also being able to improve and simplify the flies he’s been tying so far. The approach is to use old techniques and take them further to modern flies. While the reader can learn semi realistic nymphs and extended body flies, as well as patterns just based on one or two materials.
Staying true to his German craftsman roots, the author approaches fly tying in very efficient way. Thomas Züllich is a well respected fly tier known for his engaging and fresh approach.
The book features crisp interactive graphic content, videos and over 100 pages of informative and entertaining text. The book’s glossary explains over 100 fly fishing specific terms. To even learn more and discuss the fly patterns in the book the author maintains a facebook group. – https://www.facebook.com/groups/tzflyfishing
ALSO AVAILABLE AS IBOOK The book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. Multi-touch books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. Books with interactive features may work best on an iOS device. iBooks on your Mac requires OS X 10.9 or later. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1333532292
Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich
If you want to tie your own flies for trout and grayling then this is the ibook for you.
— including videos, interactive graphics and more —