Step #1: Prepare a thread base as shown. When the shank
is covered I like the thread hanging between the barb
and the hook point.
Step #2: Tie in about eight pheasant tippet feather
barbs with three snug wraps next to each other. Move the
thread forward to the mid-point of the shank while also
tying down the butts, with three or four open thread wraps.
Step #3: At the mid-point, tie in four peacock herls
by the butts, tips aimed rearward. The herls should be
at least 4" long when tying a size 12. Using open thread
wraps, spiral the thread to the rear. Then, reverse
direction and spiral the thread forward to a point
one-third back from the eye, as shown.
Step #4: Double up a two-inch hank of poly-yarn and tie
it to the top of the shank, one-third back from the eye.
(Or, use less yarn for a thinner appearance.)
Step #5: Snip the yarn loop with scissors and comb out
any snarls in the yarn fibers. Apply wraps of thread in
front of and behind the yarn. This wedges the fibers
together, causes them to stand more upright, and creates
a tighter connection with the shank. (Tip: Before pulling
the two ends of the yarn upward and together in the next
step, add a drop of thick head cement or nail polish to
the center thread wraps for extra bonding and adding
stiffness to the base of the post.)
Step #6: Pull the two ends of the yarn upward and together
to create the parachute post. Wrap a thread base around the
bottom of the post. (Note: If you chose to use glue as
suggested in the previous step, the thread base will
absorb some of the glue and provide a bonding surface
when the parachute hackle is wrapped over the thread.)
Step #7: Strip about ½" of barbs off the base of the
hackle stem. First, attach the bare stem to the near
side of the shank and in front of the post, with the
feather tip pointing rearward at a slight upward angle,
concave side facing down. Three of four wraps of thread
will do the trick. Now, bring the hackle nearly vertical,
as shown, by tying the hackle stem against the thread
base on the post.
Step #8: With open and tight wraps spiral the thread to
the rear of the hook.
Step #9: Pinch the peacock herls together and wrap them
forward as shown. You will want two or three wraps in
front of the post.
Step #10: Reverse direction with the peacock herl and
wrap rearward to where the tying thread is waiting.
Tie-off with two or three thread wraps. (Note: While
wrapping rearward I like to use a figure-eight motion
to place an extra wrap in front of and behind the post,
to plump up the center of the body.)
Step #11: Snip off the excess herl with scissors.
Using two or three open thread wraps to create a
reinforcing rib, move the thread to behind the post
and let the weight of the bobbin hold things snug.
Step #12: Wrap the hackle around the thread base of
the post clockwise (when viewed from above), with each
subsequent wrap placed under the prior wrap. After six
hackle wraps, hold the hackle tip down and to the left
as shown, with your left hand. With your right hand
reach behind the fly and lift the bobbin up and to the
right, as shown, while keeping the thread tight.
Step #13: Using a technique from Al and Gretchen Beatty
of Boise, Idaho, wrap the thread horizontally twice
around the bottom of the post and under the hackle barbs.
The first wrap will tie off the feather tip and free up
your left hand. (Tip: Freeing up the left hand is helpful
if you use a rotary vise, as I do. While wrapping the
thread around the post with your right hand, use your
left hand to "rock" the vise and fly back and forth
between right-side up and upside down. Using this
rotary vise feature you can see both sides of the fly
as your eyes follow the thread, minimizing the risk
of snagging the lower barbs.)
Step #14: After two wraps of thread are completed, let
the bobbin hang as shown. This will keep the thread
snug while you snip off the unused hackle tip. (Tip:
Hackle tips make great tails for woolly worms! I save
mine in a snack-sized zip lock bag.)
Step #15: Again, using a technique from Al and Gretchen,
pull the bobbin up and to the right, thereby lifting the
thread forward and horizontal. Move the bobbin to your
left hand, and with a half-hitch tool in your right hand,
slide three or four 2-turn half hitches onto the shank.
The half-hitch tool does wonders in getting the thread
wraps under the hackle barbs. A touch of head cement
on the half hitches finishes the job.
Back-lighted finished fly. ~ Peter Frailey