In the seventies, when I started creating my first dressings, a particular type of assemblage impressed me favorably; the parachute.
I did not know that its design dates back to the twenties, for me it was a novelty, an artificial fly out of the classical schemes.
According to the orthodoxy of that time, to build the parachute flies, it was necessary to use a particular tool, which was to take a voltage loop, obtained with a quill hackle cock, around which is wrapped the same hackle.
Not being in possession of that tool, I sought alternative ways to cock hackle wrap in position parachute and I realized that the main flaw of this installation was that the fly tyer was forced to wrap the hackle of imitation around supports of materials (the same quill of hackle of or bunch of natural fibers or synthetic fibers) that were not able to provide a sturdy fixing hackle.
This detail did not escape the fly tiers of the past and proves that in the thirties, in England, was traded a hook with an appendix metal around which one could wrap firmly in place hackle cock parachute.
As I understand it, that kind of hook did not have the anticipated success and production was interrupted, until, after several decades, the Company Partridge takes it up with the Heritage series.
For years I tried to make more robust the parachute assembly, and even got some fairly good result, I must admit that I began to fear of not being able to reach my intent until the day I saw my niece Alba, even two years of age, play with the cards of synthetic material which comprises a kind of colored mat on which can sit and play young children.
I looked and I saw a card that was composed of a synthetic material similar to foam, but more compact and robust.
Long hoped to find stuff like this and the temptation to steal the card from the baby was strong, but stifled by going immediately into a toy store where I bought the game.
Since the cards of the game are a centimeter high, using a ruler and a scalpel to cut the strips of any thickness and began to experiment how best to use them.
Using a strip of the material of the game for children solved the problem of providing a solid basis to parachute assembly for winding hackle and I created what I call “My parachute” appeared in the Italian magazine of fly fishing “Fly Line” in the year 1998 with the article “Parachute: the perfection”.
The Italian fly fishermen have appreciated this assembly that has become custom.
I think there are new Italian fly fishermen who build their parachute with this system without knowing what it was my idea.
I hope that the American fly fishermen appreciate the simplicity and effectiveness of my assembly and it may become customary also in the U.S.A.
- On a right hook, I fixed on the curve tails, a tinsel and material for build the abdomen of imitation (drawing 1).
- After building the abdomen of the fly, I fixed next to it a cock Hackle (drawing 2).
- In the mid-section of the hook shank which is between the end of the thorax and the eye, I fixed a strip of foam square section. The strip should not be wider than the thorax of the fly and must be fixed on the hook for half its length. For the effect of fixing the strip of foam takes the shape of a V (drawings 3 and 4).
- At the same point where I set the V foam, fixed a bunch of poly to half its length. (drawing 5)
- For the effect of fixation on the hook, the bunch of poly sinks in to V foam and has vertically. After you set the hook on the poly, I create on the thread mounting a dubbing of synthetic or natural material (drawing 6).
- Wrap the dubbing under the V foam and get the chest of the fly (picture 7).
- Wrap the hackle cock around the base of the V foam into parachute position, fixed near the hook eye the tip of the hackle, cut its surplus and run the final knot (Drawing 8).
- Cut the excess of the V foam and of the wings and fly is finished.
The synthetic strip provides a solid base around which you can wrap the cock hackle, allows a better distribution of barbs in the horizontal plane and prevents some of them that may be disposed upwards, it prevents the hackle from loosening during use, stretching along the spiral wings like a spring incident that often occurs with other systems used to assemble the parachute.
It is not essential to use quality hackles, you can also use economic ones, and since it only takes a few laps to support the imitations, we get very transparent and artificial imitation.
The synthetic strip is effective even when you replace the dubbing hackle cock a slotted hare fur coat or other appropriate.
By dubbing loop to get you skating imitations on the surface very well and almost all my models are built with Sedge parachute hare's fur dubbing.
Using this type of fishing imitations will appreciate the buoyancy that allows him to return to the surface when, for various reasons, fall below the water surface: before use if they are greased properly, may compete with buoyancy flies in CDC.
Regarding the fact that float with the body submerged in water, do not think this represents a failure: many dun behave the same way, and frankly, if I were a trout, I would prefer prey flies with the body submerged in water rather than those with body raised on it, ready to fly away.
Who wants to build a parachute that floats with body raised the water has two possibilities: he can fix the foam strip, which wraps around the cock hackle, down the chest or can built it with the system USD Paradun, created by John Goddard and Brian Clarke, replacing the ring of nylon thread, which wraps around the cock hackle, with a strip of foam.
Examples of completed flies
For more great info, check out: