Parachute Hackles

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by freestoneangler, Jul 25, 2014.

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How do you wrap parachute hackles?

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  1. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Do you tie them winding up or down the post? I lock a thread wrap over the first couple of turns then wrap down making a final thread lock over the last turn or two. Mine seem to be pretty robust and don't often come apart unless they've been mauled a few times. I also seem to have better luck getting nice uniform appearance then winding up... but then I also wrap thread CCW looking down the eye of the hook, so that might explain that ;).
     
  2. Teenage Entomologist

    Teenage Entomologist Gotta love the pteronarcys.

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  3. dogsnfish

    dogsnfish Active Member

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    Down, and tie it off on the post as well.
     
  4. ScottP

    ScottP Active Member

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    Down the post, shiny side out, cup side up, oversize by one; tie off at base of post

    Regards,
    Scott
     
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  5. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Interesting you say oversize by one. I noticed many of the Adams style patterns our guide ties have larger and more dense parachute hackles than I typically tie. I think it's better to be plus size than undersize... but not so much on spring creek patterns.
     
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  6. Joe Goodfellow

    Joe Goodfellow Active Member

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    It helps if you put a little dubbing on the post before winding down.
     
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  7. Cold

    Cold Active Member

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    I can't really answer, since I take two wraps up and 3-4 wraps back down.

    If you wrap up...how do you tie off the hackle and finish the fly when your feather is up there?
     
  8. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Maybe I needed to be more specific. I tie in at the base of the post and then make each successive wrap below the preceding, taking care to lift the hackles as the next wind is made. I like them to be as compact/dense vertically as possible.
     
  9. pittendrigh

    pittendrigh Active Member

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    If you define Parachute loosely as "flat horizontal hackles" it doesn't necessarily mean a rooster feather wound around a post. Winding around a vertical post puts the hackles (the insect legs) on the top side of the thorax when the real bug legs radiate out from the bottom of the thorax. Not that it really matters. But still. There are other ways.........loosely baste some Zelon or Snow Shoe Rabbit's foot fibers to the bottom of the thorax with two horizontal, criss-cross figure eight wraps from the bend of the hook up to the eye. Then lock them in place with head cement. Or with CA glue. UV glue. Tear Mender. What ever you want to use.

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    Mayflies too....tied on a short shank scud hook, where the tail is not the tail. It's the abdomen.
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  10. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Interesting and definitely different than most ties I've seen. Nice photos... wish I could get mine to look that clear and uniform focus.
     
  11. pittendrigh

    pittendrigh Active Member

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    RE> "photos" ..........thank you for the complement :=))

    105mm macro lens with macro rings, mounted on a tripod with twist screw focusing rail, with a wire click shutter release plugged in
    I use a jeweler's magnifying lens over the camera's LCD live image display to judge focus
    cheap flash on top pointing toward the ceiling
    two "Alien Bees" umbrella strobes set in slave mode, so they flash when the camera flashes
    1/250th second at F-32 manual exposure
    Blue background is translucent white plexiglass over blue acetate over a mirror, which forms a blurred and yet reflective background that drowns out any shadows made by the strobes.

    The final frontier will be multiple, differently-focused exposures spliced together with Photoshop's "focus stacking" capability, so everything is in sharp focus. Haven't worked that part into my act yet.
     
  12. silvercreek

    silvercreek Active Member

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    I do the same.

    Concave side up and tied off at the base give you a lower riding fly. Fly body in the film presents an earlier stage and the look of a more vulnerable emerger.

    In an article in Fly Fisherman Magazine titled, "Film Flies", Gary Borger writes:

    "TStage 3. The insect pulls its head out of the shuck, followed almost immediately by the legs. At this point it enters stage 3, which is matched perfectly by the universal emerger: a Parachute Adams (or other fly with an upright parachute post such as the Klinkhåmer). [See “The Klinkhåmer Special” in the Dec. 2006 issue for more details. The Editor.]
    All three of the surface-emerging insect groups look the same during this stage. That’s why the Parachute Adams is the world’s number 1 dry fly: it matches any mayfly, caddis, or midge in stage 3.

    Most fly fishers think of the Parachute Adams as an adult dun imitation, but in reality it is an emerger. In stage 3 the nymphal or pupal body is just under the film and the legs are spread out on the surface to support the body. The body sticks almost straight up, with the wings plastered tightly along the top of the thorax as they continue pulling up and out of the wing pads.
    Light reflecting off the upright body with the wings plastered tight along the top, gives the emerging insect a shining, light-colored look.

    Still not convinced? Toss a Parachute Adams in a glass of water and view its position."
     
  13. Chad Lewis

    Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

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    I just use my phone.

    Seriously, I understand a good photo habit when I see one. I recently sold a digital SLR and am in the market for a new one. Never got into studio photography the way you have - strong work. That's a sweet setup. And some killer flies. Is that your own technique? I immediately thought that that's a fantastic way to wing spinner patterns. Where's the love for spinners these days? It's all about the emerger….
     
  14. Chad Lewis

    Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

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    When I tie parachutes I tie the hackle stems next to the post and wrap thread around the stems and post on the way up. Then wrap the thread back down the post and to the tie off point. Hackle is then wrapped down the post, each turn below the other. This method is super-duper strong and makes a really good looking even hackle. It also stiffens the post so it's way easy to wrap the hackle. I've found that the tendency is to go too far up the post and end up with a really hairy fly, so watch that.
     
  15. Cold

    Cold Active Member

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    It's pretty slick, but be sure to have overlapping fields of focus, otherwise you end up with bands of depth that are blurry, resulting in a pretty jarring visual effect. I need to invest in a good set of rails, but here's one of my better attempts at stacking in ACR:

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