It’s gotta be this recent cold snap that hit Michigan with winter-like temps and snow that is conjuring up warmer spring and summer days where the dry fly rod is selected over the nymphing rig; at all costs. Or maybe it’s the promise of a couple road trips out west where there’s a chance to catch a big brown or rainbow during the day. Whatever it is, I wanted to do a tutorial on a colorful and effective dry fly created out East during the mid 1980’s. Like all other attractors, it’s designed to do one thing….draw the fish towards the fly. Typically, attractors take common silhouettes and it adds some sort of bright color to draw the fish to it. They look like no living morsel of food but take certain aspects of common food, and for whatever reason, elicits a strike.
Start by securing the hook in the vise and begin the thread directly behind the eye, ending about one-eye-length behind the eye. Snip or break off the tag end.
Taking a length of parachute post material, make two wraps around it to secure it to the shank of the hook. Pull down on the thread to make sure it’s snug. Then, make criss-cross wraps in front and behind the post, once or twice. This will set a solid base of the post before you being making horizontal wraps to post up the parachute. Wrap up and down the post before ending with the thread behind the post.
Trim the top off of the parachute and make touching wraps of thread all the way to the bend of the hook.
The tail of the fly are fibers from a larger feather, but the same color, of the hackle. Take a section of fibers (about 1/4″ long) and strip them from the stem. Take care to ensure the tips are even and then measure them about the length of the hook. Transfer these fibers with that measurement and make two wraps around them, exactly where you ended with your thread. This provides you the opportunity to make sure the tail is exactly where you need it to be. Do NOT make tight wraps around the tie-in point as it may flair out the tail. I prefer a tail that is naturally flared but more gathered at the hook shank (as seen above).
Make tight wraps of thread up the shank towards the post to really secure the tail fibers. Snip three or four Krystal Flash strands from the hank and tie them in directly behind the post.
Make the body of the fly completely red, building a slight taper rear-ward, in order to make an even-colored base for the flash. End at the tail tie-in point and then wrap forward, about half way between the tail and the parachute. Taking the strands of flash make wraps forward to the thread, being sure to cover all of the red thread with flash.
While holding the flash, make three or four wraps around the flash, securing it around the hook shank and building in the red “hot spot”. Then, wrap forward to just behind the post. Finish making touching wraps of flash to the post and then secure it with two wraps in front and then behind of the flash. Trim the strands of flash as close to the body as possible.
Select a saddle hackle and tie it in vertically to the post. Then, build up a little bulk of the thread to the head and abdomen section of the fly. Finish with the thread hanging around the front of the parachute post.
Take two turns of the hackle around the post and capture it at the base making three turns of thread. Snip off the hackle, do a 4-turn whip finish around the base of the post, and then cut the thread.
With only a handful of materials, the Patriot Parachute is an easier fly to tie for these “high visibility – low floating” attractor situations. The photos don’t do the fly justice since you get a different color effect depending on the angle at which the fly is viewed. The body changes between blue, purple, and purely iridescent which is best seen with the fly in your hand.
Tie up a couple of these attractors for the upcoming season and don’t be afraid to experiment with colors to suit your needs.
Hook: Daiichi 1180 – Size 14
Thread: UTC 8/0 – Red
Tail: Stripped Fibers from a dry fly cape
Body: Krystal Flash
Parachute: Para Post (Poly Yarn and Calf Tail may be used)
Hackle: Dry Fly Saddle