The Traitor: A Parachute Style for Small Flies

Size 24 BWO Traitor

Size 24 BWO Traitor

The Traitor: A Style for Small Parachute Flies Well, I'm in the process of planning a fishing trip to Colorado. So I'm thinking back to the last trip to CO, and the flies that worked.  Inevitably, I never seem to have enough of the flies that are working - so I want to avoid that situation this time around. With that in mind, I find myself thinking about a small parachute style pattern that worked wonders last time. This fly is a small olive bodied parachute  - it accounted for quite a few nice rainbows on the Yampa tailwater below Stagecoach Reservoir. The only problem was that most of these were not on the end of my line. The fly indeed fooled a bunch of fish - but more for my friend Larry, than for me.   So I've named the fly The Traitor. The Traitor is a fairly standard parachute fly. The major differentiating feature is the way that I form the body. The body is formed by twisting a strand of Uni-Stretch Floss into a "rope". Dubbing a slim-body can be difficult on tiny flies - so I tried to find an alternative and came up with the idea of using the twisted Uni-Stretch body. In addition to allowing me to form a slim, smooth and tapered body, it makes for a nice segmented effect. As an alternative, you can achieve a similar effect with antron, instead of Uni-Stretch - but you'll need to split the strand thickness in half for small flies. I tie this style in sizes from 20 to 24. I've had luck with it primarily during hatches of tiny BWO's and midges. Tie some up olive, gray and cream and you'll have a good selection for tiny bugs that you might encounter.  Below is an example of a Traitor Midge tied with a cream antron body and cream wing-post.  Leave off the tails for the midge patterns.

Cream Traitor Para-Midge

Read the rest of the post for the recipe and illustrated step-by-step instructions.

The Traitor Fly Recipe:
Hook: Size 20 – 24 Tiemco 100 or similar standard dry fly hook
Body: Twisted Uni-Stretch or Antron
Tail: Micro-Fibbets
Wing: Gray Antron, or color to match
Hackle: Brown or color to match

Step One

Step One

Step One: To begin, tie in a full strand of the Antron for the wing, almost like a spent spinner wing. I like to use a full strand of Antron – even on these small flies.

Step Two

Step Two


Step Two:
Pull the Antron up and wrap the thread up the Antron post to create a good base for the parachute hackle.

Step Three

Step Three

Step Three: Tie in a 4″ to 5″ strand of Uni-Stretch and wind thread to bend.

Step Four

Step Four

Step Four: Tie in 2 or 3 Micro-Fibbets in on each side of the hook to create a split tail. Don’t be afraid to use your thumbnail to manipulate the fibbets into place after you tie them in.

Step Five

Step Five

Step Five: Select a hackle feather – the nice thing with the parachute style is that the hackle size isn’t so critical to the fly “balance” as it is on traditional Adirondack style flies.  Trim the hackle to remove the webby portion and strip the fibers from the bottom 1/4″.  Tie the hackle along the antron post as shown. Tie in with the concave side facing in – this will allow the fibers to angle up slightly as you wind the hackle down the post. This upward angle will make it a little easier to avoid trapping the fibers as you wind.

Using the tying thread, create a smooth tapered under-body. This is an important step in order to create a nice looking fly-body. Do the fish notice the nicelt tapered body? Probably not – but I notice. And the more confident I am, the more fish I catch.

Step Six

Step Six

Step Six: Using your hackle pliers, twist the Uni-stretch (or antron) into a tight “rope”. Wrap the “rope” in adjacent wraps up to just behind the hook-eye, leaving a little room for the hackle tie-in and the whip-finish.

Step Seven: Wrap the hackle down the post – I usually get about five or six wraps on this size fly. Try to avoid trapping the fibers of the previous wraps. Tie off the hackle, whip finish and go fishing!

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