Grizzly Quill Paradun
Hook: Standard Dry Fly
Abdomen: Grizzly Hackle Quill
Thorax: Adams Gray Superfine Dubbing
Tail: Grizzly Hackle
Wing Post: White Antron
This pattern came to me in a flash as I was sitting at my tying desk tying up some standard Parachute Adams dries. I had just stripped some hackle fibers from the stem to use as tailing when I looked at the hackle quill that was left behind and thought “That might look good as a body”. Of course, quill body flies, and quill body parachute flies are nothing new – but I hadn’t previously seen this particular combination before. However, knowing that fly tyers are an innovative group – I’m sure that this pattern has been independently created many times over – and I claim no credit for “inventing” anything new.
I am a parachute fly convert from way back , when I sit down to tie mayfly dry flies I almost always tie parachutes. There are exceptions of course, but I’d say 90% of the dries that I fish are parachute patterns. There are several reasons for this: 1) I was a victim of the “parachute-pants” fad of the mid-eighties and this brings back fond memories of childhood, 2) I love the image of the parachute – it makes me think that the fly is slowly drifting down and landing on the water delicately, 3) The construction is easier than those pesky Catskill style flies, with tail and hackle proportions not being quite as crucial – there’s a little wiggle room, 4) They work.
As to point 4 above – They Work – I personally believe that the parachute fly is primarily an emerger pattern. The body rides below the surface of the water – like a dun stuck in the film or a drifting nymph exploding from the shuck. The subsurface impression of the fly is quite different from a high-floating standard dry. The look of a standard dry fly from below is basically an image of refracted light, a pattern of bright light and shadow where the hackle and tail are resting on the water. The parachute fly presents a completely different view to the fish. Because the body of the fly is subsurface, the fish sees the body and not just a pattern of light and dark.