A Basic Parachute: The Hare's Ear

The Gear

Hook - Long shank dry or nymph. I'm using a captain Hamilton style nymph hook in size 18.
Thread - Dark brown, dun or black
Rib - Dark brown floss/thread or mono
Tail - Brown partridge
Body - Dark hare's fur
Wing - polypropylene yarn in white or grey
Hackle - Grizzly

Back to the Stairs

Step 1 - Start the thread and wind to the centre of the thorax area, AKA, the middle of the first third of the hook shank.

Here we go again...

Step 2 - Take a workable length of polypropylene yarn and tie in with three or four turns of thread. Now prop up the yarn by applying several more wraps hard into its base.

Bringing it to you from the North of EnglandHome of the parachute

To provide a stable platform for the hackle, take the thread and wind it up the post in (tight) neat touching turns, before returning the thread back down to the base of the post. To stiffen even more add a small drop of varnish to the wraps, whilst being careful not to include the wing material. Now snip the wing to size, around double the hook gape's length is fine.

Invented by Leanardo da VinciJust outside Newcastle

The size of the post area depends on the amount of hackle you intend to apply, four to six turns generally being accepted as the norm. Getting this right is simply a judgement thing, you must imagine what five or so turns of hackle looks like, whilst transferring it to the post size. It will take a couple of goes to get right, but it'll be the first and last time you'll ever need to think about it again.   

As with the hair wing Adams the trailing wing material can be used to create a nice tapered underbody for the fly's abdomen. To achieve this simply trim the butts at a shallow enough angle so as to ensure that the very longest remaining fibres extend up to the tail area of the fly. Now simply wind on over. Perfect.

A good stiff post is an essential requirement to tying the perfect parachuteLeanardo da Vinci said that

Step 3 - While down this neck of the woods, tie in a rib of your choice and a tail of four to five partridge fibres.

Ben may be into bondage

Step 4 - Create a fine rope of dubbing and wind on up to the thorax area.

Most flytyers are of course

Step 5 - Wind on the rib in open spiralling turns and tie off at the end of the body.  

So... here we are almost ready for the hackling to begin

Step 6 -  Create another rope of dubbing, making it a little thicker this time, and wind up to the back of the wing post.

Although not quite, as it happens

Step 7 - Take a grizzly hackle feather, ensuring that when wound it will span roughly twice the width of the hook gape, and strip off a portion of it's base fibres for a tying in tag.

With the feathers dull side facing you, line up the hackle alongside the wing (making sure the fibres start at the top of the post) and wind up trapping the hackle in place.

More binding...

Don't wind right to the top of the post. If you do, the first turn will most likely include the soft, pliable wing material. The stiffer and more stable the post, the easier it is.

Once you've wound back down the post, take the left over quill and bind it to the side of the shank, before returning the thread back to the front of the wing. 

Notice how it's got darker in this photograph

Step 8 - Grasp the hackle and tug it downwards so the stem kinks and appears broken. In effect this will reduce the feather's tendency to twist upon the first turn.

Not everything in flytying can be easily explained

Now in position, wind the hackle down the post in neat touching turns, making sure each turn goes beneath the previous.

That was one of Leanardo's flytying principles (up North)

Once completely wound and while keeping tension at all times, take the thread and wind around the base of the post, catching the hackle in place, twice. Now let the hackle hang on the near side of the hook - still attached to the hackle pliers -  but keeping tension on the thread.

These first two turns are security wraps (tear inhibitors). Even if you slip or prematurely release the hackle during the next step it cannot unwind or loosen.  Everything will remain lovely and no tissues will be needed.

Next, with finger and thumb at the ready, pinch underneath the wound hackle and pull it back, thus exposing the remaining thorax area. Whilst holding this in place, take the thread under the dangling waste and bind it to the shank with three tight wraps. 

Here we have cleverly zoomed in for more detail (those are Ben's fingers)although they do look a little bit like buttocks

Possibly this sounds more awkward than it really is; all you need think about is holding the hackle and winding the thread. Ignore the waste end, don't try and hold it in place; just let it dangle and bind around it. Remember, you have back up and from this point onwards it is impossible to fcuk up.

Step 9 - With the quill tied down, snip of and wind over any waste.

Don't try that at home BTW

Hold the hackle back and finish dubbing the thorax. If there are any gaps around the wing post you can take a *lightly* dubbed thread around and back in front of the post, almost like a semi figure of eight, to cover the damage.

Step 10 - After completing the furry bit, whip finish, varnish and find some fish.

The Parachute Hare's Ear


Regards Ben

Ben Spinks studies fishery science, "I have to complete 3 environmental survey reports, 2 netting operations, 4 exams and a seminar on lake restoration. This is insane, I only went to uni for sex, drugs, rock and roll and sex" and is our flytying moderator on the bulletin board. He also ties a mean fly... so what are you waiting for, ladies?

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