As part of a custom dry fly order I’m working on, this is a second pattern installment, one of my versions of the Hendrickson – Red Quill, or Male Hendrickson Parachute Dry pattern. This dressing once again uses the stretchy body synthetic material, known on the fly tying material market by multiple names: Sexi-Floss, Dyna-Floss, Floss-Flex (formerly by Orvis as Super Floss – they discontinued it), etc.
Here is the Hendrickson Male or Red Quill Parachute:
I have presented both these macro photos with different lighting, since the exposure may not accurately reflect the actual color of the fly. I suggest you combine what you see with what I write; generally there is truth (from me at least) in both the photo and written word. At least I endeavor to make it so.
Hendrickson Parachute Dry
Hook: Standard dry fly #12 and #14
Thread: Danville #47 Tobacco Brown
Wing: Dark dun Para-post
Tails: Dark dun Microfibetts, 6 fibers split 3/3 – if you examine the group shot closely, you’ll see the division of the tail fibers
Abdomen: Brown – Sexi-Dyna-Super-Flex Floss
Thorax: Reddish brown rabbit dubbing
Hackle: Dark dun
1) Start tying thread at hook eye, position wing material about 1/3 distance from eye to hook point.
2) Post the base of the wing with thread about 3/32″ to 1/8″.
3) Attach clipped hackle stem upright to base of wing post.
4) Wind to hook point, clip tag thread end, attach six Microfibetts tail fibers. Wind to end of body. The tail fibers are divided using a left-hand thumb and finger pinch, ending with thumb-only pressure against hook bend. This makes the fibers flare out. Take the three fibers on the near side, using your left index finger tip to angle them toward you, and then divide the fibers with four figure-eight wraps using maximum tension thread wraps. YOU MUST do this with maximum thread tension, and you must also move your grasp w/left hand from right to left side of tail, back and forth, on the fibers as you progress, to stabilize and counteract the thread torque as the wraps are made. Up to speed, this takes me six to eight seconds to tie a split tail. But then again, since I started using this technique over twenty years ago, I bet I have tied more than 10,000 to 12,000 dry flies with this method and material. Experience and repetition is what really makes you good at what you do.
5) Advance thread to thorax, attach Sexi-Floss. Holding it secure with max thread tension, stretch it, and then wind back over the material, then back to thorax again. Be careful not to compress the tail fibers with the tying thread or the Sexi-Floss. The thread forms the underbody, and with the #47 Tobacco Brown thread and translucence of the Sexi-Floss, creates the lovely and realistic reddish-brown appearance as on the natural Ephemerella subvaria mayfly dun.
6) Wind the Sexi-Floss to form the abdomen. Secure with 3 -4 tight wraps, trim excess.
7) Apply dubbing and create thorax.
8) Wind the hackle counter-clockwise, five to six turns, tie off.
For additional instructions of the tying procedure, see my recent Parachute Adams post.
Between the split tails and the parachute hackle, this is a land-right-side-up-every-time fly pattern. Good tying style for any may fly pattern.
I will be happy at anytime when I am demo tying on locations to demonstrate and teach you this split-tail technique. I learned it from Barry Beck, back in my commercial tying days. This trick alone increased my Comparadun tying production from 9 to 10 flies an hour to 17 or 18. It’s true, I was once timed at a demonstration in Ontario – a #14 Light Cahill Comparadun, three minutes flat. Including head cement and fly out of the vise.
Also, following up on the successful bidding of my private fly tying lesson donation this past December to the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester,Vermont, I have recently started teaching private fly tying lessons right here in my rural Cogan Station, Pennsylvania, home. It is peaceful and quiet, St. Michael’s Road is lightly traveled; deer, turkeys, and other wildlife sightings, even the occasional black bear, are common. The view to the north of Bobst Mountain is gorgeous, and I’m far enough away from Williamsport that the light pollution is minimal – you can actually see the Milky Way in a clear night sky. On warm summer night, if you leave your bedroom windows open, you may even hear the howl of coyotes.
If you come, you are my guest and are treated accordingly. All fly tying materials are provided, you only need to bring your vise, threaded bobbins, a light, and tools. Depending on time of year, your visit can also include a little hosted fishing if desired. The standard package is a morning arrival, stay all day, comfortable and quiet overnight accommodations, with a full breakfast the next morning. I do all the cooking and care for your comfort during your stay.
We can tie what ever you wish – drys, classic wet flies, saltwater patterns such as Lefty’s Deceiver, Half and Half, Clouser Minnows; hairwing salmon and steelhead patterns, nymphs, emergers, soft-hackles, 18th century Orvis and other classic and historic patterns, or bucktails and Rangeley and eastern style streamers. I specialize in classic wet flies, Carrie Stevens (teaching her original methods of material placement and usage), and other tiers of classic streamer patterns, 18th Century Lake Flies, and traditional patterns. Small groups of two or three persons can be accommodated.
For information, rates, and to schedule a day or two of personal fly tying instruction, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org