Parachutes, the new Catskill ?

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Scotty MacFly 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #7988

    Scotty MacFly
    Spectator

    I was at the fly shop and there was a few younger guys in there buying up para style flies, and they were striking up a conversation with the guy behind the counter about how they preferred this style over the traditional Catskill style because with the Catskill style the flies sit way above the water, and with the para, they sit more on the water showing more of their silhouette while floating above.

    I was standing there looking at the tying tools, being patient as they talked away, quietly listening, and was thinking to myself, does it really matter, and I need some of that chap stick. Especially with the small sizes they were buying, I think they were size 22’s.

    Ok, size 22 & smaller, I can see using a parachute style because I’m not getting younger, and I need to see my flies. But these two guys were saying that they noticed from last year they caught more flies off of para style flies than the other style. And they were talking it up really selling what they were saying. Probably because that’s all they had with them last year.

    After they left, and I thought they’d never leave, the desk clerk asked me what my thoughts were from that conversation, because he obviously wasn’t buying it. I told him that I didn’t know what to think because I catch fish on both styles of flies, so to each their own I guess, and I’ll buy some of that chap stick please.

    He took the shop dog’s water bowl and put a traditional tied hackle fly in it with a parachute to see exactly how much of a difference it was sitting on the water. Not too much difference, but I could see it if the hackle size itself was longer, maybe two times the hook gap, but with what he had in the bowl
    there was little difference. Longer hackle on a Catskill style fly will lift the head of the fly off the water looking like a plane leaving the run way because the hackle from what I have seen is anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 times the gap. But the flies from the shop, being made in China, ( yes, I caught him the other day filling up fly bins and all the boxes, about the size of a match box, all said China on them )
    had shorter hackle, about the gap size, lowering the fly. Hmmmmm?

    The desk clerk said those guys didn’t know what they were talking about. I just smiled, shrugged my shoulders and said, chap stick please.

    Do fly shops sell the same style of flies with different hackle size tied on? Possibly, because they get flies from different world areas, but what do I know?

    So after we looked at the flies, humoring his curiosity, I started to wonder if para style flies are taking over. Every body has them in their boxes, and they make great trailing flies. It seems in the tying magazines they are showing up more and more with different color posts. And those two guys bought quite a few for this season.

    I personally don’t see the para style completely taking over, but it maybe gaining more popularity.

    #7989

    Creek
    Spectator

    Look at a real mayfly on the water. It’s head will be up off the water being held there with it’s legs. We represent the legs with hackle in the flies we tie.

    I believe the reason para flies are popular is that they’re easier to see. I never bought into them look more realistic. Para flies also sink quicker in fast water.

    An Adams looks right to me. A Para Adams looks like nothing in the real world. Yes, they catch a lot of fish, but I hate tieing them and even looking at them.

    I’ll stick to old school classic flies. They bring a smile to my face. However, everybody is free to use whatever they want. I’m not swayed by what others use. Nobody looks in my fly box but me.

    #7990

    Scotty MacFly
    Spectator

    Creek, you once said when it comes to hackle size, you use what looks good to you. I generally go the size of the gap or 1 1/2 times the gap. I’m thinking of going bigger where 1 1/2 times will be the smallest I go, and 2 1/2 the largest. I know this is something I will have to try on my own for my personal taste, so it’s no big deal.

    I generally buy those 100 packs from Whiting, and have noticed that whatever size is on the package is larger than my guage says they are. Hmmm, maybe the guage is wrong, or it is set up for the hook gap only?

    #7991

    Creek
    Spectator

    I didn’t mean the hackle size looks like what I want. I meant it looks like the classic fly looks like. In other words it looks like it should. Not what I like. In the case of the Adams I like the looks of the classic tie, so I guess you could say I tie it to look good to me but that’s also how it should look for everybody.

    Most guys make the hackle on the Adams too bushy. Not the length of the hackle but too many wraps on the hook. They cover half of the hook and that’s wrong. It should be compact and at the front of the hook.

    #7992

    Grsdlnr
    Spectator

    A parachute can pass for a spinner, which may explain why some people find them more effective – a lot of guys can’t tell what stage of mayfly the fish are on. And yes, the proportions of many of the flies found in shops are off.

    I generally buy those 100 packs from Whiting, and have noticed that whatever size is on the package is larger than my guage says they are

    Ever since Whiting began selling the 100’s I’ve noticed they average 1 size larger than marked. Maybe the powers that be at Whiting just prefer longer hackled flies than I do? No big deal – I just buy a package of 18’s when I need to tie 16’s, and so on.

    #7993

    Creek
    Spectator

    There’s more longer than shorter hackles on a bird. What they do is how they sell the longer ones.

    #7994

    Scotty MacFly
    Spectator

    GRS, that’s what I have been doing too when it comes to the 100 packs. I wish hackle companies would separate the hackle necks from the larger and smaller feathers and charge half as much. I have so many capes with the larger feathers and unless I start tying streamers and big wooley buggers, I won’t ever use them. Then there’s the opportunity of tying flies for pike I suppose.

    I understood you quite well creek knowing how well you like the traditional look. I think my wording was a little off on that. I generally give three wraps behind the wings and two in front unless my wings are off a bit, then I may reverse the wrappings. I will go less at times, but no more than five total wraps. From what I understand, that seems to be the normal number of wraps most do.

    #7995

    Creek
    Spectator

    5 wraps are ok if you tie them tight together. Don’t let them spread out on the hook. That’s what makes it look too bushy.

    #8016

    Scotty MacFly
    Spectator

    Hey guys, I was just talking to my friend in Ireland, and he believes that for the trout he targets, when it comes to hackle, less may be more. He’s tying some with less hackle to see which works best.

    Like I said, for me, I don’t like more than 5 wraps, but I have seem to make it a regular thing. I think it’s because of the fast water I fish, and a bushier hackle helps keep it afloat. I can see wrapping maybe three wraps for the slower moving water, or on still water.

    How many wraps are you winding on the hook, what works best for you?

    #8019

    Creek
    Spectator

    Have you ever fished a fly until there was no hackle left on it from catching so many fish? You’ll notice the fly continues to catch fish when it has little hackle left.

    This would lead you to think less hackle is better. There’s a problem with that way of thinking. You forget the fly was also catching lots of fish when it had all it’s hackle. If you start with sparse hackle. How long will the fly last? I know from experience that spiders don’t last long because of being tied with such sparse hackle.

    I’m not convinced that tying a fly with less hackle catches more fish. I do know for a fact that the fly won’t last as long. It’s a choice we have to make.

    #8021

    Scotty MacFly
    Spectator

    That’s a good point creek. I have caught fish with hackle so torn up and such little left I never put 2 & 2 together. But then I have never been good at math. 😀

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