Tying a Parachute Adams Fly Pattern: Tying Instructions and Recipe

The Parachute Adams is one of the most popular dry flies in use today. It’s the parachute variant of a conventionally hackled dry fly first tied in the US in …

The Parachute Adams is one of the most popular dry flies in use today. It’s the parachute variant of a conventionally hackled dry fly first tied in the US in 1922.

Tied in sizes 12 – 18, it is a great mayfly imitation, and the parachute tie means the body sits a little lower in the water. It is used throughout the world wherever trout are found, from a New Zealand freestone stream to the rivers of the North American Rockies.

The parachute hackle version here is easy to spot with its bright post, and it usually lands upright on the surface with the hackle tied in horizontally.

Here below are the full tying instructions in pictorial form, along with a video on tying this Parachute Adams fly pattern.

The Adams is the best fishing in a dun hatch but can pass for an emerger, too. The white post helps you see the fly even in fast glides or riffles. For slightly faster water or during low light conditions, have some variants on hand-tied with a pink or green post.

In larger sizes, it can be used as an indicator with a nymph tied beneath.

Remember to match the size of the hatch, too – no point throwing a #12 if the naturals are closer to a #16!

Parachute Adams Recipe

Place the hook in the vice and lay down a thread base. Tie in a small bunch of tailing feather fibers for the tail. Make it just slightly shorter than the hook shank.

Parachute Adams Fly Patter

Dub on some Superfine dry fly dubbing in Adams Grey and wrap forward to make a tapered body terminating about three-quarters of the way up the shank

Parachute Adams Recipe

Take a bunch of calf tail (or high vis) and tie them in parallel to the hook shank. Flip 90 degrees and crisscross it in a figure-of-eight pattern with the thread. Then, pinch both strands with your left hand, elevate them, and wrap up the base to make the post.

How to tie Parachute Adams fly

Prepare the hackle feathers by holding them in your left hand (the shiny side towards you) and stripping the feathers from the first little bit (about 1/20th of an inch), taking off about double that on the top section. Then, tie the feathers on the front side of the post, wrap up the post, and bring the thread back to the front of the post. Dub on some more Superfine dubbing and take a couple of crisscross wraps on either side of the post to form the thorax, then wrap forward to make the head. Bring the thread back to the rear of the post.

Ensure the thread is taken back to a location closest to the body and take one of the hackle feathers and wrap down to the base of the fly, taking three or so wraps. Tie off with two wraps in front and two wraps behind the feather. Trim. Repeat this process with the other feather. Trim.

Flip the fly back to the horizontal position. Trim the post to length and whip finish at the eye of the hook, being careful not to trap any hackle fibers, and you are done!

RELATED POSTS: Tying the Pheasant Tail NymphTying the Elk Hair CaddisFluoro Leader

How to Tie a Parachute Adams (Video)

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Rick Wallace is a passionate angler and fly fisher whose work has appeared in fishing publications including FlyLife. He's appeared in fishing movies, founded a successful fishing site and spends every spare moment on the water. He's into kayak fishing, ultralight lure fishing and pretty much any other kind of fishing out there.