This is Allen Landheer's wonderfully detailed Quill Gordon Parachute Emerger. As you'll see, it's a great mix of both traditional and modern materials as well as techniques. Allen's from Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, is a member of the Catskill Fly Tyer's Guild and ties at most of the major shows. He also happens to be a world-class guide and tying instructor.
Allen starts with a size 14 Daiichi #1130 hook. For thread, he likes Gordon Griffiths 14/0 Sheer in black. The stuff is amazing to tie with and incredibly thin.
Start your thread on the hook shank leaving about an eye-length space behind the eye. Once the thread is secure, you can reach in with your tying scissors and snip the tag end off close.
Wood duck flank is used for the wing post. Strip the shorter, fuzzy lower fibers off of both sides of the stem so you're left with roughly even tips. Compress, fold and bundle the feather into a single clump. With the tips extending about a hook shank's length beyond the eye, secure the fibers to the top of the hook. You can then take a few wraps rearward to secure it. Trim off the excess wood duck at a nice shallow angle like so, which will help you to create an evenly tapered underbody. Continue taking thread wraps down the hook bend until you're roughly above the barb.
For the trailing shuck, Allen uses just a few fibers of dark brown Zelon. He wets the tips and then snips them off square. Laying the fibers on the near side of the hook shank at an angle will allow thread torque to carry them to the top of the hook shank to be secured. End with your thread at the base of the trailing shuck.
Select a peacock herl from just below the eye and snip it free from the stem. Strip all the fibers free from the bottom half of the herl and then cut or break off the remaining tip. Lay the tip end of the bare herl against the near side of the hook at an angle, and take wraps up the shank to secure it. Once again, you're trying to create a nice, tapered underbody. Get hold of the bare herl and begin making adjacent or slightly overlapping wraps up the shank. When you reach the base of the wing, carefully secure it with a few tight wraps of tying thread. You can then snip the remainder off close. While you have the scissors, cut the Zelon trailing shuck so it's about equal in length to the hook gap.
Although there are numerous finish options for the body of the fly, Allen likes Clear Cure Goo's "Hydro" because of it's viscosity and fast set time. Apply an even layer to coat all the peacock herl and then use a UV torch to cure the finish. It takes just a few seconds.
With that done, pull the wood duck wing post back and take thread wraps in front of it to create a small thread dam. You can then begin making clockwise wraps up the wing post starting at the base. Once you have a good wing post established, carry your thread to the base of the wing and take thread wraps all the way out to the hook eye and back again. Take another wrap around the post or two, to make sure it stands up straight.
Allen uses "Grif's Thin" to stabilize the post which works great but it's no longer made. Thin head cement or Hard as Nails will also do the trick.
For the hackle, Allen chooses an appropriately sized feather from a Rusty Smoky Dun cape but any dark brown or dark dun will suffice. Snip the bottom of the stem off where the lower webby fibers begin and then strip off about 1/4" more from the stem. Tie in the stem behind the eye and take wraps rearward to the base of the wing. Once there, begin making wraps around the post to secure the hackle stem to it. To increase durability even further, Allen applies another drop of Grif's Thin to the base of the post.
For the thorax of the fly, snip a small clump of hair from the top of a snowshoe rabbit's foot. Although you're really after the under-fur, try to get a few guard hairs in the mix as well. Using this as dubbing, form a small tapered noodle on your tying thread and then make wraps to start building up the thorax. It's much easier to add dubbing as you go, rather than take it away if you have too much. End with your thread immediately behind the hook eye.
Get hold of the tip of the hackle with hackle pliers and start making clockwise wraps around the post from the top down. When you reach the thorax, pull the hackle to the near side, right behind the hook eye, and take a wrap of tying thread to secure it. It's ok to trap a few fibers. Now, lift the hackle fibers up and back to expose the eye and take a few good firm wraps to completely anchor it. You can then carefully reach in and snip the hackle tip off close.
Using a half hitch tool to make a series of half hitches not only secures the thread but pushes any errant fibers back and out of the way. Any that remain can be snipped off. When you're satisfied with the look, snip or cut your tying thread free.
For even more durability, Allen adds a drop of Grif's Thin to the post as well as the thread wraps. And that's Allen Landheer's Quill Gordon Emerger. They're elegant, effective and yes, extremely durable.