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Parachute Hendrickson Pattern & Tying Instructions

Fly Tying Recipe: Parachute Hendrickson
Dry-fly hook (here a Dai-Riki #320), sizes 12-16
Tan, 8/0 or 70-denier
Coq de Leon hackle fibers
Hendrickson-pink Super Fine dubbing
Light gray Para Post
Adhesive #1:
UV-cure resi
Light dun hackle
Hendrickson-pink Super Fine dubbing
Adhesive #2:
UV-cure resi
Show / Hide Parachute Hendrickson Transcript

Video Transcript:

This is a pretty basic Parachute Hendrickson but it incorporates some less than traditional posting and hackling methods. See what you think.

I start with a Dai-Riki #320 uniform gap hook in size 14. After getting the hook firmly secured in the jaws of my tying vise, I load a bobbin with a spool of tan UTC 70 Denier thread. Get the thread started on the hook shank at about the point and take a few wraps rearward before snipping or breaking off the tag. Take a few more wraps leaving your thread at the start of the hook bend.

For the tail of the fly, strip 8-10 hackle fibers free from the stem while keeping their tips aligned. Here, I’m using Coq de Leon because the fibers are stiff, straight and fairly long. Measure to form a tail a hook shank in length and transfer that measurement rearward to the start of the bend. Take wraps of tying thread to bind the fibers to the top of the hook shank. Once they’re bound down well, lift the butt ends up and snip them off close.

For the body of the fly, I’m going to use Hendrickson pink Superfine dubbing but like colored natural materials will also work. Use the dubbing to build up a thin noodle on your tying thread that’s about 3” in length. Start taking wraps with the noodle so the dubbing begins right at the base of the tail and keep making touching wraps up the hook shank to create the abdomen of the fly. Try to end 1/3 of the way down the hook shank from the eye.

Light grey para-post material is used to form the post. Snip a 1 1/2” length off the hank and separate it lengthwise into two pieces. Place the midpoint of one of the pieces on top of the hook shank, above your tying thread and take two tight wraps to secure it. Follow this with two wraps around just the hook shank then two more over the material. Pull both sides up and take 2 or 3 posting wraps around the base.

Now for the fun part. Put just a small drop of UV cure resin on a scrap sheet of paper then use the very tip of your bodkin to pick up a drop. Place the drop into the post fibers, right where they’re bound down. Then gather up the fibers and give them a really good clockwise twist to compress them and spread the resin through the fibers. Give the base a healthy shot of UV light to cure the resin and produce a stiff, little parachute post at the base of the fibers.

Light dun hackle is used for the parachute. I like to measure on the post so the fibers extend right to the base of the tail. Pluck the appropriate sized feather free and prepare it by stripping away the lower fuzzy fibers and snipping off the stem to about a 1/4” in length. With the shiny side of the feather facing up, lay the bare stem against the near side of the hook and take thread wraps to secure it. Wrap all the way up to behind the eye and then back to in front of the post. Lift the feather up to kind of keep it out of the way.

Take another small pinch of dubbing and once again create a thin noodle on your tying thread, this time about 1 1/2” in length. Start taking wraps with the noodle first behind the post to fill in any space, then continue wrapping with the noodle to build up the thorax of the fly. Ideally you should end with bare thread behind the hook eye. There, do a 4 or 5 turn whip finish, seat the knot well and snip or cut your tying thread free.

Again place a small drop of UV resin on the scrap paper but don’t reach for your bodkin just yet. Instead, start taking clockwise wraps with the hackle feather up the post, 4-5 turns is usually plenty. While maintaining pressure on the feather with your left hand, use your right to pick up a small amount of resin on the tip of your bodkin. Carefully apply the resin where the last hackle wrap contacts the post. Now, trade your bodkin for a UV torch and, while still maintaining pressure with your left hand, give the area a good shot of UV light to cure the resin. A little tug will tell you the hackle is basically welded to the post. Reach in with the tips of your tying scissors and snip the excess hackle feather off close. Finally, trim the post fibers to about a hook shank in length.

And that’s all there is to it. The extra weight of the resin is made up for by the absence of thread wraps going up and down the post. I’ve found this method leaves the underside of the fly very clean with little to no trimming necessary. As I said before, give it a try, you can always go back to using more traditional parachute methods.