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Sulphur Parachute Pattern & Tying Instructions

Fly Tying Recipe: Sulphur Parachute
Standard dry-fly hook, here a Daik-Riki 305, sizes 12-18.
Wood Duck UTC, 70 denier.
Poly yarn.
Cream hackle fibers.
Light yellow to orange dubbing.
Light yellow, cream, or light dun hackle.
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Video Transcript:

For the sulphur parachute I'm going to use a Dai-Riki 305 dry fly hook in a size 14. For thread, I'm using a UTC 70 denier in a color called "Wood Duck". Once you've got your hook secured in the vice, start your thread about half way down the shank. For the tail, I'm using hackle fibers from a cream colored neck. These outer feathers have nice, stiff straight barbules.

Isolate a small group of fibers and either pull or snip them from the stem. I like to snip the little curlys off so they don't get in the way. Measure your tail so its about a hook length long, then tie it in. Leave your thread about a third of the way down the hook shank from the eye.

For the post wing, I take a small piece of poly yarn and split it in two because I'm going to be doubling it over to make the wing. Double the yarn around your tying thread and then get it secured to the top of the hook shank. Now, here's a little trick, spread just the smallest amount of super glue onto your thread. Grasp the wing post with your left hand and begin wrapping in a clockwise direction around the wing post. First take wraps up, and then work your way back down. You should find that the super glue really helps to stabilize the post and make this job much easier.

For dubbing, the choice is yours. Here I'm using "Fine and Dry" from Spirit River in creamy yellow because it's a close match for the naturals in my area. I try to carry a range of different colored sulphurs with me during the hatch, everything from a very light yellow to an orange because there's often tremendous variability in the bugs coming off and the trout, at times, seem very selective, in terms of color.

Begin wrapping right at the base of the tail and continue forward to the wing post. For hackle I've chosen a light yellow here but will also use cream and light dun. Orient the hackle so the back side of the feather, the dull side, is facing toward you and strip about a 1/4 of an inch of fibers from both sides of the stem. Then, from the lower side, strip another 1/4 of an inch. As you will see, this will help to correctly orient the hackle on the post when you begin wrapping.

Tie the stem to the shank of the hook in front of the wing post. Bend the stem up to vertical and take several wraps to secure it to the post itself. Add some more dubbing to your thread and take some more wraps out to just behind the eye and then back. It's important to end with your tying thread just in front of the post and on the near side of the hook.

Begin taking wraps around the post with your hackle, keeping pressure on the hackle at all times. Ideally, the shiny side of the feather should be facing up with the dull side facing down. Anywhere from 4 to 6 wraps should do it. To tie off, while keeping pressure on the hackle, pick up your thread and take 3 to 4 nice tight wraps around the wing post to trap the hackle stem, trying not to trap hackle fibers as you go. Again, finish with the thread on the near side of the hook in front of the post. You can then carefully snip the remainder of the hackle free.

Now, here's another little trick. Add just the smallest amount of super glue, to the base of the post and then, with pressure, pull your thread down into it. After a few seconds the glue will have set and you can cut the thread free. I recommend using an Exacto knife so you don't ruin good tying scissors with super glue. I know this looks like it shouldn't work, but it does.

Snip the wing post to length and the fly is ready to fish. Tying the fly in this manner keeps the eye free of obstructions which is a real benefit when it starts to get dark and the hatch is really going off. Again, having a variety of colors with you can, at times, be a real benefit.