Step-by-Step Photo Instructions on How to Tie “Para-Hackle Emerger” Fly
Para-Hackle Emerger Recipe:
Hook: A 1x-2x heavy wire curved nymph hook
Thread: Your choice (golden olive used in this example)
Rib: 0.5mm Stretch Magic
Body: Thread underbody
Para-Wing: Poly-yarn post wrapped by an oversized dry fly hackle (Whiting Farms grizzly dyed olive used in this example)
Thorax: Ice-Dub (light peacock used in this example)
The materials are simple and inexpensive. A hackle, any post material (yarn works fine) Stretch-Magic and some dubbing is all that is needed to create this effective fly.
Tie the Stretch-Magic material in, starting at the 1/3rd point on the hook and secure the material back to just above the hook barb point on the hook shank. If you stretch the material backward as you tie it in, you’ll find it will tie in slightly easier.
Wrapping the thread over the Stretch-Magic back to the bend of the hook gives bulk that is needed to make the emergent body.
Slightly stretching the Stretch-Magic as you wrap it forward will create a thinner body, allowing it to remain slack as it is wrapped forward will create a thicker body.
Select a small strip of yarn, maybe a quarter or a third of a hank of poly-yarn. This will be the post for the para-hackle. Be sure not to create a post that is too thick. It’s better to err on the side of “thin”.
Tie the post material in at the 1/4 point on the hook-shank.
Select a hackle that is large for the hook size you are tying. So, for a #14 hook, select a #10 or #12 feather. Strip the end marabou, exposing the stem and trim to leave just about an 1/8th of an inch remaining.
Tie the stripped hackle stem along the hookshank and then up the yarn post with just a few wraps of thread. The feather should be in the position shown in the photograph.
Wrap the hackle up the yarn about a distance equal to half the body length of the fly. Then, wrap the hackle downward back to the hook shank, as shown in the photo. Don’t be afraid to over-hackle on this fly, contrary to what is taught for traditional dry fly hackling. A few extra turns of hackle will pay off when creating the “parachute” effect. Tie off the stem of the hackle in front of the post and para-hackle. You may have to pull/stroke the hackle out of the way for a moment to tie off…this is perfectly acceptable.
Pull all the hackle backwards to the back of the fly as shown in the photo. Ensure you have most all hackle trapped between your thumb and forefinger. Keep the pinch tight, not letting go for this step and the next.
Now, grasp the top of the para-post and while holding the hackle in place, pull the yarn post downward and tie off in the same manner as you tied off the hackle: in front of the hackle-post and down across the hook-shank. Once tied off, trim the excess post material and hackle. No hackle should be below the hook shank. The hackle should now be shaped in a fan, or parachute, as seen in the next photo.
Apply a sparse amount of dubbing to the tying thread, just enough to make about 4-5 wraps in a “figure-8” fashion under and around the para-hackle post.
Bring the thread forward to the hook eye and tie off. Apply a touch of tying cement to make this fly extremely durable.
A top view of a finished Para-Hackle Emerger.