The Parachute Floating Nymph

This imitation apes Stage 2 in the emergence process. It is meant t suggest the nymph as the wings are just beginning to emerge from the case. The insect is riding in the surface film, its legs extended its body simply trapped by the surface tension, and its wings pushing up and out. This is by far my most favorite fly during the hatches of Baetis and several other smaller mayflies. It’s fast and simple to tie and will outfish any other imitation during these hatches.

Step 1. Tie in a tail of hackle fibers and dub on the body—use the same color as the nymph’s body.

Step 2. Tie in a hackle (I use the same color as the wing ball) and spin dubbing on the thread to make the wing ball. Taper the dubbing at each end and keep it thick in the middle.

Step 3. Make a couple of wraps of the wing dubbing immediately ahead of the body, then hold the thread straight up and push the dubbing down onto the top of the hook. Wrap figure-8 style in front and behind the wing ball, and then make several turns of thread around the base of the ball, above the hook shank. This tightens the dubbing and makes a good base onto which the hackle is wound. It is not critical that the dubbing form a perfect ball because the unfurling wings of the natural assume all sorts of rumpled shapes. Spin a tiny bit of dubbing on the thread—this will be used to finish the thorax. Leave a inch or so of bare thread between the shank and the top of the dubbing noodle. This bare thread is used to tie of the hackle.

Step 4. Wind the hackle three turns around the base of the dubbing ball, tie off, clip away excess and wrap dubbing to form thorax. Finish the head.

The Parachute Floating Nymph, top view.