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Everything You Need to Know About the Parachute Adams Dry Fly
The Parachute Adams is a classic dry fly pattern that has been a go-to choice for fly fishers for over 80 years. Its versatility and effectiveness at imitating a range of insects have made it a staple in many angler’s tackle boxes. In this article, we’ll dive into the reasons why the Parachute Adams is so popular, what it imitates, why it’s successful at catching trout, and how to fish it. We’ll also explore the history of the pattern and lastly, recommend the top colors and sizes to use.
Why is the Parachute Adams Fly So Popular?
One reason why the Parachute Adams is popular is its versatility. It can imitate a range of insects, including mayflies, caddisflies, and midges, making it an all-purpose dry fly pattern that can be used in a variety of conditions. Whether you’re fishing on a spring creek or a fast-moving river, the Parachute Adams can be effective at catching trout.
The Parachute Adams imitates a variety of insects, including adult mayflies and caddisflies. The pattern’s parachute hackle helps it to float high on the water’s surface, imitating the natural behavior of an adult insect on top of the water or an insect struggling to emerge from the water. The fly’s body is also designed to mimic the profile, or body of a mayfly or caddisfly, and even a midge, making it an effective pattern for matching the hatch.
Why is the Parachute Adams So Good at Catching Trout?
One of the reasons why the Parachute Adams is successful at catching trout is its ability to create a realistic silhouette on the water. The parachute hackle helps the fly to float high on the water’s surface, making it easy for both the angler and the fish to see. The pattern’s design also creates a realistic profile, imitating the natural shape of an insect. Additionally, the fly’s versatility in presentation makes it an effective pattern for catching trout. It can be fished in a dead drift, skittered across the water’s surface, or even presented on the water’s film where insects get trapped by the foam.
Tips on Fishing the Parachute Adams
When fishing with the Parachute Adams, it’s essential to keep the pattern high on the water’s surface. The fly should be presented in a way that imitates the natural behavior of the insects it’s designed to imitate. Make sure to put some gink or similar dry fly floatant on to help keep it on the waters surface. If it sinks however, give it just a second or two if you’re fishing to active trout. Often, the trout will eat it just as it gets washed under as the fly appears to be more vunerable in that state.
History of the Parachute Adams
The Parachute Adams was first tied in the 1920s by Leonard Halladay, a Michigan fly tyer. However, it wasn’t until the 1930s that it gained popularity when Al Troth, a fly tyer from Montana, began tying the pattern with a parachute hackle. The parachute hackle helped the fly to float higher on the water’s surface and has become a defining characteristic of the pattern. Since then, the Parachute Adams has become a staple in the world of fly fishing and has caught countless fish for anglers around the world.
Which Colors and Sizes are Best for a Parachute Adams Fly?
When it comes to choosing the right colors and sizes for the Parachute Adams, there are a few options to consider. Gray and olive are the most popular colors and are effective at imitating a range of insects. The pattern is typically tied in sizes 12-24, with size 16 being the most popular. It’s essential to choose a size and color that closely matches the insects in the area you’re fishing. We literally have an entire online course dedicated to the Parachute Adams and nine other of the top trout flies where we go into detail on the color/size combinations you want for the region that you fish. The long and short of it is to find the mayflies in your area, their colors and sizes and find some to match. If you want to cover the majority of it, olive, yellow and gray will do the trick in sizes #12, #14, #16, #18, #20. This is a bit generalized, but if you have to make a choice, start with those and expand out to reds, purples and blacks from there.
A Detailed Description of What a Parachute Adams Imitates
A Parachute Adams most accurately imitates an adult mayfly. It can also imitate an adult midge. When we say adult mayfly or adult midge, to the fly fisherman, this means a dry fly imitation. A dry fly imitation floats on top of the water and imitates a mature insect. (PS – Click here to learn more about mayfly lifecycles in regards to fly fishing).
A parachute adams is one of the best dry flies for mayflies because it can imitate every species of mayfly when tied in the right size and the right color. For example, an olive parachute adams tied in sizes #16 and smaller can imitate blue wing olives (aka baetis, bwo). In contrast, if you use the same pattern, but in a size $8 – #12, you can imitate green drake adult mayflies. If you go back to the size #16-#22 range but switch it up to yellow, now you can imitate PMD (aka sulpher duns) as well. This kind of versatility with adjusting sizes and colors makes it a great fly for your box. It can be hard to know which fly to choose, but if you just have a bunch of parachute adams, then you can imitate every mayfly if you have the right colors and sizes. Check out our top trout flies course for a complete breakdown on all sizes and colors you’ll need for every hatch for any time of the year.
Parachute Adams Fly for Sale
Probably the most popular fly of all time, the Parachute Adams is built to catch fish anywhere and anytime. You can fish this fly anywhere trout live and if they are rising, you’ll have a good chance to catch them. The Parachute Adams most often imitates a mayfly dun, but can also imitate midge adults and even caddis. It’s a must have in your fly box.
Parachute flies are great to have in your fly box because they are easy to see, easy to fish, and it doesn’t sacrifice presentation of the fly.
This proven pattern is available by the dozen or in our sampler pack sizes which contains a dozen flies divided into equal groups for 3 sizes. It’s an excellent option for those looking to have variety in their fly patterns and the flexibility to fish lots of rivers.