The Parachute Ant was originated by Ed Schroeder and has become one of the most accepted ant patterns in existence. It is an uncomplicated fly to tie and highly effective as well. The parachute post makes for good visibility while the hackle provides low riding floatation. This pattern is a killer all along the Front Range, especially in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Hook: TMC 102Y #13-19
Thread: 8/0 Black
Body: Black Superfine Dubbing
Wing: White Float-Viz
Hackle: Grizzly Rooster Neck
Begin by wrapping a thread base from the midpoint on the hook to the bend.
Apply a thin layer of superfine dubbing to the thread and form an oblong ball from the bend to the 40% point on the shank.
Bring the thread forward to the eighty percent point.
Tie in a length of Float-Viz like you would a set of spinner wings by X-wrapping across the center.
Pull both “spinner” wings up forming one single wing and post the base with the thread.
Prepare (strip the fibers from the base of the feather exposing the bare quill for a length equal to the distance from the index point to the base of the wing plus the distance from the shank to the top of the post.) and tie in a grizzly hackle to the shank in front of the base of the wing with the inside of the feather facing down. The hackle should have fibers equal in length to one to one and a half gap widths.
Pull the hackle feather straight up so it is parallel to the wing and post around the stripped quill and the wing post with the thread. This will assure that the first wrap of hackle is at the top of the post.
Return the thread to the bottom of the post and then make a single turn of thread around the hook shank in front of the wing.
Apply another thin layer of dubbing to the thread and build another smaller ball around the base of the wing. Be sure to leave the middle portion of the shank bare to form the ant’s waist.
Begin wrapping the hackle at the top of the post with each consecutive turn under the last. Make four or five turns, and then pull the tip of the feather down on the far side of the hook. Grasp the wrapped portion of the hackle in your fingertips and hold it out of the way as you execute a pinch wrap over the remaining tip.
Whip finish behind the hook eye while holding the wrapped hackle out of the way and clip the thread.
Cut the wing post to one shank length long and add a drop of head cement at the base of the wing.
For further details on parachute hackling, please see the Parachute Adams.