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Para Glen
By Al Beatty

Unlike other flies Al has developed, slightly modified, or kidded himself into believing he actually invented, the Para-Glen did not happen due to a specific need either on the water or from a customer's request. This fly came tumbling out of a bottle of twelve-year-old Glenlivet Scotch whiskey one evening while Al was tying and creating flies with Lars-Ake Olsson, a Swedish fly-fishing friend.

After an inch of that Scotch disappeared, the Para-Glen just magically appeared. With such an unfortunate start in life you would think the Para-Glen would have died a quick and merciful death, but because the thing actually worked it has quickly become a favorite parachute-style fly. It is particularly effective when fished as an indicator with a smaller submerged nymph on a dropper. With the bulk of the shank bare it fishes like a parachute even though the hackle is wrapped around the hook: in essence, a parachute that's not.

In addition to producuing a quick, easy and effective fly, tying the Para-Glen will teach a technique called furling. It's a method of quickly making perfect extended-body flies. Once the furling technique in perfected, the fly tier can modify the pattern to match almost any size or color of mayfly.

Materials for the Para Glen:

    Hook: Scud or dry fly, size 12 - 20.

    Thread: Color to match body.

    Body/Wing: Poly, color to match insect.

    Hackle: Grizzly or match the insect.

    Tying Instruction for the Para Glen:

    Step 1

    Step 1: The thread base is placed directly behind the hook eye and only covers the front one-fourth of the hook shank. Be certain to leave the back part of the hook bare so it will readily sink into the water.

    Step 2

    Step 2: Bind the poly yarn to the hook so a short tuft sticks out over the hook eye and the rest extends toward the back.

    Step 3

    Step 3: Twist the section of poly extending to the rear very tight. It should be twisted so tight it starts to "bundle" upon its self.

    Step 4

    Step 4: Fold the tightly twisted poly over and allow it to wrap around itself to form an extended body. Bind furled body in place and trim excess even with the poly remaining from Step 2. We find using a bodkin at the fold-over point helpful with this step.

    Step 5

    Step 5: Take a couple of loops of thread around the extended body and anchor it to the hook shank. It should stick straight up in the air for the time being. Tie on the hackle directly behind the extended body. Also bind the excess stem to the area just in front of the body.

    Step 6

    Step 6: Wrap the hackle one or two turns behind the body and several in front of the body. Tie it off directly behind the wings.

    Step 7

    Step 7: Whip finish and trim the thread. Flip the fly in the vise so yu can observe the position it takes in the water. It fishes like a parachute but ties like a regularly hackled pattern.

    Finished fly:

    Step 8

    ~Al and Gretchen, Boise, Idaho

    Credits: The O2 Stonefly Adult is from Al & Gretchen Beatty's book, Innovative Flies and Techniques, published by Frank Amato Publications, (2005). You can read a review of this terrific book HERE. ~ DLB

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.


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