Parafoam Dry Flies by Alex Cerveniak

Fly Patterns, Step-by-Step Tutorials — By on March 20, 2013 1:03 pm

I came up with Parafoam style dries a few years ago when I was playing around with paraloop style hackle. I didn’t have the right size mono I needed and dug through my tying material bins for a substitute. “Foam!” This style of dry floats forever while riding nice and low in the film. I’ve since used this style of fly to tie everything from emergers to spinners, and mayflies to midges. Be sure to check out the 2011 issue of Hatches Magazine for more history and a step by step for a great March Brown emerger.

Hook: #16 Dry Fly Hook
Thread: Adams Gray
Shuck: Olive/Brown Polar Chenille, Brown Kinky Z-lon
Body: Light Olive, Olive Superfine Dubbing
Parafoam Post: 2mm craft foam
Hackle: 1 Grizzly, 1 Med Dun

Step 1

Insert your hook into your vise. If you’re fortunate enough to be tying on a Regal, just grab the hook with your vise. If you’re tying on something else, don’t worry, I’ll take a few swigs of Two Hearted while waiting for you to set up.

Step 2

Lay Down a smooth thread base.

Step 3

Tie in a few strands of olive/brown polar chenille.

Step 4

Tie in a few strands of kinky Z-lon

Step 5

Dub the abdomen. Try mottling several colors indicative of whatever mayfly you’re imitating. They’re never a solid color.

Step 6

Tie in a strip of 2mm craft foam. The width of the strip you cut should be about 2/3 the hook gap. Be sure not to over compress the foam. If you break your thread like I did, just restart over top of where it broke and keep going.

Step 7

Tie in two hackle feathers. Again, mix and match for better realism.

Step 8

Dub the thorax. Take a wrap behind the foam to for a more realistic profile and to hide where we’ll fold it forward in a couple steps.

Step 9

This is the tricky part, but with practice, isn’t a big deal. I watched a 7-year-old little girl master this part after two flies at a local TU meeting. Wrap the hackle up the post clockwise (looking down). Stop at the height where when you fold the foam forward, the hackle is just short of the hook eye. When you fold the foam forward, it pins the hackle feathers down and keeps them from unwinding. Take a couple wraps around the foam, being sure to simultaneously tie off the hackle feathers at the same time.

A side note here is you are probably crowding the eye. I know it goes against everything you’ve been taught, but for this style of fly, you WANT to crowd the eye. We’re trying to make the hook eye look as if it is part of the head. If you crowd to the point where you won’t be able to thread your tippet through, just take your finger nail and slide it up the eye, pushing the materials back slightly.

Step 10

Trim off the tag end of the foam and hackle feathers.

Step 11

Hit the exposed foam with a marker. Match the body color, or color to match the natural. This is a great way to match the orange or lime colored eyes some mayfly species have that are sometimes larger than their head.

Finished Fly

VN:F [1.9.13_1145]
Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)

6 Comments

  1. Chuck says:

    That fly is fabulous. Nicely done.

    VA:F [1.9.13_1145]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  2. Luke says:

    Very nice, I love the para-foam hackle flies.

    VA:F [1.9.13_1145]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  3. Larry Lack says:

    Veerrrrry nice. Having tied many hundreds of paraloops (the Brit term) or Hackle Stacker (the Yank term) patterns using just a mono port, this is the way I’m going to do them from now on! They float forever!!!!

    VA:F [1.9.13_1145]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  4. Larry Lack says:

    Veerrrrry nice. Having tied many hundreds of paraloops (the Brit term) or Hackle Stacker (the Yank term) patterns using just a mono post, this is the way I’m going to do them from now on! They float forever!!!!

    VA:F [1.9.13_1145]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  5. Lyle says:

    Super easy fly adaptable to many other patterns as well. Good write as well.

    VA:F [1.9.13_1145]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  6. Nate DuBay says:

    Anyone notice that the opening picture is of the flies on a Two Hearted Ale beer cap? Bells named the beer after the river in the U.P. and Hemmingway wrote a fly fishing story of the same name. I thought that was a nice touch to the picture and I applaud this man’s taste in beer. (It’s a great IPA)

    VA:F [1.9.13_1145]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)

Leave a Comment


Powered by WP Hashcash

Tags: ,

Related Articles

WordPress SEO