Parachute Green Drake 11/14/2021 Photo Album
This is an update on my relationship with the parachute green drake. For links to a materials table and background information on this fly click on this link to my post of 02/09/2021.
2021 proved to be a better than average year in my annual quest to interact with green drake hatches in the west. 2020 remains perhaps my peak experience with western green drakes; however, 2021 was solid as well. I experimented with the western green drake on small high mountain creeks more often during the past season, and I was quite pleased with the results. In several instances I knotted the large mayfly to my line even without observing any naturals, and the fish responded very favorably.
The Other Side
During several hot green drake outings on South Boulder Creek, I discovered that the local trout demonstrated a pronounced preference for the parachute style with a moose mane tail. During the winter of 2021 I adopted the practice of tying amber microfibbet tails with the assumption that they were stiffer and aided in supporting the large dry fly on the surface. During an outing on South Boulder Creek I plucked a moose mane version from my box and enjoyed fast action. Eventually the trout teeth cut the hackle, and it unraveled, and I replaced it with a microfibbet version.
Two Flies Completed on Monday
I continued to catch fish, but the catch rate slowed measurably, and I switched back to another moose mane version. After this unscientific study of trout preferences, I returned to my tying vise and cranked out additional moose mane parachute green drakes, and in a subsequent visit to South Boulder Creek they proved their worth. Until I am convinced otherwise, I am adopting moose mane tails as my preferred tailing material.
A second modification came out of these real time studies in green drake fly selectivity. I migrated to using white turkey flat wings in recent years after reading A. K. Best’s book. The folded turkey flat wing was lighter than alternatives, and I valued this for flotation purposes. It was also easier to maintain a nice narrow tapered body due to the absence of significant bulk. As I tied my moose mane versions during the summer, I reverted to a gray poly yarn wing, and this adaptation made the fly easier to track, and I also believe it adds bulk to the wing that more closely mimics the large fluttering illusion of a green drake attempting to become airborne. I am not as convinced that this change is as critical as the tail choice, but the improved visibility sold me on adopting the poly wing.
Clump of 15
I manufactured fifteen new parachute green drakes over the recent weeks, and all of them possess moose mane tails and gray poly wings with the bottom two-thirds of the wing shaded with a black permanent marker. I am already anxiously anticipating a hot western green drake season in 2022.

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