The Klinkhamer or Klinkhammer fly is one in which you either love it or you’ve never heard of it. Dutch tier Hans van Klinken created this pattern in the mid 1980’s to imitate an emerging insect. The unique fly hangs below the surface, in the film, and the parachute floats. This deadly combination has produced fish over and over again. It’s a pattern that can be tied with varying colors for native emerging insects and I’ve found sizes 12 through 16 to be perfect in northern Michigan.
Start your thread directly behind the eye of the hook and stop on the flattest part of the hook as this is where the parachute will be posted.
Wrap the parachute material around the thread and take a few cross wraps through the center of it to bind it took the hook. Here, I used McFlylon but any preferred material could be used. I don’t advise using natural hair as it’s not as buoyant. Make some horizontal wraps posting the material up from the hook. You don’t need much of a post. Here, mine extends up from the hook between 1/8″ and 1/4″.
With your thread between the post and the eye of the hook, tie in your hackle stem and then make horizontal wraps tying it onto the post itself. Depending on the mayfly I’m imitating, I’ll use a hackle feather that is size-appropriate or one size larger to make the fly more stable in the water.
Then, advance your thread down the hook to the point where you’ll begin your dubbing. As a rule of thumb, I draw an imaginary line from the tip of the hook to the bend and that’s where I begin dubbing.
I dub a tampered body to the point where the hook flattens out. If done correctly, there is an equal space between the hook eye and post as well as between the dubbing and the post. This is where you’ll take two or three peacock herl and tie it onto the shank of the hook.
Make spiral wraps with the herl behind the post, under, and in front of it before making your way back. As a rule, I bring the herl vertical to the post and make two wraps to capture it and then snip off the but ends. This keeps a nice clean look to the herl.
Then, I wrap the thread behind the post and let it hang down behind the eye.
I begin wrapping my herl around the post at the very top and can usually get three or four wraps in. Then, taking the thread and being as careful as possible, I capture the hackle stem around the post. At this point, use fine-tipped scissors to trim the stem away and whip finish around the very base of the post.
Finally, I trim the parachute post to the desired length.
Hook: Daiichi Klinkhammer – Size 12
Thread: UTC 70
Body: Hairline Dubbin
Thorax: Peacock Herl
Hackle: Size 12