How to Tie: The Parachute Poly Emerger

In this week’s “How to Tie” video feature, SvendDiesel is here to show us how to tie the Parachute Poly Emerger fly.

Learn About This Fly:

Difficulty: Intermediate

If you don’t know what an emerger is, you at least know what they look like. You’ve seen them everywhere: little flies that look like a weird mix between a dry and a nymph, almost always with a little tube of foam protruding from the eye of the hook. What you’re seeing is the point in between an insect’s larval stage, and their final adult stage. Once a nymph is able to shed its larval shell, it begins to swim to the surface in hopes of soon spreading its wings and taking to the skies. However, in this stage, these insects are extremely vulnerable to lurking sub-surface predators. Due to their immobilized state, they become the perfect snack for any wandering fish anticipating a hatch.

Better for us anglers, these patterns are an effective 4th alternative to streamers, nymphs, and dries. This fly in particular is an excellent example of an emerger that’s going to be the perfect draw before the evening hatch begins. Between the foam head, the poly-wrap body, and the parachute hackle wraps, this fly floats effortlessly from the middle of the water column to the top. However, unlike what an angler would seek with a dry fly, the bottom half of the body of the fly hangs underwater, such as that of an emerging nymph who’s leaning on the surface tension of it’s dampened wings.

When tying this fly, one of the easiest mistakes to make is overcrowding the hook. Whether it’s thread, hackle, or foam: the best way to waste 5-10 minutes is to tie a fly that you can’t fish. To avoid this, make sure to give plenty of room in-between your initial wraps over the foam (and then some). It’s always better to be over-generous with allotted space as opposed to crowding an eye.


  • Hook: Stealth Hooks D series 16
  • Thread: Semperfli Waxed thread 8/0
  • Foam: Upavon foam cut to size using gunville cutters
  • Body: Semperfli floating poly yard
  • Ribbing: Semperfli small gold tinsel
  • Hackle: Whiting Farms Grizzly saddle

Now you know how to tie the parachute poly emerger!

Video and Ingredients courtesy of SvendDiesel

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