By Barry Ord Clarke

Thrity-five years ago in Norway, June 27, 1984, the first Klinkhamer Special was born from the vise of my old friend, Hans van Klinken. The original Klinkhamer was designed for fishing grayling in the Glomma River and is now regarded as a modern classic – probably the best and most adaptable emerger pattern to date. The Klinkhopper is my adaptation of the original for a high-vis grasshopper pattern. It provides a very nice footprint and profile and has worked extremely well for me.

There are a number of important things to consider when tying the Klinkhopper. First off, choose the correct hook. It should have a curved shank, wide gape, slightly heavy wire, and a straight eye. I like a Mustad C49. Next, we must consider the wingpost, which has several functions. Coupled with a heavier hook, it keeps the pattern on an even keel in the water. It’s a quick sight indicator that helps immensely at a distance, in low light, and in rough water conditions. Of course, it’s also the anchor point for our parachute hackle. Two tips for tying it in: the rear of the post, if trimmed correctly, will also form the foundation for our slender, tapered, dubbed body. In order for the base to accommodate the hackle, it needs to be nice and firm. A drop of varnish or head cement will help with this.

On to the other materials. Your saddle hackle should be prepared by stripping off 10 mm of the fibers from one side and 60 to 70 mm of the fibers from the other (step 11). This will ensure that, when wrapped, the hackle fibers will have maximum surface contact with the water, keeping the body and thorax of the fly just under the water—which is where they belong. 

One problem with the “traditional parachute hackle” is finishing it neatly. You always have to wind your tying thread forward through the thorax and hold the hackle fibers out of the way when you whip finish. The below method avoids all that and results in a perfect parachute hackle.

Before you begin wrapping the hackle, reposition your hook in the vise from its original horizontal position to vertical. This makes wrapping a parachute hackle as easy as wrapping a traditional collar hackle. Reattach your tying thread at the base of the post and wind it down close into the thorax. If you have a material clip on your vise, once your thread is secure, hang it out of the way (step 19). Now wrap your hackle as you would a traditional dry fly collar hackle, taking care that each turn of hackle is close to the previous, all the way down into the thorax. When you reach the thorax, release your tying thread from the material clip and make one wrap over the hackle and one wrap under to secure it. Trim away the surplus hackle. Now, trim your post to the required length. Finally, take your whip finish tool and make one whip finish between the hackle and the thorax, taking care not to trap any hackle fibers. The result should be a perfect parachute hackle.


Hook:   Mustad C49, size 6 to 14

Thread:   Sheer 14/0 Brown

Post:   Para-post material

Body:   Chartreuse dubbing

Rib:   Tying thread dubbing loop

Wing:   Yellow dyed partridge hackle

Legs:   Yellow pheasant tail fibers

Thorax:   Olive ostrich herl

Hackle:   Yellow-dyed grizzly hackle


Step 1:   Using the correct hook is important. I am using a Mustad C49S.

Step 2:   Secure your hook in the vise as shown, with the hook shank horizontal. Run a fine foundation of tying thread along the first few millimeters of hook shank.

Step 3:   You will now need some parachute post material. Use the color best suited for you. It’s also an advantage if the post material floats well. Aero dry wing material is extremely good but expensive; the Veniard alternative is just as good and a third of the price.

Step 4:   Cut your post material relative to your hook size. Tie this in as shown at the correct position for the post. Make sure that you have enough para-post at the rear of the post to hold onto.

Step 5:   While holding the rear para-post material in one hand, trim off the ends at a slight angle, so when covered with tying thread they will make a tapered body.

Step 6:   Even the body with tying thread to create a slight taper. At the very rear of the hook, make a dubbing loop and return your thread back to the post base.

Step 7:   Make a few turns with tying thread tight into the front of the post so that it rises 90 degrees from the hook shank.

Step 8:   It helps to strengthen the post by applying a drop of varnish to the base.

Step 9:   Select and prepare a hackle by stripping off the fibers from the base and along the right side.

Step 10:   Now tie in the hackle at the base of the post. Leave a little bare hackle stem at the top of the post base. This will help you steer your hackle correctly when starting to wrap. Return your tying thread to the tie-in point.

Step 11:   Spin a little dubbing on to your tying thread and and start wrapping a neat tapered body

Step 12:   Finish the dubbed body a few millimeters behind the parachute post.

Step 13:   Using the dubbing loop that you made earlier, twist the loop together so it makes one strand of tying thread and wrap this in even, open turns up over the body to make the rib. Tie off and remove the excess.

Step 14:   Select a nicely marked yellow-dyed partridge hackle.

Step 15:   Coat the hackle with a high-viscosity UV resin as shown.

Step 16:   Now fold the hackle along the stem and make a small ‘V’ cut at the end.

Step 17:   Select your desired color of pheasant tail for the hopper legs.

Step 18:   Cut two small bunches of pheasant tail fibers and tie a knot in each to make the legs.

Step 19:   Tie in the wing as shown on top of the hook shank close to the post base..

Step 20:   Attach one leg to each side of the wing. Take care that they are the same length.

Step 21:   Once the legs are secure, take hold of both legs and trim to the correct length. You can now remove the excess legs material at the hook eye and secure with a few wraps of tying thread.

Step 22:   Tie in a length of ostrich herl for the thorax.

Step 23:   Wrap the herl forward over the thorax and tie off behind the hook eye. Whip finish and remove your tying thread.

Step 24:   Remove the hook from the vise and replace as shown. Now reattach your tying thread to the post base and wind down close to the thorax. Wrap your hackle down the post, keeping each turn close to the previous. Tie off the hackle between the thorax and the last turn of hackle. Remove the surplus hackle.

Step 25:   You can now trim down the post to the desired length. Use a whip finish tool to make a finishing knot or two just below the hackle. Take care not to trap any of the hackle barbules. Just before you tighten your whip finish knot, place a drop of varnish on your tying thread close to the thorax and tighten.

Step 26:   Remove your tying thread and the Klinkhopper is ready to fish.

Step 27:   Klinkhopper from the side.

Berry Ord Cark

Barry Ord Clarke is British but has lived and worked in Norway for the past 30 years. He regularly demonstrates at fly tying exhibitions throughout Europe and the USA, and is a consultant for Mustad and Veniard Ltd. Barry was voted Fly Tyer Magazine’s Fly Tyer of the Year 2021, and has authored 12 books on fly tying. His new book, Flytying for Beginners, will be published in the USA by Skyhorse Publishing in spring 2022. Learn more about his work at his website or tie alongside Barry at his Youtube channel.