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
Using the correct hook is important. I am using a Mustad C49S.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Make a few turns with tying thread tight into the front of the post so that
it rises 90 degrees from the hook shank.
It helps to strengthen the post by applying a drop of varnish to the base.
Select and prepare a hackle by stripping off the fibers from the base and
along the right side.
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.
Spin a little dubbing on to your tying thread and and start wrapping a
neat tapered body
Finish the dubbed body a few millimeters behind the parachute post.
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.
Select a nicely marked yellow-dyed partridge hackle.
Coat the hackle with a high-viscosity UV resin as shown.
Now fold the hackle along the stem and make a small ‘V’ cut at the end.
Select your desired color of pheasant tail for the hopper legs.
Cut two small bunches of pheasant tail fibers and tie a knot in each to
make the legs.
Tie in the wing as shown on top of the hook shank close to the post base..
Attach one leg to each side of the wing. Take care that they are the same
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.
Tie in a length of ostrich herl for the thorax.
Wrap the herl forward over the thorax and tie off behind the hook eye.
Whip finish and remove your tying thread.
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
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
Remove your tying thread and the Klinkhopper is ready to fish.
Klinkhopper from the side.