"To him, all good things - trout as well as eternal salvation- come by grace, and grace comes by art, and art does not come easy." - Norman Maclean
I think that all fly fisherman have a go to fly. A fly that is their favorite, I am no exception. My favorite fly is a parachute Adams. I love the Adams, I have a million of them in my fly boxes and it is almost always the first fly I try when the trout are rising, or even if they aren't I will fish the Adams. The Parachute Adams is a fly that imitates an adult Mayfly, which means it imitates an awful lot of bugs. So in other words, it doesn’t just look like one thing, it looks like many things. One version of the story claim The Adams fly was developed in 1922 in Michigan by Leonard Hallady. He named the fly after his friend, Judge Charles F. Adams. Others claim the originator of the Adams fly is unknown. I think I like the creator unknown version better, I like to think that one day the Adams just showed up and no one knows where it came from, the fishing gods just made it appear. Yeah, I like that version better.
I fished a lot this past weekend and during that time I found an Adams on the end of my tippet for about 90% of the time I was casting. Why? Because for me it works. It is a beautiful little fly that is easy to fish. It is easy to cast, very easy to see and most importantly it catches fish. The white post, called a parachute helps to make this fly highly visible on the water. I have also seen the post tied with bright pink, orange, and even black yarn, but I think I like the white post the best. I find it the easiest for me to see. I have fished a parachute Adams down to a size 26 which is very small. The image of the Adams on the quarter is a size 22, so a 26 is a bit smaller. But even with something that small, that white post is easy to spot and stands out like a beacon of hope as it gently drifts down the stream. I think that is one of the main reasons I like it so much, I can see it very well. And when you are dry fly fishing, half the battle is being able to see your fly.
I was laughing to myself this past weekend, I had just arrived at the location that I was going to fish on the FryingPan, I stopped and looked around for bug activity and seeing none, I thought perfect, Parachute Adams time. I should have been fishing with nymphs, but to me I would rather practice my casts and my dry drifts then fish properly and actually catch a fish or two. I kid, but what I mean is I have a lot of faith in my ability to fish an Adams and I have pulled out a lot of fish using an Adams when there wasn't a bug in the air and I was hoping that day would be no exception… Fifth cast in I had my first fish of the day. Another victory using the Adams. A nice Brown came up to check out the size 18 Adams that was floating above him, he decided to eat and a minute later he was in my net wondering how that bug beat the crap out of him. I reached into my net, grabbed the confused fish, said hello, carefully removed the Adams and sent that Brown back on his way. I remember I took a moment and looked at the fly and thought, “this is my favorite fly and I have to let the world know.” I have now done that, me and my parachute Adam’s have a good relationship. It is my favorite fly and it is for a good reason.