The Adams dry fly, the parachute version, in particular, is quoted in many sources as being the most popular dry fly in the world. In my trout fishing, I have probably caught more trout on this pattern than any other dry fly. The Parachute Adams was the first parachute style fly I learned to tie. I was taken back by its effectiveness the very first time I used it, and it has been a favorite pattern of mine ever since. It is my go-to searching pattern for trout, and it has served admirably during hatches of many different species of Mayfly and Caddis.
A Nice Change Of Pace
I love throwing poppers and topwater bugs for bluegills and other panfish. There is no denying their effectiveness, but they can be a pain to cast on the light rods I enjoy using for panfish, especially in windy conditions. Sometimes I want to enjoy the elegance of casting a delicate dry fly opposed to chucking a large, air resistant topwater bug. When that urge to cast a traditional dry fly to panfish hits, the fly I usually select a Parachute Adams.
"A fly that imitates nothing yet imitates everything"
While bluegills and other panfish are usually not as particular when it comes to flies as their cold water cousins, fly selection can still be important. One of the reasons I like the Parachute Adams is that it does such a good job imitating a large number of insects. Its natural color scheme of gray, brown, white and black represent the colors that are found in many prey items of bluegills and other panfish. If you size the fly appropriately, you can imitate everything from tiny midges to large terrestrials all with the same fly! There is always a small box of Parachute Adams stashed in with the rest of my panfish flies.
The Perfect Fly For Spooky Fish
As we move into warmer weather, bluegills and other sunfish will start migrating into shallow water in preparation for spawning. Shallow water, in this case, may only be inches deep. When these fish are in skinny water like this, they can become incredibly spooky. A large popping bug landing on the surface of the water will send them scattering. In these conditions, a delicate dry fly cast on a long, light leader is your key to success! When the fish are present in extremely shallow water, I will use a nine-foot or longer leader tapered down to 5x. This set up will allow your fly to land near the fish without disturbing them. With a shorter leader your fly line hitting the water's surface will send them running. Early Spring is one of the few times during the year that you can find large bluegills in shallow water. One of the largest bluegills I ever took on a fly was in water so shallow that the rays of his dorsal fins were poking through the water's surface! If you're faced with spooky shallow water bluegills this season, give a traditional dry fly like a Parachute Adams a try.