Developed by innovative Dutch fly tyer Hans Van Klinken, the Klinkhåmer Special has rapidly become one the most popular of all river trout flies. It is tied as an emerger — the parachute hackle is tied around a wing post of polypropylene yarn and is designed to sit right in the surface film while the sinking abdomen represents the body of a sedge pupa in the act of transforming into the winged adult. It is tied on a lightweight sedge hook and, although it might look very large, it is surprising how fish that have rejected a smaller pattern will gulp down the Klinkhåmer.
Though big versions work, the pattern is now used effectively in smaller sizes down to an 18. In Hans’ original, the hook shank was bent with pliers a short distance back from the eye. Fortunately, a number of companies, including Partridge of Redditch, manufacture hooks of the right shape.
So the body can sit below the surface, the hackle is tied in the parachute style. This is a very efficient method where all the hackle fibres come into contact with the water’s surface. Here the technique for tying the hackle varies from the one Hans used, where it is tied in at the beginning and only wound after the thorax has been finished.
While this works well enough, applying the hackle later allows a feather that simply won’t wind properly, or which breaks, to be easily replaced.
Hook Size 8-18 longshank sedge/caddis
hook or specialist Klinkhåmer hook
Thread Black or tan Body Tan synthetic
dubbing or various shades of brown and
olive Wing White or light grey Poly yarn
Hackle Blue dun or brown cock hackle
1. Having fixed the hook in the vice, run the tying thread on at the eye. Wind it down the shank for a short distance then select a length of white polypropylene yarn.
2. Catch the yarn in with turns of tying thread. Allow a decent length of yarn to project over the eye. This will make applying the parachute hackle that much easier.
3. Work the tying thread over the waste end of the poly yarn. With scissors, trim this yarn to a taper to form a base for the body.
4. Carry the tying thread well round the bend of the hook then apply a large pinch of tan fur to it. Wax the thread lightly if necessary.
5. Dub the fur on to the thread to form a thick tapered rope. Wind the fur back up the shank in close turns.
6. Continue winding the fur over the hook to form a curved body. Stop a short distance from the wing, winding a few turns of thread around the wing base to bring it into an upright position.
7. Select a blue dun or brown cock hackle with fibres slightly shorter than the length of the body.
8. Remove the fibres at the base of the hackle to leave a short section of bare stem. Catch the hackle in at the base of the wing.
9. Take three inches of peacock herl and catch it in behind the hackle at a position just in front of the body.
10. Twist the peacock herls into a rope and wind on two or three turns between the body and the wing base. Secure at the front of the wing but do not remove the excess at this point.
11. Take hold of the hackle, by its tip, and wind on three or four turns close to the base of the wing.
12. Stroke the hackle fibres back and secure the hackle tip just in front of the wing.
13. Remove the excess hackle fibres and tip with scissors. Take hold of the peacock herl, twist them and wind up to the eye to complete the thorax.
14. Secure the herls at the eye and remove the excess. Cast off the thread at the eye then stroke the hackle fibres back into position. Finally trim the wing post to length.
WHERE, WHEN & HOW TO FISH
W H E R E
The Klinkhåmer is a deadly fly on any river that contains grayling. In its larger sizes it works best in a medium- to fast-paced current especially where the surface is broken. Tied on small-sized hooks, it is effective on virtually any river or stream that supports trout or grayling.
W H E N
The Klinkhåmer can be used throughout the season, whenever grayling or trout are prepared to feed on the surface. Although tied to imitate a hatching sedge, it works just as well as a general pattern for opportunist feeders. It is also a very good fly for tempting fish up even when they are not freely rising.
H O W
The pattern is fished singly on a floating line and a tapered leader. It is fished either in the standard upstream method or fly-first where permissible. It may be cast to a specific rising fish or used to search a likely-looking run.
T Y I N G T I P
When tying a pattern with a parachute hackle, apply enough winging material to hold easily, so the fingers don’t get in the way while the hackle is being wound.