The Klinkhamer

by Jonathan

The Klinkhamer was originally designed by Hans Van Klinken to copy the fly emerging from its shuck as it made the change to a flying insect. There are ‘puritans’ among us who refuse to accept this fly as a true dry fly because the fly has not been airborne. To those of us who just enjoy fly fishing it is a dry fly which often doubles up as a support or sight fly with a nymph attached New Zealand style underneath.It is not the easiest of flies to tie but is well worth persevering with.

There are several ways of tying this fly, all based on using a yarn post to achieve a horizontal hackle which looks like a parachute. The hook used is a lightweight buzzer hook. I use Kamasan KB100s sizes 10 and 12.I hope you will find the lesson easy to follow. You can use exactly the same technique to tie parachute dry flies, on which you use a straight hook with tail fibres to keep the tail end up in the water.

Hopefully this satisfies the purists.  I use Kamasan KB400s.  For both of these patterns you will find that the better the quality of the hackle the better it floats. If you prefer to dub the body keep it as sparse as possible, it stops the fly getting waterlogged. Give it a try and let me know how you get on.



  • Hook Kamasan B100 ( or similar ) sizes 10, 12 or 14 if you are brave.
  • Thread Sparton Micro black (or similar).
  • Rib optional fine silver wire.
  • Dubbing Hare or Possum body fur.
  • Hackle best quality cock hackles you can afford.
  • Wing Post Egg yarn or white calf tail.


Dave C. and The Team


{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

matt February 24, 2008 at 2:42 am

i have been tying for about 1 year now, i find that i’m making flies even better than the ones in the stores. Your videos are great as soon as i saw leeson 1 i emdiatly watched everyone of them …. keep up with the great videos and with a request can you tie the royal wulff? thanks bye. i hope there are new videos coming soon.

Sincerely ,
matt ( canada )

matt February 24, 2008 at 2:35 am

i love the way that you tie your flies, everything i see today is always fast and to the point without any description…. you always take the time to show every little bit of information. hope you reply

sincerely ,
matt (canada)

Larena February 18, 2008 at 9:34 pm

I have been teaching myself to tie for about 6 months. I just found your videos and they are fantastic. I have learned more in the past two days than the past 6 months. Thank you for going step by step and explaining why you are doing things a certain way.
I live in the USA and some of the materials, like hooks, are a little different. Can you help us with substituting materials?

You are a fantastic person, thanks for sharing your talents with the world!!!

Martin February 18, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Hi David
Thank you for your great website – i really enjojed watching you tying flies.
I was always a bit wary about tying the Klinkhammer – but i ll go for it now! thank you

topflyman February 16, 2008 at 8:37 pm

Hi Simon
I wish you luck with your klinkhamers. Once you manage to get it right it will only get easier. I am off to NZ for 3 weeks to sample the brownie fishing. Let me know how you get on end of March.
Happy Fishing
Dave C. and the Team

topflyman February 16, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Hi Brian
Thanks for your comments. There will be more to follow. We have a similar problem with a shooting sindicate but only for some weekends. As for flytying it is just a case of the more you do the easier it becomes. Beg or borrow all the feathers you can from the shooters….bronze mallard, teal flank, cdc from mallards, snipe, hare and rabbit, even deer skin can be acquired if you make the right contacts.
Happy Fishing
DaveC. and the Team

brian February 15, 2008 at 8:14 pm

Hi David
i am a novice as far as fly fishing is concerned only taking it up in the later part of last year, but i have had some degree of success on a syndicate water which i joined, but during the winter months the water is closed as we share the land with a shooting club and from the end of november untill the begining of march it is there domain, during this time of inactivity i tried my hand at fly tying with very little success untill that is i found your web site i am pleased to say that thanks to your brilliant instruction,s and easy to follow demonsrations i am now able to increase my fly population at very little cost and have spent many a happy hour or two at my fly tying bench, keep up the good work david and i look foreward to further lessons many thanks from a grateful novice

Simon February 14, 2008 at 1:19 pm

What a fantastic site. I tied my first fly more than 30 years ago and am still pretty useless. But I enjoy it and catch the odd fish. I’m bowled over by the time and effort you have put into this. This time of year I’m just itching to fish and preparing some flies nearly keeps me in check. I’ve never managed neat parachute flies but am going to tackle the klinkhammer tonight! thanks.

JJ February 9, 2008 at 8:40 pm

I have been a dedicated follower of your tying lessons and was just wonder….when is the next one due?

You should have a mailing list so that we know when the next lesson is released on YouTube, I’ll be the first to sign on!

Thank you for the dedication and time you put into this!

David Cammiss February 9, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Hi Roger
Thanks for your comments. I gather that you dont have too much success with split wings. My old mentor used to tell me that ‘fancy wings’ were for the angler and a good hackle fly was for the fish. I have a lady tyer in NZ who is also wanting to know about split wings. I really would have to sit at the vice for a few hours to see if I can still do it. You never know I might just have a rush of blood to the head one day.
Keep watching you may find something of use to you in the future.
Happy fishing
DaveC.and the Team

Roger the wild brownie man February 9, 2008 at 6:09 am

Hi, – What an excellent site, and congratulations on your videos. Such selfless use of You Tube and the time and effort of you and your colleagues shouldn’t go unpraised.
I’ve been fly tying for years and fish for wild brownies on a difficult water, so you’re lessons aren’t really aimed at me, but how I wish something like this had been around years ago. They are superbly illustrated and narrated for the beginner, and will give confidence to their efforts.
When are you doing the one on split starling wings? ….or shouldn’t I hold my breath ?

alparent February 1, 2008 at 6:52 pm

I’ve never fly fish before and I don’t even have a rod. But fly tying as always fascinated me. After I stumbled on your site. I made up a list of all the material needed for all the lessons and got it all. I don’t even know what these flies are used for (that will come later)

I also love listening to your lessons. You are like the Bob Ross of fly tying!

I hope all is well with M. Cammis and I’m looking forward to intermediate Lesson 4.

John Boon January 25, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Hi Dave,

I am 15 and have only been fly fishing for a couple of months. I recieved a fly tying kit and vice for christmas and have had great succes with tying the flies. I found your website very useful, and have tied many of the patterns covered. I fish stillwaters and was woundering if you could tie a stillwater dry fly e.g. a CDC fly.

topflyman January 16, 2008 at 11:23 pm

Hi Alan
dries are best tied with the hackle being wound forward for 3..4 turns. fibres to stand proud from body.
Hope this helps.
Dave C. and the Team

Alan McRobb January 15, 2008 at 10:38 pm

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the welcome back to the world of F&F !

I have been tying a few hackled dry flies this evening using cock hackles .
When tying wet flies the hackle is normally swept back a little . Does the same style work with dry flies or should I be looking to get a different effect with fibres pointing in all directions ?


topflyman January 15, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Hi Alan
welcome back to the world of feathers and fur. Glad the site has been an inspiration to you. I am a trout man who has dabbled at seatrout fishing.( only because of the geography)
Practice makes perfect. Fingers can be trained.
Forget all about feather wings, they are for the angler not the fish. Hackled flies are much,much more effective.

Alan McRobb January 15, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Mr C
I am a long lapsed salmon and seatrout man who has just rediscovered his passion for wetting a line and fly tying. I received a fly tying kit at Xmas and found my old kit languishing in a dark cupboard so now have plenty of material to work with many new ones as much has changed in 20 yrs !
I am now interested in catching trout so my ‘creations’ are a bit different to what I used to tie and much smaller which is a bit of a challenge for my clumsy fingers.
I found your site by accident but have to say that it is proving to be a source of inspiration as by following your instructions my recent efforts are beginning to resemble decent imitations.
Keep up the good work!
If poss. a winged dry fly or mayfly would be appreciated .


topflyman January 6, 2008 at 10:11 am

Hi npj.
Thanks for your comment. On the original script I did include CDC but it was decided to take it out because beginners might not know what it is. But you are correct and thanks for your input.
Happy fishing
DaveC. and the Team

npj January 5, 2008 at 9:01 pm

you could also tie this fly with some cdc plumes instead of the pink yarn, if you want to make it look more naturaly. with the pink yarn you could use this as a kind of signal fkyl, which you can see better in the water.

john brown January 1, 2008 at 7:49 pm

the true sign of a craftsman is making something difficult look easy !

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: