Am I happy or in misery? What? Sound familiar? Hint…. Jimmy….. Best guitar of all time….. If you said Jimmy Hendrix then… Your right!
What is a Purple Haze? It’s basically a purple Parachute Adams. You can dub the body with purple dub or use floss. Floss is my favorite. It makes a slimmer abdomen and is extremely durable. Purple? Really? How many purple mayflies are there? Not many! Why do trout like purple flies? It’s hard to tell and everyone has a theory. What is my theory? Well…. I have a love hate relationship with the Purple Haze. We sell piles of Purple Haze every year and people have good success with them all year round. So back to why trout like purple? I think it has to do with ultra violet light that the cones in there eyes pick up. Now…. This is controversial. Because the cones that pick up ultra violet light disappear after about 2-3 years. Here is a link to a great article about Trout Vision. Trout in our river system, most other river too, see lots and lots of Purple Haze, Purple Caddis and every imaginable variation of the Purple Craze. So for the most part I stay away from it. But…. Early season is great for the Purple Haze. Shhhhh…. Dont tell anyone! We have lots of smaller stones, Gray Drakes, March Browns and BWO’s. This is my favorite time of the year to fish the Purple Haze. Does it work all the time? Nope. Yesterday we couldn’t buy a fish on the P.H. and were getting attention on the size 12 P.A. The week before it was just opposite? Could be just me? Anyways…. Tie these guys up and make sure you have a few in the box.
How do you tie the Purple Haze? Here is a video on how to do just that. The pattern is pretty straight forward but there are a few tricks that will make it easier to tie. First is the body material. You can use purple dubbing but I have not really found a good dubbing for it. There is a purple rabbit dubbing but I’m not a big fan of rabbit for dry flies. So why not use Purple rubber floss? That’s what Andy Carlson did when he designed the fly. Flexi Floss or MFC’s Wonder Wrap are perfect for the body material. You can pull it tight when wrapping and build a sweet taper. Most people are intimidated by tying parachutes. I always tied shitty parachutes until….. One day…. A friend of mine showed me a super easy way to tie a perfect parachute everytime. I’ll withhold his name since he might not want everyone to know what a great tier he is… Anyways… Thanks ken! I’ll hopefully never buy another parachute again. The video show how to do this but I’ll touch on it here.
Tie your post in any way you prefere. After you tie it in make sure you build a strong base on the bottom of the post. this base is where you are going to wrap the hackle. After you do this secure your two pieces of hackle. You can see in the video how I tie mine in. It’s not the only way, just how I do it. This is the key….. After you secure your hackle, wrap your thread around the post once and hang your tying thread off the far side of the fly. Very important! Wrap your hack down towards the botom of the post. Now…. take your tying thread and secure the hackle to the post. You will want to take care to not trap the hackle fibers when you secure the hackle. It’s simple to do this. Slide your thread along the abdomen and under the hackle fibers. Then do the same on the thorax. It’s kind of a weave. After 3-4 tight wraps your going to whip finish in the same manner. Sliding on the top of the abdomen and thorax. After you do this a few time you’ll get the hang of it. Finishing your hackle like this on parachutes makes tying them a snap. No more trapped hackles, odd looking thorax and bulky head tie offs.
If you find yourself fishing a Purple Haze and you find yourself always asking the same question? Am I happy or in misery? Be happy! Especially if there eating your purple mayfly! Life is good! So there you have it! You learned how to tie the Purple Haze and a great trick for tying parachutes! Stop in the shop or give a call if you have anymore questions about tying the perfect parachute or the Purple Haze!