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Comparaduns vs Parachutes

2016/3/21 12:05
From pocono pines pa
Posts: 55
In an effort to cut costs in purchasing flies (no, tying them myself is not an option), what are the essential differences between comparaduns and parachutes? It can get a bit expensive to buy the same fly in different sizes and then different styles (catskill, nymph, spinner, emerger, comparadun, parachute). It seems to me that comparaduns and parachutes are largely duplicative in that they can represent traditional duns, emergers in the film, and spinners. If so, why have both? If you had to choose, which one and why? Enlighten me.

Posted on: 2016/7/23 11:19

Re: Comparaduns vs Parachutes

2010/6/23 12:43
From Hershey
Posts: 151
I prefer the comparadun but you are right, they do each represent the same stage of mayfly life and lie in the film.
Mostly a personal preference I would say. My preference is with the comparadun because I like to tie them, parachutes are a pain for me to tie.
The parachutes often have a colored center post to be easily seen too. I have no problems seeing the comparadun so I stick with it.
I wouldn't buy both.

Posted on: 2016/7/23 12:42

Re: Comparaduns vs Parachutes

2013/4/23 19:39
Posts: 259
I prefer parachutes because they are more visible. Recently I've found myself struggling to see my fly on the water in some conditions, especially in low light. An almost glowing post makes them stand out more. I think they also stay dry/floating longer but that may be debatable.

Posted on: 2016/7/23 13:47

Re: Comparaduns vs Parachutes

2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 2370
As a poor tier, I find comparaduns easier to tie. And when the fly is in good shape, more effective when fish are picky.

Parachutes are more durable and easier to see, and stay floating better. I think the latter is due to the effectiveness of gel floatant on hackle, may be different if you use a powder or desicant.

Yeah, they fill roughly the same niche. Imperfect match for emerger, dun, or spinner, but good enough on any of them in most situations.


Posted on: 2016/7/24 17:47

Re: Comparaduns vs Parachutes

2006/9/11 13:05
From Reedsville
Posts: 382
I'm a parachute guy. I like the profile the parachute makes compared to the comparadun. I feel the hackle represents legs much better and helps with floating the fly. I also think a parachute post better represents the wings of a mayfly.

Posted on: 2016/7/24 20:12
><(Mkern{( ‘ >

Re: Comparaduns vs Parachutes

2011/11/27 21:57
From Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
Posts: 118
" It seems to me that comparaduns and parachutes are largely duplicative in that they can represent traditional duns, emergers in the film, and spinners."

I thought the same thing until this past Memorial Day Weekend. My wife was doing well on a comparadun but I couldn't do anything on a parachute. They were the first comparaduns that I ever tied and it showed much improvements were needed - so I thought. I tied many parachutes and these flies looked better. The fished thought differently.

Posted on: 2016/7/25 12:29

Re: Comparaduns vs Parachutes
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 2888
I fish both types of patterns.

From a tyers standpoint, I find comparaduns easier to tie, especially in larger sizes, but they get too bulky when trying to tie the smaller ones. I tie both, but more comparduns for larger bugs and more parachutes for smaller sized bugs.

As far as fishing, I've had success with both and cannot pick one over the other.

Posted on: 2016/7/25 12:43

Re: Comparaduns vs Parachutes

2013/12/8 21:26
From Granville
Posts: 685
I also like to fish both styles. I think that they are both really easy to tie, but I'd probably have to give the slight advantage to the parachute. I think that they float better and longer than comparaduns, but as long as the water is relatively flat comparaduns float just fine.

Posted on: 2016/7/27 22:25

Re: Comparaduns vs Parachutes

2015/3/29 23:59
Posts: 74
You need to try a "comparachute". Ask GenCon, he ties a deadly sulphur. Floats like a charm and fish pretty pretty well

Posted on: 2016/8/7 21:12

Re: Comparaduns vs Parachutes

2010/7/4 19:28
From cambria county
Posts: 133
I fish both, but I can tie a comparadun in about half the time as a parachute so I'm biased to them. They are cheaper to tie, too. Parachutes do tend to float better though (If quality hackle is used) and are more visible. In my experience, there are certain situations where one is better than the other, so I still usually carry both.

Posted on: 2016/8/8 19:14

Re: Comparaduns vs Parachutes

2006/12/25 16:52
Posts: 62
I find myself fishing parachutes over comparaduns lately. I like the look of parachutes on the water and don't mind tying them.

Don't get me wrong comparaduns are in my box as well. Guess it's just a matter of preference. Not really sure one would be more effective than another of course who knows, trout can be goofy

If you asked me that question 2 years ago I would have told you comparaduns.. Lol guess I'm really no help

Posted on: 2016/8/27 11:43
"All good things--trout as well as eternal salvation--come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy."

Re: Comparaduns vs Parachutes

2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 631
I use both and have no preference, and use them based on rise forms.

Posted on: 2016/9/27 18:34
George Orwell warned, "The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it."

Re: Comparaduns vs Parachutes

2009/5/26 8:36
From York & Starlight, PA
Posts: 494
Compara-duns typically, except on really big ones, have no hackle. They are easier to tie than parachutes once you get the hang of how to tie the wing so it stays upright and the profile is at least a 120 degree fan. 180 degrees is ideal for the wing, viewed from the front, but tough to always achieve.

Parachutes are tougher to learn to tie and there is the added step of tying in, and winding the hackle, parallel to the hook shank. Parachutes land lighter on the water and almost invariably land correctly - hook down, wing upright, hackle resting on the surface film.

Compara-duns do better in soft water with not much riffles. Remember since there is no hackle to aid in floatation they will sink quicker than a parachute. I tie both styles and each has it's place in my fly boxes and the waters I fish. Personally though I don't know how you can expect to have just one type of dry fly in your boxes. If you buy good flies from an established fly shop, and take care of them, they will last quite a while. I tie all my own flies and I've had some flies for a whole season and they were still catching fish. Certain fly tying materials are more prone to failure so it is good to learn what kind of flies stand up better than others. Biot bodied flies have a terrible life span. Often the biot breaks after just one fish. Go with fur dubbed bodies and preferably with either a fine wire ribbing or a thread ribbing to help hold the fly together.

An example of a large Compara-dun with a hackle to aid in floatation.

Attach file:

jpg  Green Drake Compara-dun (with grizzly hackle).JPG (26.85 KB)
2548_586dc2404c299.jpg 480X318 px

Posted on: 2017/1/4 22:45
Fly fisher for fifty years.

Re: Comparaduns vs Parachutes

2014/3/23 20:12
Posts: 290

I like that tie. It's a little like a compara-thorax with the clipped hackle but with the wing more forward than a traditional thorax tie.

My 2 cents: I like both for all the reasons stated above. It's highly situational:

1. low pressure, headwaters: parachute (or Wulff-style) since te fish are not picky.

2. stocked, pressured: parachute, maybe comparadun, maybe sub antron shuck in place of tails to suggest cripple/emerger.

3. tailwaters, spring creeks, etc. highest level of difficulty calls for comparadun/cripple/emerger (possibly with, gaps, CDD in place of deer hair), maybe Klinkhammer special or para-emerger.

It can get complicated, but puzzle solving is a key skill for fly fishers and a challenge that keeps us interested.

FWIW, I have a million variations on small to tiny olives and Hendricksons but only a handful on other flies. Any guesses why? :)

Posted on: 2017/1/10 10:20

Re: Comparaduns vs Parachutes

2011/5/3 12:22
From Morgantown, PA
Posts: 1266
I've been experimenting with Paracomparathoraxduns. CDC of course.

Haven't caught anything with them yet though.

Posted on: 2017/1/10 11:22

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