Klinkhammer fly Special tied by Barry OC

Klinkhammer fly Special

Its been a few days since my last post, so I thought I would get things going again with a truly modern classic, the Klinkhåmer. When I have held fly tying demos and courses for both beginners and advanced tyers there is always some who have questions about tying the Klinkhåmer. So here it is, the correct way, learn and enjoy.

Klinkhamer fly tied by Hans van Klinken
Original Klinkhamer fly tied by Hans van Klinken

Original Klinkhammer fly Special pattern recipe

Hook:   Daiichi 1160, Daiichi 1167 Klinkhåmer hooks size 8-20
Thread:  Uni-thread, 8/0, grey or tan for body, Spiderweb for parachute
Body:    Fly Rite Poly Dubbing any colour of preference or Super Fine waterproof dry fly dubbing for smaller patterns
Wing:   One to three strand of white poly-yarn depending of the size and water to fish
Thorax: Three strands of peacock herl
Hackle:  Blue dun, dark dun, light dun, chestnut all in good combination with the body colour.

Klinkhammer Special fly history and author

It was 28 years ago in Norway on the 27th June 1984 that the first Klinkhåmer special was born from the vise of Hans van Klinken, for fishing Grayling in the river Glomma. Now regarded as an absolute standard pattern for all trout and grayling fishing all over the world, and is probably the best and most adaptable emerger ever made.

Hans van Klinken on fly tying fair
Hans van Klinken

Hans vanKlinken says:

I never have seen any pattern that has been spelled wrongly as much as the Klinkhåmer Special. I have no idea why. In Germany they call it the Nordischer Hammer or Klinki. In the States they seem to prefer the Clinck and I often get questions about all kinds of Hammers I have never heard of before. I guess I have seen Pinkhammers, Yellowhammers and even Bluehammers and those are just three out of of many. Of course I can’t deny that I felt really good when the Klinkhåmer Special got so many good reviews but I was most proud about the fact that it was nobody else than Hans de Groot who invented the name. The real name actually was the LT Caddis which was just one fly from my large LT series developed in Scandinavia between 1980-1990. So the Klinkhåmer Special is just a name Hans de Groot and Ton Lindhout came up with, probably after some drinks! Both were also members of our editorial staff of a Dutch fly fishing magazine at that time.

Klinkhammer fly Special step by step:

Klinkhammer step1


Place your hook in the vice and cover the upper half of the hook shank with regular tying thread.

Klinkhammer step2


Cut a length of poly yarn and tie in at the post base as shown. You should leave a rather long length of poly-yarn over the hook eye, as the post, this will give you something to hold on to, when you wind on the parachute hackle later.

Klinkhammer step3


Trim the end of the Poly-yarn diagonally, so it will be easier to taper neatly down later for a finer body result.

Klinkhammer step4


Tie the  butt of the poly-yarn all the way down into the hook bend to form a fine taper.

Run the tying thread up and down the hook shank to build a proportional tapered body with the tying thread ending at the parachute post base. This is very important to achieve a slim delicate body.

Klinkhammer step5


Select and prepare the hackle. Tie the hackle stem in so that the stem creates a little more volume/taper on the upper body. Make sure that you have enough stripped hackle stem to tie to the parachute post later.

Klinkhammer step6


When dubbing the body of the klinkhåmer start dubbing your tying thread at the base of the parachute post and run the dubbing tapering down to the bend of the fly and widening in taper as you go up again towards the abdomen.

Klinkhammer step7


Run the remaining dubbing in front of the parachute post, this will support the front of the post and also lay a foundation for the thorax.

Klinkhammer step8


Tie in three long strands of peacock herl, points first at the rear of the abdomen., this helps the reverse taper of the finished thorax.   Position your tying thread just behind the hook eye.

Klinkhammer step9


Wind on the peacock herl to form the abdomen. Make sure that the turns of peacock herl are tight and even. Tie off the peacock herl behind the hook eye and whip finish.

Klinkhammer step10


Remove the tying thread and apply a little varnish to the head.

Klinkhammer step11


Now, if you have a true rotational vise turn the jaws so the hook rotates until the parachute post and hackle are in a horizontal position. Take the bobbin with the spider thread and attach it to the parachute post base. Tie down the hackle stem into the top of the base. Make a few tight turns of tying thread to brace the base of the post ready to accept the hackle.

Klinkhammer step12


Make sure your tying thread is tight into the abdomen end of the parachute post. Now carefully begin winding your hackle from the TOP of the post in tight even turns. Each turn moving closer to the abdomen.

Klinkhammer step13


Once the hackle is fully wound, while holding the hackle point in one hand make two turns with tying thread, the first to the right of the hackle point and the second to the left. This will secure the hackle correctly. Now clip away the remaining hackle point and whip finish as shown on the underside of the parachute hackle. When making your last remaining whip finish, just before you tighten the loop and remove the whip finish tool, place a tiny drop of varnish or superglue on the loop before you tighten it into the hackle base. This will secure everything.

Klinkhammer fly Special tied by Barry OC


All that remains to be done is to cut the parachute post to the required length.

Klinkhammer step15


The Klinkhåmer special as seen from above. The parachute hackle should be evenly spaced around the whole fly.

How to tie Klinkhammer fly Special – video

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One thought on “Klinkhammer fly Special

  1. Great. I would make only one suggestion — plait the peacock herls together before winding in as the abdomen. And maybe a smear of tying cement under the herls as well. This beefs things up.
    Most peacock herl bodies/abomens/thoraxes benefit from plaiting like this; unless meant to be very slim.
    Chris J.

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