Hey all! Although the Parasol Emerger is not my own pattern, it is one I use more often than not in a variety of situations. Ted Leeson and Jim Schollmeyer developed this version of the pattern know as the "Parasol Emerger", but there have been other similar flies developed by other fly tiers. I use the Parasol Emerger as an indicator fly and not specifically for enticing fish, although I often catch fish on the PE.
I started using the PE as an indicator fly when fishing to picky brown trout on the Green River in Utah, then tested the method on the Provo and finally was able to perfect the method on my favorite spring creek here in southeast Idaho.
For the spring creek setting (see my article in Flyfishing & Tying Journal
, Winter 2011 issue on "Spring Creek Strategies", where I describe the method and highlight some of the flies I use) I typically use the PE as a dry indicator trailed by a bead-head nymph of whatever mayfly species is available in the water, and then I trail off of that another favorite food source for the fish, usually a scud.
As far as casting and/or fouling on the cast - no problems. Once you get used to fishing this setup it casts like a dry fly rig. The parasol, when doused with some sort of floatant will usually float for hours and suspend a two-nymph rig without problem.
For fishing nymph rigs I will usually start with a parasol fly in a pattern of what may be hatching that day on the water I'm fishing (my favorite though is just a generic Pheasant-tail nymph pattern tied with a parasol). Next, I drop a piece of tippet to my bead-head fly - the length of this piece of tippet is determined by the depth of the water from the surface to where the fish are holding. The bead-head nymph is always used as the first fly under the parasol fly in order to provide a small amount of weight to get the two nymphs down to the fishes holding level in the water column. Last, I drop a 12 to 18-inch dropper off of the bend of the bead-head nymph to my final fly which is usually a scud or something that is a popular food item in the water I am fishing.
Also, during active emergences I like to trail one or two dry emerger patterns behind the PE. Most emerger patterns are quite diminutive and very difficult to see in the film, but trailed behind a PE you can usually track where they are and see rises to them as the trout sip them from the surface.
Here is the link to my tutorial on tying the Parasol Emerger: Tying Schollmeyer's Parasol Emerger
And here are some pics of some of the parasol flies I use and what flies I trail behind them:
One of my favorite bead-head dropper flies - Improved Shop Vac:
My first choice in any water containing mayflies - Bead-head, flashback Pheasant-tail, size 14:
And here is my favorite second dropper pattern I like to use in the spring creek - KG's Spring Creek Scud, amber (I also use an olive version) Both of these are tied in sizes 14 and 12.
As you can see there are a variety of uses for the Parasol Emerger, I just capitalized on this one to be more successful in fishing my favorite spring creek.
Hope this answered your questions. If not, drop me a line or ask right here through your post. I'm not the expert in parasol flies, but I think I have come up with a pretty good method for anglers to increase their odds at catching finicky trout in challenging waters such as spring creeks.
Hope you give this style of flies a good test run.