December 10, 2008
Fly of the Month: Flashback Mercury Black Beauty
By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter
Here's another killer pattern from Fly Talk's resident tying guru, Brian Schmidt of Umpqua Feather Merchants... KD
Winter fly fishing for trout is often overlooked by the summertime weekend warriors, not only because of the cold weather, but also the lack of prolific hatches. The cast-to-catch ratio is generally widened to the point that many would rather stay in the warmth of the house and tie flies. Generally speaking, winter is more of a nymph fishing season than dry fly fishing (also is a deterrent to many), but here is one reason that you need not stay inside during the winter months wishing you were fishing.
Midges are a primary food source for trout all year long in both still waters and in rivers and streams, and definitely a fly for the winter. This Mercury Black Beauty midge pattern is indispensable during the cold months. Pat Dorsey created this twist after years of midge fishing tailwaters around Colorado. Pat is known for his Mercury series of flies and his extensive knowledge of tailwater fishing, so when he came to us with this pattern we smelled money.
The basic Black Beauty is a simple midge pupa imitation; well, it’s a simple insect to imitate in this stage at least. With nothing more then a few standard materials this fly will catch fish. Pat took a closer look at the natural occurring insect and added a few highlights to improve upon its outstanding reputation. If you watch the video attached to this you will see that the natural insect builds up a gas bubble around its body and at the head giving a sheen to length of the body. As the insect wriggles itself toward the surface film to emerge as an adult, the flash given off by the gas is a signal light to the fish. This was a perfect match for what Pat had started years before with his Mercury series. With a Mercury bead at the hook eye and a single strand of Flashabou across the back of the hook shank, the fly is a very close match to the natural.
Hook: Tiemco 2488 size 18-22
Thread: black 8/0
Body (abdomen): black thread
Body (thorax): Superfine dubbing black
Body (back): flashabou pearl
Rib: extra fine copper wire
Bead: extra small mercury glass bead