This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Pat Dorsey’s Black Beauty midge.

The Black Beauty is a fly Dorsey created back in the early 1990s. He writes it was named after a trip on the Blue River around Silverthorne, CO. A friend of his landed an 8 pound Rainbow measuring 26 inches with an 18 inch girth!

His friend said, “We really caught some beauties today. You ought to call your little black midge pupa the Black Beauty.”

The name stuck.

The fly imitates midge pupae in all waters.

The impetus for today’s TBT fly came to me when I was paging through Ed Engle’s Tying Small Flies book. I’ve found this to be a great source for other TBT flies as well.

Tying Small Flies by Ed Engle

Just like any popular fly pattern, you’ll find variations that fish well. Here are three examples he cites:

  • Mercury Black Beauty – add a clear silver-lined glass bead
  • Flashback Mercury Black Beauty – add a clear silver-lined glass bead and mylar tinsel
  • Black Beauty Emerger – add white Zelon behind the thorax

If you go to my Midge Fly Patterns page, you’ll see very similar fly patterns with different names…variations of the same theme.

Enjoy…go fish!

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  1. Perfect timing! Confluence is having an open tying night tomorrow from 4-8, with a sale and pints(!), and one of the patterns I wanted to tie are midges. Sounds like some variations of this are in order. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Dude, this pattern is so basic and it catches fish for me here in Colorado this time of
    year like you wouldn’t believe. Whenever I’m at his shop the Blue Quill Angler, 3 bins
    are always empty. This fly, the Mercury blood midge and the Top secret. Thanks for posting
    this. And thanks for posting the Western trip photos. Just love your work. Would love to meet
    you one day.


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