This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the LaFontaine EZ2C Midge.
The LaFontaine EZ2C Midge is a fly found in LaFontaine’s Legacy, a book authored by Al and Gretchen Beatty about 26 fly patterns Gary LaFontaine never finished publishing. This is the fourth in a series of EZ2C flies I’ve presented that were developed by Gary LaFontaine.
In their book, Al and Gretchen tell the story of how the EZ2C Midge fly pattern was developed. The LaFontaine EZ2C Midge uses a wing similar to the Diving Egg-Laying Midge and a black body like the EZ2C Mayfly. Lastly, the fly incorporates white hackle in the front from the Bi-Visible to assist in being able to see the fly.
LaFontaine’s Legacy includes fly pattern descriptions for Blue-Winged Olives, Callibaetis, Gray Drake, Light Cahill, and Pale Morning Dun flies. Why was Gary excited about this fly? The Beatty’s capture the answer is Gary’s own words “This fly features a hackle post for visibility without adding weight. The body is translucent packing foam wrapped over dubbing. The dubbing is the color of the eggs inside the mayfly, and the foam over body is the color of the insect. The hackle tip wings are extended out over the eye at a 45-degree angle. Because of refractions, when a natural floats down the river, the wings are the first things a feeding trout will see. By exaggerating the angle of the wing, we make this fly even more visible. These three features (the hackle post, the translucent body, and the angled wings) make this an exciting new fly.”
For complete tying instructions how to tie the fly, be sure to pick up a copy of LaFontaine’s Legacy. Just follow the link below.
I’ve known of Al and Gretchen for several years and they are truly masters at the vise! In fact, Al is the 1999 recipient of the FFI Buz Buszek Fly Tying Award, an honor for any fly tyer! In addition, both were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 from Fly Tyer magazine.
In 2016 while I was attending the Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo, Al offered to provide a fly for my Throw Back Thursday Fly post. I took him up on it and the Lady Heather Double Wing was published in March of that year.
At this year’s Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo, Al offered to give me a box of flies he and Gretchen tied for their LaFontaine’s Legacy book. I couldn’t believe it. I said “thanks for trusting me with these. I’ll be sure to publish them in future RiverKeeper Flies TBT posts.”
And here it is.
This is a brief quote I used in the Lady Heather Double Wing post:
“Gary LaFontaine became world famous for his innovative trout fly patterns. But his life was cut short when he died of ALS in 2002. His final designs, however, were left in the caring hands of friend, author, and professional tyer Al Beatty, who proceeded to tie and photograph LaFontaine’s final set of undocumented patterns to create this book. Here are full-color photos and instructions on how to tie each of LaFontaine’s last designs, showing each step in detail. This is a beautiful book, essential to every fly tyer, that is also a loving tribute to an innovative sportsman.”
If you’d like to purchase their book, it will provide more background for each of the 26 listed flies, along with the fly pattern sheet and tying directions.
Another option is to purchase a Kindle edition for information about tying the flies.
Other LaFontaine featured flies include the Lady Heather Double Wing, Flex Sculpin, EZ2C Caddis, EZ2C Mayfly, EZ2C Stonefly, Fluttering Stone, Antron Bi-Visible, and the Drunken Sailor. You’ll see more of Gary LaFontaine’s flies in the near future.