This summer's hottest fly.
Most trout guides agree: despite countless nights at the fly-tying vice, that innovative next-level fly is a rarity, as elusive as a 28-inch brown. But every once in a while, the magic happens.
Two summers ago, during the short-lived bite periods of late August, I noticed an ever-growing hatch that brightened the frowning faces of my clientele. It was particularly prominent on the Lower Madison. Inspired by my epiphany, I rushed home—practically leaving the truck in gear in the driveway—to construct what would become “Bozangeles Betty.”
Consisting mainly of foam, this fly’s colors can vary, from white to black and everything in between. I love them all, but it comes down to personal preference. Sizes also vary, from extra large to itty-bitty; during the thickest hatches, the diversity of appearances is astounding. The bottom line, however, is that this fly works.
1. Begin with a hook, sized for the betty that best suits you—everyone has one. Shaping the body of the fly is personal preference and should reflect what you see on the water. I like my flies to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible, which helps my confidence while fishing them.
2. Shape the Betty onto an underbody of round, black foam. Apply Zap-A-Gap to contact points of the thorax, abdomen, and legs, pressing them into place on the underbody. Feel free to continue the imaginative process of designing the fly—remember, tying is supposed to be fun and creative, so run with whatever fantasy, err, style you like best.
3. I tend to add contrasting colors for visual pleasure, as well as UV protection for the eyes, and foam accessories on the base of the legs. These added protective measures bring confidence when presenting a well-built fly. The beauty of this fly is that it floats extremely well; I tie mine with silicone already built into the body, so no flotation is needed. Some fishermen like a more natural tone, shape, and feel; again, it’s personal preference.
And why fish one fly when legally you can fish two? The Little Red Friend dropper fly is a great addition. Betty and Little Red work exceptionally well in tandem—almost as if they were meant to come together.
Don’t miss the growing importance of this late-summer Betty hatch—it’s time to let this cat out of the box. Happy fishing.
Enjoying the path of most resistance and roads less traveled, Brett Seng has lived, worked, and played right here in Bozeman for the past 14 years. His traveler’s lifestyle includes trout guiding and freelance photography. See more of his work at brettsengphoto.com.