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How to Tie a Black Beauty Midge

Producer: Tim Flagler

The Black Beauty Midge is a Pat Dorsey pattern that works especially well on tailwaters in the west, and during the winter here in the East. It’s super easy to tie, even in the smallest of sizes.

Here I’m going to tie a Black Beauty on a size 22 Lightning Strike SE5 hook. Small hooks like this are easily handled with plunger-style hackle pliers as opposed to using just your fingers. Begin by carefully mashing the barb, then getting the hook firmly secured in the jaws of your tying vise.

For thread, I’ve loaded a bobbin with a spool of black UTC 70 Denier. Get the thread started on the hook shank behind the eye and take just a few wraps rearward before snipping off the tag.

Extra-small copper Ultra Wire is used to rib and segment the fly, a 6” length will make numerous Black Beauties. Secure one end of the wire to the near side of the hook so it extends to the back edge of the eye, and take thread wraps to lock it down. Keep taking thread wraps rearward to bind the wire to the near side of the hook, well down into the bend. Then take touching thread wraps forward to build up a nice smooth, thin body on the fly.

Get hold of the copper wire and start making open spiral wraps with it, up the hook shank. For whatever reason, seven turns usually looks good to me. When you reach your tying thread, use it to anchor the wire at the back edge of the hook eye then helicopter the wire to break it off close. Take a few wraps rearward to position your tying thread an eye-length or so back from the hook eye.

Black Super Fine dubbing is used to create the thorax of the fly. Pull just the smallest of wisps free from the packet. Use the dubbing to form a short, slim noodle on your tying thread, the slimmer you can make it, the better. Start taking wraps with the noodle to build up a bulbous little thorax on the fly, about the same length as the hook eye. When you’re done, pick up your whip finish tool, complete a 3 or 4 turn whip finish, seat the knot well and snip your tying thread free.

And that’s all there is to it. The Black Beauty may be one of the easiest midge patterns to tie but it’s also one of the most effective.