Pat Dorsey, the illustrious South Platte River guide, popularized the Black Beauty in recent years. The Black Beauty is the ultimate guide fly; quick and easy to tie, durable and the thing catches fish. The Black Beauty is the basis for a number of other patterns with just slight differences. Tie it with white thread and a black or gray dubbed or marker colored head and you’ve got a Miracle Nymph, add a silver bead, substitute silver wire for the rib and you have a Zebra Midge, red thread and no head makes a Blood Midge. You get the idea, a simple thread body ribbed with wire for segmentation and flash and a small dubbed head combine to match a variety of midge larva. You can tie up a complete size and color range to match midges anywhere using this fly as a pattern and varying the colors. Don’t forget to tie some with small metal or glass bead heads, too. I have included pictures of my favorite versions at the end of the tying directions with recipes included.
I use the Black Beauty and other thread midges on a dropper behind a Pheasant Tail or RS-II much of the time and in tandem with a Brassie or Poison Tung during the winter months. This fly is particularly successful on tail waters and holds it’s own on freestone rivers during low water periods and the winter.