Betters Haystack

From Halford's early dries to the Catskill dry and everything else that floats on the surface.
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Eperous
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Betters Haystack

Post by Eperous »

One of my all-time favorite Esopus Creek dry flies come late May when spring-time Isonychia are about... a Fran Betters' Chocolate Haystack tied on a #10 Mustad 94840...

Chocolate Haystack, #10 Mustad 94840.JPG
Chocolate Haystack, #10 Mustad 94840.JPG (41.42 KiB) Viewed 1293 times

I tied a bunch yesterday...

Ed

bearbutt
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Re: Betters Haystack

Post by bearbutt »

Nice job, Ed! I'm a big fan of Haystacks, and have one fly box dedicated to them, with some nuanced shadings. I think the pattern is a masterpiece of hydrodynamic design--it works as no other fly before it did. I'd love to sit in on an imaginary conversation on fly design with Fran Betters talking with Datus Proper.

bb

Some of this winter's ties:

Image

Haystacks in the box:

Image


Haystacks tied by Fran:


Image

twistedtippet
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Re: Betters Haystack

Post by twistedtippet »

Good looking fly Ed. The early Iso's are also one of my favorites. I use another of Frans patterns.
The Iso Usual

Image

Yours looked so good I tied a few to try.

Image

tt

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Eperous
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Re: Betters Haystack

Post by Eperous »

twistedtippet wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:43 pm
... The early Iso's are also one of my favorites. I use another of Frans patterns.
The Iso Usual
tt... years ago the late Art Lee wrote an eye-opening article--- at least for me--- on Betters' Usual... it titled it "The Usual with a Twist"... I must admit I've never tied a Usual for an Iso hatch, but very often rely upon a #18 Sulfur Usual, or BWO Sulfur, to save my bacon and touch a few trout, before I release 'em...

Ed

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Caneghost
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Re: Betters Haystack

Post by Caneghost »

Al Caucci goes to all the trouble of taking Fran Betters's Adirondak FLY and "revolutionizes" fishing in the Catskills with it and you tie the original and fish it in the Catskills? Shame on you!
But seriously, I tied them years and years ago and they worked, but I too fell into the Sparkle Dun & Comparadun style.

Mary Dette suggested the Usual to me 25 years ago and I bought some from her and caught fish on them when Imitative patterns didn't work. Used to tie yellow bodied "sulfur usuals" down on Falling Spring, PA by dubbing the body with light yellow CDC fibers. Those worked on some very persnickety spring creek trout. Perhaps I will tie some size 18's and 20's for the summer sulfur Hatch on the West Branch.
...a glint of sunlight on polished cane...

http://brightwatercatskill.art.blog

SamsonCane
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Re: Betters Haystack

Post by SamsonCane »

Another way to tie the Au Sable Usual is to do an underbody of orange thread under the (white) dubbing, when it's wet it shows through with that classic orange color of the Au Sable Wulff, Au Sable Bomber, and Au Sable Haystack. It creates a very nice emerger-y gas bubble effect.

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Caneghost
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Re: Betters Haystack

Post by Caneghost »

Yes, That was Fran Betters' original: hot orange threa.d and snowshoe rabbit's foot
...a glint of sunlight on polished cane...

http://brightwatercatskill.art.blog

SamsonCane
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Re: Betters Haystack

Post by SamsonCane »

Right. That's how I was taught to tie it and I don't really like the looks of the Usuals with orange dubbing. The original way is the better way, sort of like fly rods- I don't think anyone who has ever cast a top-quality Tonkin or bamboo rod has any ground to argue that graphite/glass is better. The complaints of "too slow" or "too fragile" are simply because they have only ever used a Montague or H-I. It's really a shame that graphite was ever invented.

twistedtippet
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Re: Betters Haystack

Post by twistedtippet »

SamsonCane wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:00 pm
Right. That's how I was taught to tie it and I don't really like the looks of the Usuals with orange dubbing. The original way is the better way, sort of like fly rods- I don't think anyone who has ever cast a top-quality Tonkin or bamboo rod has any ground to argue that graphite/glass is better. The complaints of "too slow" or "too fragile" are simply because they have only ever used a Montague or H-I. It's really a shame that graphite was ever invented.
Sampsonboy
You might want to get a few years behind your opinions. There are many ways to tie a Usual, depending on what your trying to imitate. The orange thread version can be good, but so can the olive body, and others.
There is a place for plastic rods too. Along with cane, all depends what your doing with them. A good rod is a good rod no matter what it's made of.
As you age you will learn to put some thought into what you espouse.

tt

bearbutt
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Re: Betters Haystack

Post by bearbutt »

twistedtippet wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:25 pm
[
As you age you will learn to put some thought into what you espouse.
I'd guess he's already put some good thought into what he espoused, as I agree with him; and I'm 63. Fran's underthread design is what makes his ties different from so many that came after him--look at the box of Haystacks Fran tied I posted above. It's the same with Fran's Usuals.

As for cane v graphite--for anything inside of 50 feet, I'll take bamboo any day.

bb

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