Fly Tying 1 min read

[Video] Tying Fran Betters’ Usual with Davie McPhail

Ken Sperry

Posted by Ken Sperry

May 7, 2010

This week’s Friday Night Fly Tying video is a dandy – Fran Betters’ Usual tied by Davie McPhail. The Usual is a very versatile fly pattern and can be tied to represent many of the larger, high riding mayflies such as the Hendrickson, Cahill and Sulphur simply by varying the color.

Tips on Tying Fran Betters’ Usual with Snowshoe Rabbit

Well if you are looking for a simple dry fly to tie, the Usual is it. Using just one material, Snowshoe Rabbit, you can whip off a dozen of these in no time. Snowshoe Rabbit is pretty easy to tie with but there are a few things to keep in mind when tying the Usual and working with Snowshoe Rabbit.

  • Remove the short under fur fibers when making the wing after you clip off a clump of fur from the Snowshoe Rabbit foot.
  • You can save the under fur fibers for use as dubbing but it can make tying in the wing difficult (at least for me it does).
  • As Davie shows, cut the Snowshoe Rabbit wing material at a angle after tying it in. This makes is easier to taper the body and makes for a nicer looking fly.

Happy Tying!

If you are looking for Fran Betters’ book Fly Fishing, Fly Tying and Pattern Guide (the one Davie highly recommends in the video) it’s out of print. Not to worry though, you can usually find used copies of Betters’ book on Amazon.