Simple Carp Fly (The Black Betty)

Photos and Instructions by Larry Dostal
This is a simple but infinitely variable fly that should have a place in your carp box.  It takes the buggy/impressionistic qualities of a soft hackle, and adds some rubber legs and some weight to get it right down to the carp's dinner plate.  Vary the colors to imitate damsel fly nymphs, mayfly larvae, immature crayfish, or even freshwater clams!  This pattern is influenced by the Black Betty originated by Mr. P (Got Backing), and J.P. Lipton's Carp Crack (

Hook: Size 12 - 6 Glo-Bug style hook (Tiemco 105) or Gamakatsu SL-45 Bonefish Hook
Thread: Black 70 Denier UTC
Eyes/Weight: Black bead chain, brass, or lead eyes depending on the sink rate you need
Legs: Red or Black Silicone or V-Rib
Body:  Black or Peacock colored nymph dubbing:
Collar: Black or Grizzly soft hackle. Hen saddles are great.  Pheasant rump feathers are another favorite.
 Fill hook with thread
 Tie in a 3" piece of rubber legs at the half way point, directly behind the hook eye
 Fold the rubber over and tie back to the hook bend, keep it on top of the hook shank
 Finish the legs at the back of the hook shank, above the barb. The V shape is what you're going for.
 Advance your thread to the hook eye and "Figure-8" your eyes to the top of the hook.
 Move the thread back to the base of the legs and start your dubbing.  I used the touch/twist method here, but a dubbing loop will work great if you're trying to make a really buggy looking fly.
 Advance your dubbing toward the eyes.
Build a body right up to the eyes.
 Prep your soft hackle feather by stroking the barbs from the tip of the feather toward the stem. Than trim the shorter fibers off the tip with a straight cut, to give yourself a nice tab/tie in point for the feather.  It should look like a small triangle.
 Attach the feather by the tab you created, directly behind the eyes.
 Wrap the soft hackle around the hook shank, 2-3 times, moving the wraps forward toward the eyes each time.  You'll be cramming the wraps in there, but that's OK.
 About done wrapping.
 When you've completed enough wraps to make a nice collar, capture the stem of the feather with a strong wraps of thread.  Than trim the stem off close to the hook.  Try not to snip a bunch of the nice wraps you made!
 Not 100% necessary, but filling the gap between the eyes gives your fly a nice complete/full look.  Just make a thin dubbing noodle and do some Figure-8 wraps.
 Finish your dubbing in front of the eyes.
 Whip finish and you're done!