Years ago, Gary La Fontaine tied the original buzzball on the Missouri River.  Some say this fly looks like dead and decaying matter often seen floating in back eddies and that Gary tied the fly for midges shucks while hanging out at the Trout Shop in Craig.  The hackle points touch the water in numerous places, making this fly buggy as all get out. I can’t really remember exactly when I came up with my version of the buzzball, but it was on the Missouri river in July during a caddis, probably around 2006 or so.  My boat was on anchor in between the Trestles and we had fish eating caddis about 20 feet away.  They wanted the buzzball but it was hard to see, the night before I had tied in a compara dun wing along with a trailing shuck so we tested the variation.  It drifted through the pod and fish moved out of their lane to eat our buggy bug.  A few springs later, our buddy Jake Chutz at Montana Fly Company coined the name “Comparabuzz” after the two of us spent a few days fishing midges on the Missouri.  I tie this fly in several color combinations and have fished it all over North and South America with the great success.  Our friend and fellow guide in Esquel, Martin Weaver, called me before my trip to Argentina cancelled (I am supposed to be down south right this very minute) to make sure I had tossed in a few dozen of these for him; this is one of his go to flies on Rio Tecka.

  • Originator:  Joe Moore, BSA Co-owner
  • Hook: MFC Model 7000, TMC 100 or equivalent, #14, 16, or 18
  • Thread: Unit Thread 8/0 Black
  • Tail: Sparkle Emerger Yarn, Brown
  • Wing: Deer Hair or Widows Web, Light Tan
  • Hackle: Brown and Grizzly

Color combos – these all work well for midges, caddis and mayflies. Smaller stone flies as well.

  1. Grizzly and medium dun hackle
  2. Grizzly and brown hackle
  3. Olive dyed grizzly and brown hackle