BSA’s Top Producing Attractor Dry Fly for Midges, Caddis, and Mayflies – JoJo’s Comparabuzz

BSA’s Top Producing Attractor Dry Fly for Midges, Caddis, and Mayflies – JoJo’s Comparabuzz

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


A day off and another day on the river.


Mickey W. with a Winter Rainbow.

Tomorrow, I head off for a week long trip guiding in Yellowstone National Park. This might have been my last day of angling, for awhile anyway. I guess it is time to get back on that tractor and make some hay. The warmer weather has turned the Madison into a red hot fishery and the forecast should provide some good fishing for a few more days.  One will find slick risers in the upper stretches of the Madison eating midges and if you enjoy the nymph, well, the trout are eating those as well.  #8 Rubber Legs, #16 Shop Vac, #18 Zebras and if you must fish an egg, please fish it without a barb……….. 


The LW Midge…#20 ofcourse. Yes, they will eat it for a baetis too.

Mickey and I fished nymphs all day, as the wind was kicking downstream bringing in some much needed snow .  We got a late start, but made it to Reynold’s by 1:30.  There where three rigs, crowded for winter standards, so we headed further on down the river to find solitude….peace and quiet are a must this time of year. When the wind subsides, there are fish up all over the river.  Small midges work best and the pattern above has become one of my go to flies on tricky trout.


Is that trout smoking a stonefly?

BSA just had a failure in the video department.  The camera shit the bed, but with any luck, we will have more fly tying videos in a week or two. Coming next: The LW midge, rubber leg stonefly, shop vac, Fall’s Beatis, PMD Crip’nal  and many more.