The Usual

A few weeks ago I posted a video of Fran Betters tying his Ausable Wulff. Unfortunately I could not find a video of him tying The Usual. But, this gives me an opportunity to post a video from the very talented Davie McPhail. Davie is well known around the fly tying world because he produces videos that show you how to tie many different fly patterns and he is very good at it. If you haven’t listened to Davie before, he has a strong Scottish accent. So listen closely and you will pick it up.

Here is a little story about The Usual.

“Fran was experimenting with snowshoe rabbit, common in the Adirondacks in winter, and tied a half dozen.  They sat in his shop for a while until Bill Phillips came by and bought the whole lot.  Apparently Bill was known to fish the fly everywhere he went and whenever anyone asked him what fly he was using he simply replied “the usual.”


Hook: 94840 or 94842 Mustad (sizes 14, 16, 18, 20 or 22)

Thread: Size 6/0 grey prewaxed.

Tail: Small bunch of hair from rabbit’s pad.

Wing: Larger bunch of hair from rabbit’s pad.

Body: Underfur from rabbit’s foot dubbed on thread. Use a blend of the grey next to skin and light tan which has very fine guard hairs mixed in to make it float better.


Filed under Classic, Trout flies

5 Responses to The Usual

  1. Pingback: I was going to write something today, but these other guys are just too good. | hydroflynamics

  2. I actually have a copy of Davie’s video saved on my computer. It’s one of those flies that just says I catch fish! Thanks Paul.

  3. Steve Mertens

    I remember watching Fran tying the Usual in his rocking chair. Great guy and fly tying icon. I also had an opportunity to fish with Bill Phillips on the Saranac River with my Uncle Bud Radigan.

    • Paul Beel

      That’s awesome Steve!
      I’m jealous!

      Thank you for the comment, I love to hear about stuff like this.