Haystack flies were developed over 50 years ago by Fran Betters when he was still in high school. These flies are genuine classics that consistently take trout in streams all over the world under all conditions, for all types of hatches, and when other fancy-tied flies fail. The Haystack is an all-purpose pattern that imitates a majority of insects that trout feed on. This pattern does not require expensive neck hackle, and tying can be learned quickly and easily. The Haystack is the perfect fly-tiers fly.
The original Haystack was tied on a size 10, Mustad 9671 hook and incorporated Key deer hair for the tail and wing and the body was dubbed with cream Australian opossum fur. Key deer are now a protected species so coastal deer hair is now used. After the development of the first Haystack, which imitated the green drake spinner, Fran developed a series of five patterns to imitate all of the important mayfly hatches. Twenty years later these patterns were copied and called Compara-duns.
Hook: Standard dry fly - size to match natural.
Thread: 3/0 or 6/0 to match body.
Tail: Small clump of deer hair to match natural.
Wing: Larger clump of deer hair of the same color.
Body: Dubbing to match color of deer hair