Unquestionably our top new dry mayfly in 2019 were two colors of the “Upbeat” (or Upright) mayflies by Bucky McCormick from West Yellowstone. We originally purchased the Baetis version pictured above for use in late summer and fall on the Lamar River and its tributaries and in the fall on the Firehole, but after Kody found great success with it, we started experimenting with other colors. Given the time of year we started “playing,” typical fall-colored bugs were the most effective. The purple version pictured below was a runaway success on the Yellowstone and Gardner on late season trips. On my last trip of the season (working through a Bozeman outfitter I do a few trips for each season), the purple version produced ten times as many trout for the single angler in my boat during a sparse, brief BWO hatch as two anglers caught in the other boat! Some of this was skill, but a lot was the bug, too. Some of these were fat, solid 15-17″ trout, too, and the tiny (#20) hook held up just fine. In fact, we never had to change bugs except after a single breakoff.
One of the big surprises of this pattern, which is more or less a synthetic-winged Comparadun with a thread abdomen and flashy Ice Dub thorax, is that it floats great. Now, you aren’t going to be hanging nymphs under the fly, but it holds its own in a two-dry rig. It’s visible, too!
We are really excited about this fly for 2020 and will be stocking it in the original Upbeat Baetis configuration as tied by Montana Fly Company and in the following colors tied in-house: purple, PMD Yellow, and (at Kody’s insistence) copper and Trico black.