One Monday, I was talking with my colleague Roger Edholm, an art director here at Orvis, who said that he had been having great luck on his local brook-trout stream with a foam beetle. Lo and behold, the folks at Tightline Productions emailed me that afternoon to tell me they’d produced a video on how to tie that very fly. It’s like they read my mind.
In much of the country, late summer is terrestrial time, and beetles are very productive. Feel free to experiment with different colors (we have lots of Japanese beetles around, for instance) and sizes. I’ll often use a beetle as a dropper behind a grasshopper pattern or a big Stimulator. In this great video, Tim Flagler offers his method for creating a simple, durable, and effective beetle that you can see on the water. I love the way that he uses the hangling thread to control the peacock herl as he wraps it. It’s a useful trick that will work on many patterns.
Hook: 2X-long dry-fly hook (e.g. Dai-Riki #730), sizes 10-14.
Thread: Black, 3/0 or 140 denier.
Back/head: Black 2mm Craft Foam, 1/4-inch strip.
Legs: Black saddle hackle.
Belly: Peacock herl.
Sighter: Pink foam disk.
Adhesive: Head cement.