Tutorial: The Battle Beetle

The long, hot summer days can provide opportunities for all sorts of exciting things to happen around the local fishing hole. Under water, vegetation growth is at it’s peak and all sorts critters are emerging from beneath the weeds to hatch into the open air. On land, the same thing is occurring in it’s own terrestrial way! The result? A fish feeding frenzy! Some fish have access to so many varieties of food that they begin to develop a taste for only very specific bugs. In more the regions than you’d think, the beetle has become one of these widely demanded delicacies. It’s important to always have some beetles in your dry box to provide yourself with the right amount of variety just in case you come across these picky eaters. This pattern has been refined to cover multiple needs: foam for added buoyancy, color contrast for use any time of day, an appetizing profile from below and a yellow indicator to help you keep your eyes on the prize! I hope you enjoy the Battle Beetle and please feel free to tag me in your successes!

Materials:

  • Hook: standard dry size 10
  • Thread: UTC140 – Fluorescent Orange
  • Ab/Thorax case: 2mm foam – Insect Green (or any green will do!)
  • Abdomen: Black or Peacock Ice Dub
  • Thorax/Head: Peacock Herl
  • Legs: Solid Black (or black with any colored flake)
  • Indicator: Fettuccine Foam – Yellow

 

fly tying tutorial battle beetle

Step 1: Load your hook into the vice and lay down a thread base. We want to add a tag to this pattern to take the thread almost halfway down the bend of the hook.

fly tying tutorial battle beetle

Step 2: Cut a strip of 2mm foam about 1-1/2” in length and one hook gap in width. Tie it in around the front one third on the hook shank and bring it back to where the barb sits on the point of the hook. Somewhere around the halfway point works too!

fly tying tutorial battle beetle

Step 3: Apply a ball of ice dubbing to the rear of the hook and pull the foam over. Be sure you don’t pull it too tight as foam tends to want to sink the tighter it is pulled. Secure the foam right up to the eye of the hook. Whip finish for added durability.

Step 4: Tie in 3-4 strands of peacock herl (by the tips) and create a bump on the front half of the hook. Secure the herl where you started the foam in step 2 – near the middle of the hook.

fly tying tutorial battle beetle

Step 5: Pull back the front half of the foam and secure with a few tight wraps. Trim the excess and whip finish a few times for added support. Here’s a hint: if you pull on the excess a bit and cut it off, the tag end won’t be as big. Be careful not to pull too much though – the foam will slide out from under the thread.

fly tying tutorial battle beetle

Step 6: Apply legs on each side of the hook with a few secure wraps. Try to line them up as evenly as possible. Whip finish once or twice for added strength if you’d like. I also like to cut my thread, apply a small amount of glue to the joint and allow it to dry.  

fly tying tutorial battle beetle

Step 7:  Add a few more wraps of dubbing over the joint in the center of the hook to even out the profile of the fly. Shoot for 3-4 wraps at most.

fly tying tutorial battle beetle

Step 8: Add the fettuccine foam indicator over the dubbing with a few secure wraps and whip finish once or twice. You can now safely cut off your tying thread and prepare to finish up the pattern.

fly tying tutorial battle beetle

Step 9: Trim the indicator to the same length on both ends. Trim the back legs even the back of the hook and trim the front legs to match as close as possible. Apply glue to each side of the indicator. Always feel free to play with any color combination you can think of for this pattern!


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