Tuesday Ties - Simple Foam Beetle – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Tuesday Ties - Simple Foam Beetle

Hopper’s are one of the biggest draws of fly fishing in the West. It’s a thing of beauty to see a trout rise to the surface and chomp on a large foam clad fly. More often than not though you can catch more fish during hopper season buy using some of the not so famous terrestrials, ants and – beetles. Beetle patterns are more often than not significantly easier to tie than hoppers and the level variance make it easy to tweak them to the waters you fish.

Hook: Dry fly hook with a large gap
Body: Peacock herl
Back/Head: 2mm Razor Foam
Indicator: 2mm Razor Foam
Legs: Round Rubber

Click to enlarge images

Start out by laying down a good layer of thread along the entire hook shank, this will prevent the foam from sliding around the hook shank. Then tie in a piece of foam in a little ways back from the eye and secure down the length of the hook. The width of the foam piece will vary with size of the fly. Now you want to add a good thick body of peacock. You will most likely have to do this in several steps. I usually tie in no more than four piece of peacock at a time.

Now pull the foam over that back of the fly. Make sure its good and taught and secure it down right up to the eye. Add some legs to either side of the fly and whip finish in the middle of the legs.

Now the fly in done, but it’s hard to see the black beetle against a dark river bottom, so take a small square of colored foam, no more that a few millimeters across and glue it on the back of the fly. I used Zap-a-Gap but you can use a variety of adhesives. Plain head cement isn’t strong enough in my experience.