How to Tie a Foam Beetle
Learn how to tie the Foam Beetle fly pattern including step-by-step instructions, a video tutorial, pictures, and much more. Improve your fly tying skills here.
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This simple beetle features a realistic profile without a lot of complicated fly tying steps or materials. In the summer months, in the western US and beyond, trout feed on terrestrials, beetles, and ants that are blown into the river. Foam beetles are a productive pattern during this time of the year when trout are looking for a large, easy meal. This is also a great pattern for South America as trout are known for eating beetles in Patagonia with reckless abandon. Tune in as Jared provides step-by-step instructions to tie this easy pattern then purchase your fly tying materials from us and start tying!
- Daiichi 1170 Traditional Dry Fly Hook - Size 12
- UNI Waxed Midge Thread 8/0 - Black
- Hareline Fly Foam - 2mm, Orange & Black
- River Road Beetle Foam Body Cutter
- Hareline Strung Peacock Herl
- Hareline Life-Flex - Black
Start your thread on the hook and use the River Road Foam Cutter to cut the body of the beetle out of the 2mm Fly Foam.
Tie in the skinny end of the foam cutout. Start just behind the eye of the hook and tie the foam down all the way back to the bend of the hook. Wrap your thread forward and rearward several times until the foam is covered up. Return your thread to just behind the eye of the hook.
Tie in 8-10 strands of Peacock Herl that will be used to create the body of the fly. Tie these strands in just behind the hook eye and wrap your thread rearward to anchor them to the hook shank.
Next, wrap the Peacock Herl forward taking touching turns to create the body of the fly. Tie the Peacock Herl off just behind the eye of the hook and break off any excess herls. Cover up the butts with a few thread wraps and leave your thread just behind the eye of the hook.
After tying in the body, pull the foam over the top of the hook shank and tie it down just behind the eye of the hook.
Next, tie in the Life-Flex legs. Capture the legs with a few thread wraps, one on each side of the body. Don't worry about trimming the legs yet, we'll do that later.
Cut a small strip of 'sighter' foam from an Orange square of 2mm Fly Foam and tie it in on top of the black foam. After tying it in, trim it to size. This piece of foam will help you see the fly on the surface of the water. After tying in and cutting the orange foam, throw a whip finish being sure to avoid trapping your rubber legs.
Finally, trim the rubber legs. The front legs should be slightly longer than the head of the fly and the back legs should be slightly longer than the hook shank.
And that's the foam beetle! This is a very simple fly to tie and can be tied in a variety of colors and sizes depending on the fishery. These are easy to crank out and provide a highly visible terrestrial pattern that can be used wherever trout feed on beetles.
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