15 - Top Tips: Beeltemania! Top Beetle patterns on the fly

 

 

With tree cover growing back with a vengeance right now on lakes and streams, we’re approaching a great time of year to try beetle style fly patterns. Here are five of the best for your favourite fishery, along with some top tips to get the best from terrestrial flies.
It’s strange to think that most fly fishers make little fuss about beetles. Most of us will stock up with dozens of mayflies, buzzers and damsels, but when you think about it, beetles are also an incredibly common food item on both running and still water.
 
By “beetles” we mean a wide range of real bugs, of course. Weevils, shield bugs and other creatures will all end up in the drink over the summer and are worth copying anywhere you find tree cover.
  Find any bushy cover and breeze and there will be casualties! Naturally, savvy fly anglers have been copying these creatures for generations and patterns such as the Coch-y-Bonddu still catch their share of fish today. However, modern flies can also be deadly, making maximum use of materials like foam bodies and artificial legs to add even more attraction.  

With quite wide variation in the beetle family, you’ll want to have a range of sizes and styles to try. In general terms, we’d recommend smaller flies for river trout (typically 14-16) and larger artificials for stillwaters (10-14). However, always be prepared to experiment and keep an eye out for the real thing. If you can find the right spots where fish expect the real thing, you can expect some lovely, juicy rises and excellent sport! Here are five highly effective beetle fly patterns to try, all available from us: 

 COCH-Y-BONDDU (£0.50)

  No roundup of beetles would be complete without this classic Welsh fly pattern. We stock it in smaller sizes, too, right down to a 16 or 18, which is excellent for smaller streams. At just 50p a fly, you can afford to pack some spares, too, for those hairy, overgrown spots! 

 PEACOCK BEETLE (£0.95)

  This great little pattern combines old and modern materials to neat effect. Excellent for any scenario where fish are rising underneath tree cover.
CROW BEETLE (£0.85)

 

This fly is ideal for hassle free presentation, with just enough buoyancy to sit right in the surface film without sinking. In fact, it sits more like an emerger than a dry fly, making it easily sucked in by the wariest fish.

 PHIL’S FOAM BEETLE (£0.95)

  For anyone who struggles to spot a dry fly, this one stands out beautifully! From below it looks just as good, too, combining peacock with just a hint of flash. 

 KICKING BEETLE (£1.10)

 
A larger beastie, this fly has added kick with rubber legs. It was originally intended as a fly for chub, but also works for aggressive trout.
 
 Prefer to tie your own flies?

 

Of course, if you enjoy making your own fly patterns, beetles are fantastic fun and can be one of the easiest flies of all to tie! Check out our fly tying section in the shop for lots of ideas, including these perfect pre cut beetle bodies; just the job for making chunky little terrestrials! 

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Fly fishing tips for using beetle style terrestrials  

With foam patterns, try using your fly without floatant at first. A fly that sits low in the surface film and well “drowned” can be especially appealing- and real beetles are often not very delicate when they fall in.

Look for clues in any windward area of a lake, or the bushy parts of rivers. Which terrestrials are most common? A windy corner with tree cover: perfect beetle territory!

Talking of wind, the breeze can be your best clue as to where to fish on lakes. If there are plenty of trees and bushes- or even just heather or gorse-  any susbtantial wind is likely to blow free gifts onto the water! Fish with the wind behind you in areas of cover- or try any corner of a lake where windswept food is likely to gather.

It’s rare that you’ll need specific copies to match real varieties of beetle, so don’t worry too much about getting it spot on. However, if you can find a rough size match, that will help.

When using larger beetles, don’t go too fine with your tippet. A big foam beetle can twist low diameter leader materials- and in any case, if there is any decent ripple on the water trout will usually take large terrestrials quite positively.

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