Fly Tying Corner
EZ Foam Beetle
Saturday - August 26, 2017
Central Oregon is blessed with beautiful pine tree forests as far as the eye can see. This ecosystem supports a lot of different bugs, including ants, hoppers and beetles. This knowledge is important to the fly fisher, as during summer, terrestrials become active and are an important food source for hungry trout. This food source is happenstance. Terrestrials by nature don’t live in water. They live in fallen timber and other detritus on the forest floor; often near our lakes and rivers. Many beetles fly, but not always very accurately. A gust of wind at the wrong time will send a big beetle plopping into the water. That “plop” provokes an opportunistic trout to take these beetles on the surface with reckless abandon.
Beetles come in many different sizes, shapes and colors. For this month’s pattern, I tied a Black EZ Foam Beetle. This pattern, as its name suggests, is easy to tie and is a very effective pattern on many of our local lakes and rivers. I tied this fly on a size 10, standard dry fly hook. You can vary this from size 6, to as small as size 14’s and 16’s, as there is a lot of variability in the size of beetles in our area. I use peacock tail feathers for the underside of the abdomen and thorax of the beetle, which gives it a very buggy color. The foam on top floats the fly effectively. The wing is tan elk, and a tag of orange poly yarn makes this fly easy to see. Lastly, the legs on this pattern are flex floss, which vibrates, and that movement drives trout crazy.
Fish this pattern by cruising the edges of lakes and casting close to the shore. Alternatively, fish the grassy banks along our local rivers. Delicate dry fly casting is not necessary with this fly; in fact, the opposite is preferred. Plop this fly down heavily on the surface of the water. Trout will react to the “plop” and take the fly with a reaction strike. There is something heart-stopping about seeing a big head of a nice East Lake rainbow or brown trout coming up aggressively to take this fly. Fishing these big easy-to-see flies is something I look forward to every summer.
EZ Foam Beetle Materials List:
- Hook: Tiemco 100 or Daiichi 1180, Size 10 -12
- Thread: 210 Denier Black Thread
- Abdomen and Thorax: Peacock Barbs off a Tail Feather
- Foam: Black 2MM Closed Cell Foam
- Wing: Blond Elk
- Legs: Flex Floss - Black
- Tag: Poly Yarn in Orange or Chartreuse
Learn to tie this fly pattern and fish it in rivers or lakes to imitate the beetles which are common in Central Oregon. If you have questions or would like additional information about the EZ Foam Beetle, please don’t hesitate to email me. Or if you have suggestions on future patterns to feature in this column, I welcome your input. I can be reached at Philfischer@sbcglobal.net.