While fishing one day at Bolton Abbey I sat down and watched the river while eating a sandwich. Suddenly fish started boiling in front of me and splashing the surface. I finished off the sandwich a little quicker and tied on a dry fly, the fish continued to boil and splash but ignored the fly and the next five patterns I tried. I decided to sample the water and found there were an incredible number of beetles in the water, in the surface and just below the surface. I didn’t have a beetle pattern but I tied on the closest thing I could find in my fly box that would imitate the general size and impression of the beetle. Finally I started to catch fish, although most casts were still ignored. Since then I have tried to tie or buy a decent beetle pattern without huge success. The main problem with bought beetle patterns was gape, I could get trout to take but not hook up, the bulk of the dressing blocking the gape. Recently Jonathan Hoyle told me about a beetle pattern he created that was both easy to tie and had good hook point clearance and sent me some in the post, one of which is photographed above. The fly is tied on the maruto nymph hook that has a good wide gape.
The photo above shows the beetle, I tried to capture the brilliant green reflections seen when light strikes it at a certain angle but haven’t quite managed it here. You’ll have to take my word for it that this fly looks better in the flesh than in the photo. The pattern makes use of UV resin over peacock tinsel to give the characteristic iridescence of a beetle. I haven’t had chance to river test the fly yet but it looks like a winner. The tying materials are as follows:
Hook: Maruto Nymph #16
Underbody: 3-4 turns flat lead wire
Body: 1 peacock herl
Back: Size 10 peacock/orange uni tinsel
Over back: UV cure resin
Thread: Black 8/0 uni thread