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Simple Foam Beetle
Tied and Photographed by Richard A. Lewis


The "Simple Foam Beetle" is a terrestrial surface pattern that is deadly on weary trout in late summer. This fly was developed to be easy to tie, easy to cast and sure to catch fish! It takes but a few minutes to tie this fly and it can be easily colored and sized to match the hatch in your neck of the woods.

Materials List: Simple Foam Beetle

    Hook: Daiichi 1260 Curved Nymph Hook-size #10.

    Thread: Larva Lace Ultra Fine Clear Nylon Mono.

    Underbody: Sparkle Chenille-Size #0 (New Age Green Apple #51).

    Legs: Centipede Legs, Size Mini #0, Speckled Green, (Montana Fly Co.)

    Body: Pre-Cut Soft Foam Body #8A (such as Cascade Crest's Hopper Body-Large/White).

    Adhesive: Zap-A-Gap CA Super Thin (super Glue).

    Markers: "Chart Pack" and/or "Prismacolor" felt tipped markers-Various "insect" colors.

    Coating: Sally Hanson's Hard As Nails (clear fingernail polish).

Tying Instructions: Simple Foam Beetle

    1. Mount the #1260 hook securely in the vise.

    2. Start the thread two hook eye spaces behind the eye and make a thread base down to the hook bend and back. Secure base wraps with a hitch or two.

    3. Tie in the chenille at the front of thread base and spiral wind thread to bind chenille in place along the hook shank to the bend. Leave a good amount of chenille hanging down at hook bend. Return thread to front of fly.

    4. Wind the chenille forward over itself in closely touching wraps and secure at the front tie-in location. Trim Chenille and secure wraps with a hitch or two.

    5. Use one-half of a rubber leg. Double that piece and cut in two. Center that pair of legs on the hook. Fold them upwards and tie them in at the front of the chenille to create 4 legs that angle to the rear and also downwards towards the hook point.

    6. Bind down legs and trim legs evenly to desired length. Secure thread wraps with a hitch.

    7. Color underside of foam body. Next, position foam body on the top of the hook shank to allow the formation of a separate head and body. Near the beginning of chenille tie-in point, bind down foam 1/5 of the way back aft on the foam body. Compress the foam with several thread wraps. Throw in a hitch to secure wraps. Lift head portion of foam and advance thread to the hook-eye.

    8. Trap a small amount of foam with the thread and bind down the front of the foam head just behind the hook eye. It will compress neatly with several taut wraps. Make sure the foam does not block the eye of the hook. Finish with a few hitches and trim thread.

    9. Add a tiny drop of adhesive to the center of the underside of the head and pinch the sides of the foam together. Lift the rear section of foam body away from chenille and spread a thin layer of adhesive (superglue) upon the flat underside of the foam. Quickly press and hold the foam to the chenille.

    10. Form the body to the curve of the hook with your finger. Keep pressure on the foam for a few seconds (count to eight) to allow the glue to set.

    11. First - apply a light base color to the head and body of the foam. Next, add darker spots to the body. Use a black marker to make a bold eye on each side of the head. Cover the eyes with a single drop of "Hard As Nails" polish to make them stand out 3-D.

Fishing Tips

Use a long, light tippet. Cast beetle to undercut banks, under overhanging branches or to cruising fish. Allow the beetle to sit still or dead-drift this fly on the surface. The shape of this fly, the glint of the sparkle chenille and the subtle natural action of the rubber legs will attract the fish if you are patient. Sometimes a fish will roll on this bug and not take it on the first pass. Don't move a muscle! Remain composed and leave the fly sit there! Oftentimes, I have seen the same fish return, re-inspect it closely from a few different angles before finally pouncing on it madly! ~ Richard A. Lewis

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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