This weeks Fly Friday comes from PRO-Team member Paul Procter, its the Kicking Beetle....
Aside from a burst of say Blue-winged olives, or caddis at last knockings, long summer days aren’t known for producing decent hatches of upwing flies. Thankfully though, deep in the leafy canopy an army of terrestrials are going about their business, even on the hottest of days. Beetles in particular seem most active now and with 300 odd UK species of this hard cased beastie the trout have plenty to go at. Admittedly, you rarely see beetles littering the surface in vast numbers, save for the Coch-y-Bonddu, or pine weevil perhaps, yet a variety of them dripping into the margins all day long usually have trout queuing up even when a scorching sun is splitting the pavement.
Rather than attempt close copies of individual species, which would require a suitcase sized fly box to house them, a generic pattern dressed on hook sizes 12 to 16 will suffice. Decked out with rubber legs and a highly visible post the Kicking Beetle has become a major summer fly for me. No frills it might be, don’t be fooled by the humble appearance. It doesn’t even boast a flashy shellback either, though I see little point is such adornments, which I’m sure are for our benefit alone! Trout only see the underside, which on the bulk of beetles is a sort of iridescent green. Here, a few strands of peacock herl twisted around the thread to form a robust rope are more than adequate for copying this brilliant looking undercarriage.
I prefer more open cell foam for forming the back and head as this readily compresses, making it manageable when tying. Furthermore, it’s infinitely more buoyant than the denser, close cell foam. Despite this improved buoyancy the fly still sits in the film rather than on it, making it a bugger to locate, especially amongst the shadows, or in lively pools. A visible tuft of yarn in either white, or pink rectifies this problem to render your fly highly visible.
Hook: Dry Fly Supreme #12-16
Thread: Black 14/0 Sheer
Shellback & Head: Black open cell foam
Body: 3-4 strands of peacock herl
Post: TMC aero dry wing-white or pink
Head: Peacock ice-dubbing
Legs: Black rubber
Photo 1: The Kicking Beetle in various hook sizes works a treat cast in shady corners come summer.
Photo 2: Although this particular fly has been in the wars the peacock body is clear to see.
Photo 3: Twisting strands of peacock herl around your thread makes for a more durable body.