The Copper Beetle
  |  First Published: December 2011

There is an absolute gazillion different species of beetle worldwide with more new species being classified every year.

There are some 30,000 species in Australia, of that only 20,000 have been scientifically listed. So as you can imagine with that many little beasties buzzing about no wonder they form a staple part of the trouts diet.

As the weather begins to warm from about mid spring beetle activity increases and builds through summer right into the autumn. Trout start to key into the beetles as clouds of beetles congregate about the bank side vegetation, especially tea and gum trees. Every gust of wind will see a few more end up on the water and eventually in the trout’s stomach.

There a plenty of different beetle patterns for use by the fly angler, the Red Tag is a classic pattern that has been used with great success over many years; the tea tree beetle is another. The Humpy, a USA pattern is also another very successful pattern worldwide.

With new species being discovered every year, the fly tyer is able to create new and realistic patterns with all the new synthetic materials that are appearing on the market. The possibilities are endless with different types of foam of all colours and shapes, rubber legs, fluoro dubbing, the list is endless. The days of fur and feather are nearing an end as a new tying term appears, foams and synthetics.

The Copper Beetle has had great success especially on many of the streams in the north east of Victoria, it has a great profile and you can vary the colorations and sizes depending on your local conditions and or species. The shape is very general.

Foams that are shiny on one side and dull on the other are fantastic as they are so easy for the angler the see on the water; Loco Foam is one such product. The metallic dubbing teased out and fluffy gives a slightly translucent effect to the underside of the fly and assists in capturing air bubbles on the underside when the fly is on the water as with a natural. The rubber legs just add a little for the movement and profile of the fly.

Being mostly foam in construction the fly sits nicely on the water and floats for hours with minimal applications of floatant. I find the best way to fish this fly especially on streams is to fish it up alongside and under streamside vegetation like tea tree and overhanging gum trees, alternatively tussocky banks are another good spot.

Lakes can also provide excellent beetle fishing, they can and often are found in large concentrations in wind lanes, (calm slicks of water on lake surfaces). Forested shorelines are the best and fish the line between where the calm water ends and the ripple begins, as often this is where the air born beetles are going to hit the lake surface.



HOOK:Mustad R50 # 10-14
THREAD:Black 6/0
BODY: Black metallic dubbing
WINGCASE:Copper Loco Foam.
LEGS:Centipede legs orange/black, med

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