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The soldier beetle
  |  First Published: March 2012



Another of the many beetle species to be found around Victorian streams during the warmer months of the season is the soldier beetle.

They are the longish beetle with a matt black wing case and a body that ranges from bright orange through to pale yellow.

Often they found in large numbers around streamside vegetation especially the native shrubbery and gum trees. On windy days they can be seen being blown around in vast clouds especially if it is a good beetle season. (Don’t ask me what a good beetle season is, but some years there seems to be countless millions of them)

Of course it is these windy days that will see the trout looking for a feed of soldiers as they get blown on to the water with every gust of wind. They will get funnelled into the feeding lanes and bubble lines in the faster runs of many trout streams. Trout line up and happily snip them down.

My favourite place to fish them is in the slower quieter pools where the overhanging vegetation creates shadows over the water. Trout use the shade as cover from predators and lie in wait for the beetles to drop from the vegetation above.

Careful observation is needed as the rise will often be no more than a little bubble or gentle dimple as the trout knows there is no rush as the beetle slowly struggles in the surface film. They will gently glide up beneath and sip him in.

Lakes can also provide good beetle fishing, as mentioned in previous articles about beetles lake shore in close proximity to plenty of trees are prime spots.

Unlike streams where the trout are more opportunistic and seem to key in to particular food items quite quickly, lakes dwelling trout may take a little longer to get on the beetles.

The better beetle fishing can often be found a day or two after a major beetle event where the dead and drowned beetles have been congregated into wind lanes and windward shores, it is here that the trout will find the food source more concentrated and lock in on them.

Facts

TYING INSTRUCTIONS and MATERIALS

HOOK:Mustad R50 #12
THREAD:Rust 6/0
BODY: Amber and yellow lifecycle dubbing blended.
WINGCASE:1mm black foam. Cut with beetle body cutter.
LEGS:Medium centipede legs barred black and orange.
FEELERS:Fine black round rubber.

Reads: 1410

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