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The Green Beetle
  |  First Published: March 2013



Beetles are one of the most prolific and abundant of food items available to the trout during the warmer months.

There are in excess of 200,000 species throughout the world, Australia has approximately 28,000 of those, making it the largest order of insect on the continent.

Beetles range in some staggering sizes and colours, many of them strikingly vivid, often in the past these colours were hard to capture in any great detail, but these days with the many multi coloured foams and dubbing materials, some beautiful imitations can spring from the vice.

This particular green beetle is a fairly generic pattern in that it could be used to imitate any number of beetles present on our streams and lakes. I have used it with great success in Victoria, southern NSW, Tasmania and New Zealand.

I particularly like the nice shiny back, not only because it has the iridescent sheen of the natural insect, but because it also provides something easy for me to see as the eyesight begins to fade. Use it on a sunny day and you will see this bright little dot of green bouncing down the riffles, or bobbing in the waves.

The best time really to fish any beetle pattern is the day after a particularly heavy beetle fall. Trout will be going about merrily picking off the drowned beetles as they collect on the windward shores of lakes, and congregate in the bubble lines and backwaters of streams.

For those anglers in Tasmania and the lakes of NSW who have experienced the often fantastic wind lane fishing these two states can provide will find this pattern a useful tool. It allows the angler to sit off the wind lane because of its visibility without disturbing the feeding fish cruising up and down it. If you’re fishing from a kayak even better,

Getting back to materials, I mentioned the ease of seeing the beetle on the surface, but what of the sub surface profile? This is where the prism dubbing comes into its own. The reflectiveness of this material imitates the prismatic effect that the minute air bubbles trapped on the fine hairs of a beetle’s underside and under its wing case give off. Something that fly tyers call a trigger point, or something particular about a fly pattern that turns on the light for a cruising fish.

There is no great mystery on how to fish beetles, as they can turn up just about anywhere on those heavy beetle fall days, especially if it is a bit windy. On streams concentrate your efforts placing the fly in the little seams of slower water either side of the faster water at the head off the pool. In larger slower pools there will be a seam of water that everything gets funnelled into, look for the area where all the floating material on the surface seems to be congregating in and concentrate your efforts there, as this is where the food is being moved to as well.

On lakes, two areas that are prime beetle hangouts, firstly the wind lanes, which are the calm slicks of water often seen on the riffled surfaces of these impoundments. Secondly the scum blankets on the windward shores after a decent blow on the previous day, this pushes all the dead beetles into one area, and early mornings on these days are the best.

TYING INSTRUCTIONS and MATERIALS

HOOK:Daiichi 1550 # 10-14
THREAD:Black 6/-
BODY:Beetle green Loco foam
DUBBING:SLF prism in rusty brown
LEGS:Orange speckled centipede small
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