Foam Beetle - step-by-step

 About me
 On the bench
 Fly Swaps
 Friends Flies

 Foam Ant  Step-by-step index  Foam Caterpillar

A step at a time:


PDF print version

Foam Beetle

Hook: Dry fly, #12-16
Thread: Gudebrod 8/0, black
Body: Peacock herl
Back: 2 mm fly-tying foam, black
Hackle: Rooster, black
Indicator: Poly yarn, yellow


(Full-size pictures on click.)

Step 1
Foam Beetle - Step 1

Mount a hook in the vise.


Step 2
Foam Beetle - Step 2

Tie in the thread and wrap it back to the hook bend.


Step 3
Foam Beetle - Step 3

Cut a strip of foam, about 5mm wide. Then cut the corners in one end. This makes it easier to tie in without creating too much bulk at the same time as it centers it on the hook.


Step 4
Foam Beetle - Step 4

Tie in the foam strip in the prepared tip. First wrap goes over the start of the wide part and the rest of the tip is tied down to the hook shank.


Step 5
Foam Beetle - Step 5

Tie in 4 peacock herls in the tip end, immediately in front of the foam.


Step 6
Foam Beetle - Step 6

Finally, tie in a rooster hackle a millimeter in front of the herls.


Step 7
Foam Beetle - Step 7

Twist the herls a few turns around the thread and wrap them together. Make the first wrap behind the hackle (insert picture) and then continue forward to a point a couple of millimetres behind the hook eye. To wrap the herls together with the thread makes the body more durable and prevent the material to unwrap if it breaks during fishing. After the herls have been secured and the excess has been cut, lay the thread diagonally backwards over the herl and let it hang about 4mm behind the head.


Step 8
Foam Beetle - Step 8

Wrap the hackle forward in even turns. 4-5 are usually sufficient. Tie it down and cut the excess.


Step 9
Foam Beetle - Step 9

Take the scissors and cut all the hackle barbs on the top of the hook.


Step 10
Foam Beetle - Step 10

Fold(!) the foam forward and lay it down it (not pull) over the body. Then tie it down with a few firm thread wraps. Important with foam: There is good foam and there is poor foam... and there is bad handling of foam. Since the material itself doesn't have much of a boyancy, everything is depending upon the small air bubbles inside it. Good foam contains a lot of air, poor foam is dense and contains less air. Pulling and squeezing the foam will affect these air bubbles and will turn good foam into bad foam.


Step 11
Foam Beetle - Step 11

Place a piece of light colored poly or antron yarn on top of the fly and tie it down at the same point as where the foam was tied down. Pull it down in the crease so the two yarn ends stand up.


Step 12
Foam Beetle - Step 12

Take the two ends, hold them together and make a couple of thread wraps around them, as close to the foam as possible. Then trim it to about 4-5mm height. Cut at the same time the excess foam over or just behind the eye and round off the cornes (clearer on the next picture.)


Step 13
Foam Beetle - Step 13

Make a whip-finish behind the eye (or, if you think there's room, in the foam crease). Turn the fly around and cut the hackle barbs also under it. Save the ones pointing out to the sides.



This is one of my own favourite dry flies. I often fish smaller lakes surrounded by trees, making false casts impossible. A few roll casts will soak the average dry fly in no time, but this is unsinkable. So when your casting range is limited and your own fly lands at the same place as the real beetles drop down from the trees... you will want an imitation on your tippet.

Top view...
Top view



Copyright 2008-2015 © SwedneckFlyFishing