Grasshoppers get all the glory in the late summer, and it just ain’t fair. Oftentimes fish see so many hopper patterns that they go off of them for a bit and no matter how many pink moorish patterns you toss at them they want nothing to do with it. For this reason alone, having a good ant pattern and a better beetle pattern in the box is essential. Lots and lots of beetles hit the water in the summer, and fish know they’re an easy source of crunchy protein. Just ask Bear Grylls, or any other survival expert and they’ll tell you what fish already know: Beetles are good eatin’.
As always, the guys at Fly Fish Food have done an excellent job with this tutorial for this basic beetle pattern, the Leetle Beetle. Concise and easy to follow, with the end result being a big from bug that fishes great. I like to tie beetles as big as size 10, and as small as size 18, with the majority in the 14-16 hook size range. These smaller beetles can be harder to see without a good indicator post, but they seem to get take by trout more readily than a big hopper sometimes, and might just set you apart from the late summer crowd. Give some room in your box for some beetles, and tie some of this pattern up today.