Fly Tying Mo's Foam Beetle
A Brief History of Mo's Foam Beetle
Here is a fly that a customer asked me to tie. He could no longer find a supplier, so he sent me one that he already had in the hopes that I would tie it for him. I have three criteria before I tie flies for retail sale. First, I have to enjoy tying it. Second, it must catch fish. Third, it must not take too much time to tie. I try to keep my flies reasonably priced. To account for my labor costs, the flies must be tied quickly.
It Is Fun to Tie
it is a rather simple fly with few materials. I use a size 12 emerger hook to keep it light. It has wool yarn on the underside of the abdomen and beige foam as the upper. It has six rubber legs that are tied under the thorax. The head is black thread. I like the looks of the fly as it mimics several species of beetles.
It Catches Fish
I fished this fly briefly before tying several and selling them to the individual who requested it. I fished it for another two months and was very impressed with it. Due to the weight of the rubber legs, the fly rests fairly low in the water with just the back visible at the surface. The bluegills readily take this fly from the surface, especially under overhanging trees - cypress trees in particular. I would like to think that the big wool/foam abdomen screams a mouth full of protein and fat for the bluegills. Also, because the legs hang down below the fly, it gives the fly even more of a distinct terrestrial insect look.
It Is Not So Quick to Tie
The only down side of the fly is that it takes longer to tie than most foam flies. The biggest difficulty is attaching six rubber legs to the hook. Through trial and error, I find the best approach is to use round rubber legs that are adhered together in a strip. I take three of the legs from the strip and cut them in a short segment. I take the segment, straddle the hook, and tie the segment using a figure eight wrap. Once secured, I finish the fly and just prior to completing the fly, separate the legs with an Exacto knife. The accompanying video shows the technique. If it were not so fun to tie and so productive with the fish, I would not offer it on my online store due to the time it takes to tie. However, it is a fly I cannot pass up. By the way, the name of the customer who requested the fly .... Mo of course!