I had a recent fly order for Beetle Bailey flies and decided to keep tying them and fill the provider box. I ended up tying over 11 dozen. Why? Because fishing with beetles can be effective at certain times of the year and I didn’t want to run out of them. In fact, terrestrials can save your fishing trip when you find yourself “between hatches”.

This is what the provide box looks like now. My wife called it an infestation!

Provider Box with Beetle Bailey Flies | www.johnkreft.com

Try throwing Beetle Bailey or your favorite beetle fly pattern along a likely run close to shore and you might be surprised when an opportunistic trout rises.

I didn’t rely on beetle fly patterns in years past. That’s changed. Our fly fishing road trips have placed us in some beautiful spots when the river decided hatches were finished. You know I like to fish dry flies and we had to come up with other plans…my infamous “plan B” approach to fly fishing.

So my fly box now includes Beetle Bailey as well as a few successful ant fly patterns.

Beetle Bailey is my variation of the Andrew Grillos Hippie Stomper. I found this fly pattern on a road trip to Montana many years ago. It worked well and I started tying the fly. The fish really like it!

Beetle Bailey | www.johnkreft.com

I wrote about how effective the fly was several years ago on my home waters, the Metolius River. I was blind-casting with a spinner pattern because fish weren’t rising and I wanted to fish. I thought it was my best chance at hooking a fish. It wasn’t working. I decided to try a Beetle Bailey and on the first cast a fish rose. Then I moved another fish. Finally hooked one and lost it. Hooked another and landed it.

Metolius Rainbow | johnkreft.com

We use it successfully on East Lake, OR as well. Toss it against the rocks and wait for a Rainbow or Brown trout to SLOWLY eat the fly.

East Lake Brown Trout | www.johnkreft.com

On a fly fishing trip in 2012 to British Columbia to fish the Elk River and it’s tributaries, a friend of ours stated how much Cutthroat trout like the color red. I tied a few with red thread and they were very effective. It ended up being named Beetle Betty.

Cutthroat with Beetle Bailey|www.johnkreft.com

Besides beetle fly patterns, be sure to include some ants and hoppers as well. I’m currently working on a fly order for hoppers, but that’s for another day.

I received several positive comments about the video link last week. With that in mind, here are two more links. I’ve seen it before, but watching it always makes me smile. I hope you enjoy them.

My life continues to center around the fly tying vise as I continue to stay at home and follow the stay home, stay safe coronovirus directive. I encourage you to do the same.

Enjoy…stay home, stay safe!

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  1. I seem to remember catching several on this one…. But it seems to be kind of a dream, these days.
    Enjoying the dream!

    1. John

      Happy I could bring back some good memories for you. I hope we will be able to use it later this year. I think the fish will be looking for it!


  2. You made me a believer in Beetle Bailey in 2016. Goofy looking fly to me, but the fish don’t seem to think it is goofy looking at all.

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