Here is the fly pattern sheet for Beetle Bailey.
I found this fly pattern on a road trip to Montana several years ago. My apologies to the originator as I don’t know the real name of the fly. It worked well and after a thorough review of the fly, I created this fly pattern sheet. The fish really like it! (Note: since I first posted this fly pattern sheet for a fly I call Beetle Bailey, I found I’ve created a variant of the original fly – the Andrew Grillos Hippie Stomper.)
Daiichi 1280 or TMC 2312 #14 – 12
Danville 70 denier, black
Moose body hair
Black foam – 2 mm
Grizzly Barred Rubber Legs Medium (#12) and Fine (#14) See below for more info.
Orange or yellow foam – 2 mm
- Start thread on hook and advance to barb and return to hook eye.
- Tie on tail material
- Prepare foam by creating point and tie in at eye. Spiral thread wraps over foam back to hook barb.
- Wrap foam with thread to create smooth same color body. Position thread at ½ way point on hook shank.
- Fold foam forward and use thread to create wide spot approx. 2 – 3 mm. This allows for smooth spot for remaining materials.
- Tie in legs on each side of foam body.
- Tie in indicator foam and trim to desired length.
- Tie in hackle and wrap hackle 3 – 5 turns and tie off on side closest to you.
- Pull remaining foam back and continue thread forward to point behind hook eye.
- Pull foam forward and stretch a little and wrap thread 5 tight turns. Do not cut.
- Whip finish by pulling foam up and away from hook eye.
- Trim foam by leaving 2 – 3 mm past hook eye.
- Trim legs to desired length.
Here is a link to my RiverKeeper Flies YouTube channel where I demonstrate how I tie the fly.
A friend reminded me that Cutthroat trout really like the color red. I changed the body to red thread and call that pattern Beetle Betty.
Notes (Updated 4/15/2020)
- Originally, I used 8/0 Uni-thread. Lately I’ve used Danville 70 denier thread as I find it makes a smoother body.
- I use the hook gape as a general guide for the foam width. Error on the wide side. You can adjust after tying a couple. You’ll know. I’ve made the mistake of having the foam fit inside the hook shank to point distance. It was too narrow and didn’t look right.
- Generally, I make 4 turns of hackle. The fly does have a tendency to spin if tied to very light tippet. If you can’t fish heavier tippet adjustments can be made.
- For size 12, Grizzly Barred Rubber Legs Medium (Hareline product code – GRM377)
- For size 14, Fine Grizzly Barred Rubber Legs (Hareline product code – GRF377).
And be sure to check out my post – Fly Fishing with Beetles to see how they work!