April 2015 Fly Tying Tutorial: Heather Beetle by Allan Liddle

Allan Liddle's April Tutorial is the Heather Beetle. To tie this fly using Allans step-by-step tutorial, click on the materials image at the bottom of this blog post!

Last month Allan took us through the March Brown Jingler, click here to find out more.


Spring Beetle Mania!

Sometimes, following a mild and relatively dry winter such as the one we’ve just had we can get a ‘Beetle Spring’ when the native Heather beetle emerges in plague like proportions and inevitably find their way onto our lochs and upland streams.

Initially the trout might be a little slow to ‘cash in’ on the bountiful food source, perhaps it takes a little time for them to recognise these beetles as a prey item, however once they do ‘lock on’ the fish will often go into a feeding frenzy and this early season protein hit can be very welcome indeed.

Not that it happens all the time and often you can go several seasons before you encounter a decent Heather Beetle ‘fall’ but then again it can be very localised and as such it’s worth having a wee foam beetle pattern or two tucked away for just such an event.

That said it is a handy wee pattern to have anyway and prospecting in hot summer days beneath overhanging trees has grabbed the attention of more than one or two fish for me over the years.

Robust and easy to tie, let alone easy to fish, my wee adaptation of a foam beetle works for me and if you’re lucky enough to encounter a Spring / early Summer ‘hatch’ then give it a swim, one other wee tip if you do - hold on tight as takes are usually not very subtle.



Hook: Partridge L5A Dry Fly Supreme or G3AY Sproat Wet (Barbless)

Thread: Uni 6/0 or 8/0

Shellback / Thorax Cover: Black 3mm foam cut to 5mm wide strip

Abdomen: Peacock Glister

Hot Spot: Pinch of Scarlet Seals Fur

Thorax: As abdomen

Thorax Cover: As shellback, pulled tight to help keep bulk down and form tapered shape

Head Hackle: Two turns ginger cock trimmed level below to ensure low riding profile