Soldier Beetle Hog by Allan Liddle

With the summer in the normally frozen north being unusually warm and dry for such a long period of time things are a little different from the norm.

Some of our usual fly hatches have been suppressed and not as reliable as they normally are, whilst others have thrived especially the terrestrial species including the Soldier Beetle with although is always a target for trout (hence the Soldier Palmer), this year it’s been apparent throughout a lot of the lochs I’ve fished on.

Never slow to capitalise on any surface opportunity I tied up a Hedgehog adaptations in order to see if the trout would ‘lock on’ to this and pick it out amongst the other food items available, and pleased to say they certainly have making this Hedgehog one of my go to loch patterns all summer.

Fished in the usual ways; short line across the waves, pulled hard through the waves or ‘popping up’ through the surface has been productive, but fished static targeting rising fish this fly has really stood out, even when fishing this way ‘blind’ over likely looking fishy lies.

I’m also hopeful the deep red colour which can be so effective late in the season will be a real hit at the ‘Back End’ and something I’m really looking forward to trying when the times comes (not long now).

Hope you all like it; it’s been a cracking wee fly for me so far.

Dressing:
Hook; Partridge G3A Sproat size 10-14 (14 best)
Tag; Uni 8/0 Florescent Hot Orange thread
Thread; Metallic Mederia embroidery thread deep red (Veniards deep red Micro Glint equally as good)
Wing; Natural Deer Hair (soft fine best)
Thorax; Andrews Scruffy Dubbing Bibio Red (fantastic dubbing material that works great on a range of different flies)

Tying Sequence:

Step 1 Run Hot Orange floro thread down to bend of hook, place small amount of varnish over to help with strength (optional) run thread back up hook and tie off

Step 2 Catch in Maderia thread and form body

Step 3 Take small amount of deer hair and stack

Step 4 Tie in deer hair to form tail, trim waste ends tight to hook (forming a short steep angle) ready to tie off with body thread.

Step 5 Place small amount of varnish over thread for added strength and form body securing deer hair as you go

Step 6 Take second stacked deer hair section and form next wing step repeating process in steps 4 and 5

Step 7 Repeat step 6 with one or two more wing sections (a good Hog should have four wing sections including the tail)

Step 8 Take pinch of dubbing and form thorax

Step 9 Take a very small amount of deer hair to form final wing section and help keep fly shape in proportion (i.e. not too large a head)

Step 10 Whip finish once and place small amount of varnish over, then form head with dubbing and whip finish this in place

Step 11 Brush or pick out dubbing at head and thorax