This weeks Fly Friday comes from PRO-Team member Paul Procter, its the Kicking Beetle....

Aside from a burst of say Blue-winged olives, or caddis at last knockings, long summer days aren’t known for producing decent hatches of upwing flies.  Thankfully though, deep in the leafy canopy an army of terrestrials are going about their business, even on the hottest of days. Beetles in particular seem most active now and with 300 odd UK species of this hard cased beastie the trout have plenty to go at.  Admittedly, you rarely see beetles littering the surface in vast numbers, save for the Coch-y-Bonddu, or pine weevil perhaps, yet a variety of them dripping into the margins all day long usually have trout queuing up even when a scorching sun is splitting the pavement.

Rather than attempt close copies of individual species, which would require a suitcase sized fly box to house them, a generic pattern dressed on hook sizes 12 to 16 will suffice.  Decked out with rubber legs and a highly visible post the Kicking Beetle has become a major summer fly for me.  No frills it might be, don’t be fooled by the humble appearance.  It doesn’t even boast a flashy shellback either, though I see little point is such adornments, which I’m sure are for our benefit alone!  Trout only see the underside, which on the bulk of beetles is a sort of iridescent green.  Here, a few strands of peacock herl twisted around the thread to form a robust rope are more than adequate for copying this brilliant looking undercarriage.

I prefer more open cell foam for forming the back and head as this readily compresses, making it manageable when tying.  Furthermore, it’s infinitely more buoyant than the denser, close cell foam.  Despite this improved buoyancy the fly still sits in the film rather than on it, making it a bugger to locate, especially amongst the shadows, or in lively pools.  A visible tuft of yarn in either white, or pink rectifies this problem to render your fly highly visible.  


Kicking Beetle

Hook: Dry Fly Supreme #12-16

Thread: Black 14/0 Sheer

Shellback & Head: Black open cell foam

Body: 3-4 strands of peacock herl

Post: TMC aero dry wing-white or pink

Head: Peacock ice-dubbing

Legs: Black rubber



Photo 1: The Kicking Beetle in various hook sizes works a treat cast in shady corners come summer.

Photo 2: Although this particular fly has been in the wars the peacock body is clear to see.

Photo 3: Twisting strands of peacock herl around your thread makes for a more durable body.

Paul Procter

A resident of the Lake District, AAPGAI Master and Wild Trout Trust Vice-President Paul Procter is a dedicated fly fisher. With 30 years experience on rivers, lakes and tropical saltwater fly fishing, Paul is a leading contributor to the UK’s premier publications-Trout and Salmon and its sister magazine-Trout Fisherman.

A talented and innovative fly tyer, Paul’s flies have become recognised as a signature for his many articles. Having spent the last decade travelling extensively throughout Europe, the Americas and Southern Hemisphere, he has gained a wealth of knowledge on many of the celebrated rivers and streams with an intimate understanding of fly hatches and their imitations required to tempt fish. In turn this has allowed him to develop specialist patterns with the opportunity to field test hook models on a range of fish species and ultimately provide valuable feedback. However, having fished the far corners of the globe, his abiding love remains the light line approach on intimate Northern streams, fishing North Country spiders (soft hackled flies) and dry flies. Here the rivers offer such diversity that Paul has honed all fishing disciplines on systems like the Eden, Wharf and Ure.

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