My first encounter with the Mega Beetle was in the summer of 2001. I was attending the FFF Conclave in Livingston, MT and I meet Scott Sanchez. Scott is a manager at Dan Bailey's Fly Shop in Livingston. He also is an avid fly tyer and does some writing which appears more often than not if Fly Fisherman Magazine. Scott is a creative sort that is always coming up something new, interesting and simply amazing. One of Scott's creations was a man eating shark spun out of deer hair complete with a strung pearl mouth, a victum attached to the fly carved out of fly foam and BLOOD!
Of course such a brillant mind and creative tyer was just someone I had to meet. I stopped into Bailey's we visited and I picked up a few flies I thought looked interesting. One ot them was the mega beetle which on the surface seemed well, pretty darn large.
As often happens, when I buy such things, I left this one sit for awhile. Some time earlier I had also talked with Harrison Steeves about his new product Loco Foam which is a foil backed to fly foam. Originally, this idea came from a tyer named Joe Blados which developed the Crease Fly. Harrison had developed a method to attach foil to fly foam and he was making all sorts of things out of this material. ( For more info on Loco Foam, Click Here )Eventually, I combined two great ideas which is the basis of this hy-bred fly.
The idea behind the mega beetle was to create something like a June Bug or Cisada Fly which are things we have here in NY state as well as many other places. Beside that it just looks darn cool. I took one of my latest out fishing last fall and a few of our local TU folks like Phil Koons and Rich Andrews got a hoot out of this fly. Rich picked one up, looked at and said," What are you going to do with that, scare those trout out of the water?"
The FIRST cast I made at Enfield Creek with the mega beetle, 4 fish immediately attacked it! It was a total hit of course! So much for Rich's kind thoughts........
Making the Foam
The mega beetle isn't a hard fly to tie. The hardest thing is making the material which is bonded foam. To make this material you will need the following: 3M "77" spray super glue, some pearl plastic mylar gift wrap and some fly foam. I should mention before you try this that "77" is a great glue and very nasty. It will stick to almost anything and it is very hard to remove if you get it on your hands. You may wish to use rubber gloves when working with this.
To use "77" spray the glue to both sides of the media you want to bond. Allow to set up and then stick the items together. Wrap or cover material with wax paper or microwave paper and press below a set of heavy books. That's it. To make the mega beetle foam I took pearl mylar and crunched it into a ball, then I flattened out the sheet, giving it a coarse wrinkle effect. Next I bounded it to black foam it created an iridescent blackish green which looks very cool. After that I stuck it in some paper and put it below a stack of books and let it dry. You can also bound feathers ( turkey quill for ex), furry foam, thin cloth or stuff like nylon scrubby material to foam for various effects. Don't be afraid to experiment, you might create something interesting.
Tying the Fly
After I made up the foam I took out my set of River Road Creations Foam Cutters. ( I sell these and they are in the Order section of my site. You don't have to use the cutters to make this fly, you can just cut these out with scissors. The cutters makes the job easier, faster and neater.)
I punched out several bodies and then I also punched out a strip of orange foam for the parachute post. For the main body of the beetle I used the middle or yellow sized cutter shown at the left. I used the small cutter for the para post.
After you punch out the shapes, you begin tying up the fly.
Mike's Mega Beetle
Hook: Mustad 9672 size 8
Thread: Black 6/0 Dubbed Body: Pearl Blue Green Lite Brite
Back: Pearl Backed Black Fly Foam Para Post: Flat Orange Fly Foam
Hackle: Brown Wrapped Parachute Style ( I have also used Grizzly Dyed Olive which gives you a very interesting effect. Use a wider hackle say a size 6-8. )
Legs: Black Med Round Rubber
Begin by starting your thread. Wrap back to the bend. Dub up to the front 2/3's of the body. Make a wrap and attach the body. Pull down on the thread and make 2-3 more wraps. Attach one leg to each side of the body. Next tie in a small strip of foam for the post. You lay the strip across the middle and make a wrap around the body and the strip.
Tie in hackle to the side of the post. Wrap hackle and tie off. Pull back on the beetle foam strip and dub the rest of the head and finish. Clip thread. Next I glue the post, the fly head and the beetle body. I take a needle tip bottle of head cemment and give all of these a shot and let them dry. This keeps the body from moving around and coming apart.
You can make this in different colors, shapes or even add more legs or 2 para wings. This is a very cool fly that imitates stuff like Morman Crickets, June Bugs and Cisadas. It can be used for bass, panfish and all sorts of trout. I should think this would be a really hot Western Trout fly.
For more Info Contact:
Mike Hogue / Badger Creek Fly Tying / 622 West Dryden Road, Freeville, NY 13068