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Angler's Entomology Podcast

Welcome to the Angler's Entomology Podcast.  On this podcast and blog, I am documenting my re-entry into the world of entomology.   Join us as my wife and I explore the environment in which trout live and the insects and other creatures that live in and share that space.  This is not just a dry recitation of facts, I hope to bring these creatures alive - show you how they live, what makes them fascinating in their own right, and help you understand how they interact with trout in ways that will help your fishing.  So, please join us.  I hope you enjoy the program...


Selene's Blog and Page for Classic Streamers; and you can finder her interview on the podcast the Liar's Club. 

Angler's Entomology Quizup


Episode 29: Pics, Patterns and Links for Beetles

Jan 1, 2019

Ok folks, here are some patterns and pics for Episode 29 on Beetles.

First we’ll talk about the whirligig beetles – in part because they are so cool.

Here is a picture showing their split eyes.  You can see the two eyes on the topside – used for seeing above water.  And then if you look at the left side of the beetle (facing you) you can also see one of the lower eyes, used for seeing underwater.  Pretty cool huh?


In this picture you can see their legs – the rear rudder like legs, the middle legs for propulsion and the front legs for grasping food.  



Next are the water pennies – here is a picture from the topside –


And a picture from the bottoms side – where you can see the legs and the white gills on the underside. 


And my water penny imitation – Schenk’s Water Penny – which is just a Schenk’s Cress Bug tied in a color to imitate a water penny.   They are simple – make a dubbing loop at the rear of the fly, load it up with dubbing of your choice and color, spin it and wrap onto the hook.  Then brush out to the sides and trim to flat on the top and bottom and round the sides to make a water penny larva imitation. 



Predaceous diving beetles are next:

This adult is one of the big guys – he is about an inch and half long.  They are lots of smaller ones as well, however.  

My imitation is tied with a bead head, deer hair body, raffia shell back and glass bead for an air bubble.  Oh, and of course, rubber legs – because rubber legs are great!   As it sits in the water the bead tips the head down like the naturals rest.   Hence, I’m calling it the “Butt’s Up”.  Here is the pattern:



Air bubble – glass bead

Body – Black Deer Hair spun

Shell back – black raffia

Legs – rubber legs

Head – bead or cone or dumbells


Here is Selene’s Water Tiger (Predaceous Diving Beetle Larva) imitation – and pattern:


The Suspender:

1770 Daiichi Hook

Bent strand of 0.20 non-lead wire to form head near the bend.  Lash it on with the blunt end towards the bend to make a square shaped blunt base for the head.

Two brown biots for the mandibles – facing outwards

X-small plastic dumbell eyes

Cover head with small amount of rabbit dubbing with guard hairs. 

Lash on tan scud back

Ribbing – 6/0 tan thread

Dub a bit more tan rabbit dubbing to finish head

Dub beaver cream dubbing tapered to tail

Fold back the scud back and lash down

Tie down ribbing

Pick out guard hairs for legs

Tie on one CDC oiler puff natural dun with butt of feather behind the eye and the tuft over the eye


In contrast, to Predaceous Diving Beetles, Water Scavenger Beetles rest with their heads up.   They look very similar – which you can see from the natural:


But the important differences are that when they grab an air bubble it covers the underside of their abdomen as well – hence I tied this imitation with a white underbody.  I also tied it with wool (rather than deer hair) well, because I felt like it, and used foam for the shell back.  Even though the fly strictly speaking rests butts up, I’m calling it a “head’s up” because it it imitating a water scavenger beetle – and that’s how the naturals rest.   The fish aren’t going to be able to tell a difference between the head end of a hook and the tail end…


“Head’s Up”

Body – spun wool, black on top and white on bottom

Shellback – black foam, coated with black nail polish to give it shine

Legs – rubber legs

Head- bead,or cone, or dumbbells


For Riffle Beetles, I wanted something that shows the segmented body of the adult beetle, but has a bit of shine representing the fine layer of air around the body.   Here you go:



Looks kinda like an ant imitation, doesn’t it?   Which is why I named it:

“Eric’s Not-an-Ant”

Body –tungsten beads – large then small

Legs – fine rubber legs

Terrestrial Beetles:

You know what terrestrials look like, so no need for pictures of the naturals – plus the point here is to just have a variety of sizes and shapes to imitate the naturals.  So, here are some of our favorite patterns:

Selene’s Moon Bug:


Tag: Glow in the dark braided underbody

Legs: Black hackle wound on through

Shell back – black closed cell foam

Stripe: uni-stretch glow in the dark – tied along the back the length of the hook shank

Fire orange thread to tie off behind the head of the foam.

Glow in the dark head cement dot on top of the head.  Then sharpie marker dot small than the glow in the dark spot.


Here is my Nail Beetle.  Which, you’ll see the wings protruding below the elytra (or nail) on this fly.  Somewhere I was reading how some anglers noticed that the wings of terrestrials, when they fall in the water, often remain extended – and they felt this was important to include in their flies.  I always thought of that as over analyzed hooey, until I happened to look down and see a scrap of raffia at my feet where the color really looked like the color of those extended wings.   So, I figured what the hell, and I added it:


Eric’s Nail Fly:

Abdomen – strip of foam wrapped around the hook shank to form a segmented body

Wing – smoke raffia

Shell back – stick on fingernails – covered with nail polish of your choice

Thorax – Rubber legs, dubbing and strip of foam over the top


Finally, here is a link to a pistachio beetle recipe: