Beginner’s Fly Tying: Beck’s Super Beetle

View our instructional video for this lesson above or on your YouTube Channel. Chapter markers are available on YouTube.
Written instructions are also available below.

Session Overview

Our session for April 19 (7:00 PM) is an opportunity for our class participants to ‘step outside the box’ when it comes to learning to tie terrestrial fly patterns. For those not familiar with the term ‘terrestrials,’ this refers to a large group of insects which live predominantly all of their life cycle on land (i.e. terra fermi), as compared to ‘aquatic’ insects which live most of their life cycle in the water.

The terrestrial pattern which we will learn to tie is Beck’s Super Beetle, named after its originator, Cathy Beck* from central Pennsylvania. Cathy and her husband Barry are well known in the fly fishing community for their fly fishing travels around the world, with Cathy doing most of the fishing and Barry doing the photography. A quick search on the internet will bring a plethora of information about the Becks who, by the way, were very close friends of our long time club member and mentor, Lefty Kreh*.

I chose the Super Beetle as the fly for the April Beginner’s fly tying session for several reasons: (a) it is a very productive fly pattern which (when tied in varied sizes) can be used in fishing for a variety of freshwater species; (b) it is easy to tie and easily modified to represent other terrestrial insects, i.e. ants, hoppers, crickets; (c) and this pattern introduces our beginner fly tiers to the use of new materials, e.g. foam and rubber legs and their application to the fly hook. A quick scan of fly patterns on the internet will verify the extensive use of foam and rubber in the construction of a dozens of fresh and saltwater fly patterns.

* We are honored to have Cathy Beck as a member of the Friends of Lefty Kreh (FOLK) Advisory Committee.
By Don Fine