Fly Tying: Beetles and Minnows

The beauty of fly fishing is that it can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be. There is nothing more satisfying than catching a fish on a fly you tied yourself. Since I was snowed in today, I took the time to dig into my fly tying boxes and practice a few patterns.

The first pattern I tackled was a super simple minnow imitation. The recipe is simple: White marabou, a piece of ball chain for the eyes and white thread. This fly is my go to pattern when I fly fish for skipjack shad in the Ohio River. But it is also a great pattern to work for large panfish and small largemouth in midsummer.

skipjack fly gif

The other pattern I played around with was a simple beetle pattern. Nothing new here, just foam, ostrich herl, turkey feather and white thread. It may not be a pretty pattern, but I have taken my limit of bluegill on this pattern many times. This dry fly pattern works from the start of spring right through late fall during hopper season.

bluegill fly

With the amount of ice on the lakes right now there is no chance to try out these patterns, but they have worked before and I trust they will work again. If this weather keeps up I just might have the chance to catch a few fish through the ice (fingers crossed).