Crowe Beetle

Printable Version


The pattern was developed by Peter Maier for use on Pennsylvania's limestone creeks.  In developing the pattern, Paul wanted something iridescent like a beetle; something the color of a beetle; something that gave the beetle buoyancy; something that gave it a beetle shape; and, had the pronounced legs of a beetle.  The pattern he developed is known as the Oriental Crowe Beetle.  An article on the Crowe Beetle can be found in the 1994 issue of American Angler.

Jerry Jarosik, a member of Ozark Fly Fishers and Master Fly Tier popularized the pattern and is often busy tying the pattern for friends.  The pattern is used across the country with great success when terrestrials are on the water.  This is not an easy tie and will take some time to master.


Hook:Tiemco 100 Size 14
Thread:Black 8/0
Shell:Black Deer Hair
Underbody:Black Closed Cell Form 1/8 inch(Cut into strip of 1/8 inch X 1/8 inch)
Legs:Peacock Herls
Body:Peacock Herl
Glue:Flexament (Use a glue that dries fast and hard)

Tying Instructions

  1. Mount the hook and tie the thread on behind the eye and wrap down the shank to just about the point.  Spiral wrap the thread forward to one eye length behind the eye.
  2. Tie on three strips of the foam (one on top of the hook shank and one on each side of the hook shank) with the long ends pointing towards the rear.
  3. Bring the thread under the strips and spiral wrap it to a point above the hook point. Lift the three strips of foam and lay a bead of flexament along the thread.
  4. Lay the three strips parallel to the shank and tie them at a point on the shank directly above the hook point and half hitch.
  5. Cut off the strips of foam as close to the half hitch as reasonable.  Lay a thread base over the foam ends.
  6. With a razor blade, trim off the top and bottom of the foam to form flat surfaces (be careful to not cut the thread).
  7. Put a layer of flexament on the foam and thread.
  8. Cut a small clump of deer hair, clean out the short hairs and fur.  Stack the deer hair in a hair stacker to even the ends.  Tie the deer hair onto the shank behind the foam with the butts of the deer hair extending over the foam and the points to the rear.  Tie the deer hair onto the shank back to a point above the barb.
  9. Select and prepare six peacock herls.  These should be long and have significant herl on both sides of the stem.  Cut off the bare butt of the herl and with about ¾ to 1" of the butt facing over the eye of the hook shank, tie in the herl from the barb to behind the foam.  The herl ends over the eye will become the legs.
  10. Make two wraps of the herl above the barb.  From the six strands pointing over the eye, pull two strands of peacock herl back and make two wraps in front of these strands (this forms the back legs).  Again, pull two more strands of herl back and make two wraps in from of them (middle legs have been formed).  Once again, pull back the remaining two strands of herl and make two wraps of herl in from of them (front legs have been formed).  Tie off the herl and be sure there is sufficient room to tie off the deer hair.
  11. Lay another base of flexament and then bring the deer hair forward over the top of the beetle.  Tie off the deer hair.  Lift the deer hair and make several wraps between the deer hair and the eye of the hook (this should lift the deer hair into the air away from the eye).
  12. Lay a coat of flexament over the deer hair.
  13. With a flat instrument, place it under the fly for support and with your thumb flatten the fly body.  Don't be afraid to apply a lot of pressure to make the fly flat.
  14. Apply another coat of flexament over the deer hair and on the thread tie off.  Cut the deer hair hanging over the eye to form a head.

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The beetle also can be tied using brown deer hair and can be tied in various sizes.  Because the beetle can be hard to see in the water, a bright colored spot can be placed on the beetle's back or yarn can be used to help site the beetle.


Fishing Techniques

The pattern is best fished when terrestrials are on the water - July, August and September. Cast the fly to sighted fish or to a likely lie. Plop the beetle on the water seems to attract fish for some distances. Strikes can be vicious. Click on the picture for a video of fishing the beetle.