Fat Head Beetle

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Quote, Dennis Porter: "The Fat Head Beetle is one of the most important signature bugs I've ever created. There are 350 species of beetles in the Midwest; in the United States, there are almost 4,000 different species. And there are literally thousands of other species of insects that have that basic shape. My theory is that if you catch a fish on that pattern, it probably ate the fly because of its shape, not because it was eating specifically beetles."


Hook:Tiemco 1001 Size 12 to 16Beetle
Thread:Black 8/0
UnderBody:Peacock Herl
Body and Head:1/8-Inch thick open cell foam.
Wings:Slate or white EP Fibers
Legs:Black rubber legs
Indicator:Fluorescent Egg Yarn

Tying Instructions

  1. Lay down a thread base and tie in the foam and Peacock Herl.
  2. Build a body with Herl to the 2/3s point of the hook.
  3. Bring the foam up to that point and tie off.
  4. Add legs, wings and egg yarn indicator to that point.
  5. Adjust the legs and wings to the proper position on the sides of the body.
  6. Bring the foam up to the hook eye, leave a little extra material to create the shape for the fat head.
  7. Tie off the foam leaving enough room to finish the head.
  8. Whip finish and cement.
  9. Super glue can be used to secure the foam body if needed.

Fishing Techniques

This simple little beetle should be presented as any other dry pattern. It will float high and can be worked under and round overhanging branches and under cut banks. When it does get wet it will sit lower in the film thus the reason for the indicator. Just lay it out there and let it do its thing. Apply a little action, a twitch a short jerk occasionally and you will be surprised at the results.