Designed by Harrison Steeves, III
Hook: Tiemco 2487, #8-12. This model hook works better than a standard wide gape dry fly hook for this pattern. The curvature of the hook allows plenty of room between the body and the hook point.
Thread: 6/0, color of choice
Body: Kreinik Foam Tying Disc 1/2" in color of choice, Kreinik Foam Tying Disc 1/4" in yellow or orange
Underbody: Kreinik Medium Braid in color to match 1/2" Disc
Legs: Use either fine or medium round rubber leg material in colors to either match or contrast with the body color, or use Kreinik 1/8" Ribbon in (#850) Mallard to form wings.
1.) Wrap the hook shank with thread back to a point just behind the eye of the hook. Tie in a piece of Kreinik Medium Braid. Wrap the braid to a point even with the bend of the hook, and then wrap forward to where you tied the braid in. Tie off, cut excess.
2.) Place 1/2" foam disc on top of the hook shank with the front of the disc extending just over the eye of the hook. About one quarter of the disc should be extending forward from the point at which the tying thread is positioned on the hook shank. The forward extending portion of the foam will thus form the head of the beetle. The remainder extending toward the rear, will form the body of the beetle.
3.) Fold the foam disc evenly over the hook shank and tie it down. At this point you should have a good head and body formed. Give it another ten or twelve tight wraps of thread so the body will not turn on the hook shank.
4.) Tie in the 1/4" disc at the same spot as the 1/2" disc. This disc serves as your ez viz indicator. A small amount of super glue can be applied to the underside of the finished fly if your fly bodies turn, but tight thread wraps are usually all that is necessary.
5.) Legs or wings can be tied in on the sides of the body and trimmed to appropriate length. I usually tie this beetle with wings no longer or just slightly longer than the body of the beetle. Once the legs or wings are tied in, whip finish and remove thread.
This pattern is a modification of the original Disc O’ Beetle featured in "Terrestrials 101" written by Harrison Steeves, III in the Winter 1996 issue of Fly Fish America. The Disc O’ Beetle is also available from Umpqua Feather Merchants.
This fly is purposely tied sparse. You can bet a trout have seen a lot of Wooley Buggers in their day and this pattern gives ‘em something to think about.
* 6/0 thread - Black
* 3x streamer hook
* Gold Bead 1/8 - 5/32
* Black marabou
* Kreinik Heavy #32 Braid
* Kreinik Flash In A Tube (006HL – Blue Hi Lustre
* Grizzly saddle hackle
Place the bead on your hook. You may need to crimp down the barb of the hook. Tie on your thread and wrap all the way to the curve of the hook.
Measure a piece of Marabou about the same length as the shaft of the hook. Use a pinch wrap to tie on the marabou. This forms the tail. Trim off the excess. Tie in 4-8 strands of the Kreinik Flash In A Tube around the tail, and trim them to the same size as the tail.
Tie the Kreinik Heavy #32 Braid & a saddle hackle feather at the tail. Tightly wrap the braid (not the hackle) forward to a point just behind the hook eye. Tie off the braid, and trim the excess.
Wrap the hackle forward, and secure it at the head. Trim the excess, and add a whip finish to the fly.
Fishing These Flies:
The great thing about Wooley Buggers is that there is no wrong way to fish this fly. Add some weight to the fly or use a sink tip line to get you fly down deep and dead drift it. Use the same technique and strip it. Add even more weight to your tippet and bounce it along the bottom. Try an un-weighted version to fish along the surface and strip the fly in. This fly simply produces whether you are fishing the smallest mountain stream, large impoundments even in saltwater.