CB's Japanese Beetles

 above photo: Provided by Debbi T. Walker an Ohio Photographer. 
Debbi is a talented outdoor photographer who loves to take pictures of insects, animals, and landscapes and often shoots photography around the Mad River and Cedar Bog.

In the heat of the summer many fish hunker down during the day and will pass up the occasional Caddis, midge, or ant floating overhead. Often fish conserve energy for a larger more nourishing food item. During the summer months fish want to conserve energy and exert themselves only for the most significant meal. 
This is called the “Pounds Per Meat Law” again the least amount of energy is expelled for the most nourishment possible. This should be the mid-summer mantra for both fishers and fish!  Large ants are another food item that fish will come off of the bottom for during the midday sun and heat.

Japanese Beetles are one of those items on the surface menu that will spark a fishes interest when nothing else seems to work. Rises to beetles can be vicious and lightning fast by both large and smaller trout. This pattern has saved my summer days on the stream time and time again especially when its hot or windy on the river.

This Japanese Beetle pattern is one I have refined over the years and even have changed up since the advent of some better synthetics. Sheet foam over the years has become more accessible as far as thicknesses and color range.

I'm particular about foam thickness as much as I am about feathers and color ranges. Hopefully this pattern will serve you well as a close imitation to the naturals. This particular pattern is always in my vest from July through October.

CB's Japanese Beetle
Thread~ Veevus 14/0 Black
Hook~ TMC 531 #14
Body~ Beaver Belly Dubbing
            Peacock Herl x3 strands
            Uni Wire Fine green
Wing Case~ Loco Foam Beetle Green
Rear Legs~ Knotted Black or green Pheasant Tail
Front Legs~ Black Hackle Collar x3 wraps

1) Near the hook bend:
Tie in Green Loco foam a .25" wide segment.
Tie in 2 to 3 strands of peacock herl.
Tie in Green Uni Wire.

2) Begin by dubbing black Beaver Belly into an egg or football shape to create the profile of the beetles abdomen. Now wrap the Peacock Herl covering 1/2 of the hook shank over the dubbing profile. Now wrap the Uni wire in the opposite direction that you wrapped the Peacock Herl. Now tie in 4 knotted pheasant tail legs, two on each side of the hook. the Legs should extend about .125" behind the hook bend. The tie in point fore the legs is right in front of your abdomen. See all images below.

3) Now pull Loco Foam over entire abdomen section and make 4-5 tight wraps while pinching foam between your index finger and thumb. Snip off tag end of foam and secure down tightly. Now you will have a defined wing case segment. Tie in black hackle in front of tied off section of foam. Now wrap black hackle 4-5 turns. This will imitate the front legs and give the fly more stability.

4) Build up a thorax section using black dubbing in front of hackle collar.Make sure you do not crowd the hook eye. This is actually the hardest part when tying this fly, get your proportions correctly early on and the whip finish will not leave you spewing explatives.

5) Waterproof the fly with CDC floatant. I recommend this because float foams react to chemicals in many floatants and you may cause the finish on the Loco Foam to melt.

         ~Clint Bova