Al Campbell, Field Editor

June 7th, 2004

Shwapf Beetle

Al Campbell

Sometimes adding a touch or two to an old fly is all it takes to get another fly that works just as well or better than the first. This is especially true if you are targeting another type of fish than the first fly was designed for. This particular fly is one of those cases.

First tied for the Idaho Fish-In, it was designed to catch cutthroat trout who were looking for something big and didn't have a lot of time to make up their mind. Then, I tried them on bluegills, and found out that bluegills love them. I haven't tried them on anything else, but I would bet on other fish liking them as well.

This fly is nothing more than a Shwapf fly tied with a different body. The body consists of orange punch yarn twisted (with the help of Magic Tools) with a stiff antron material to create a two-toned, rough body. The look of the body could be anything from a caddis, to a stonefly, to a beetle. The hair gives enough movement and floatation to keep the fly attractive while it moves in or on the water.

I doubt I need to talk anymore about the specifics of the fly or how it is used. However, I do need to show you how it is tied. So, without any further delays, here it is.

Scwapf Beetle Materials:

  • Hook: Any standard dry fly hook. I'm using a size 12 Mustad 94840 dry fly hook.

  • Tail: None.

  • Body: A twisted strand of orange punch embroidery yarn and black antron.

  • Thread: 6/0 - Orange monocord.

  • Back and Wing: Red squirrel tail fibers.

Tying steps Scwapf Beetle:

    1. Start the thread.

    2. Add a few dozen hairs from a fox squirrel tail, tied in by the tips.

    3. Add a loop of punch embroidery yarn by tying the open ends to the hook.

    4. Select some dark (in this case black) antron fibers and lay them across the largest table of a Magic Tools set.

    5. Push them down into the table with a wire.

    6. Now, clamp the ends of the fibers and remove them from the table.

    7. Then clip the loop from the fibers.

    8. Place the fibers between the strands that form the punch embroidery yarn loop.

    9. Then twist the fibers and yarn into a heavy chenille. I like to use a rotary vise for this and the next few steps since it is much easier to control.

    10. Wrap the "chenille" around the hook, paying attention to not wrapping down too many of the fibers.

    11. Wrap it forward leaving enough room for a head.

    12. Then, tie the yarn off and start the head area.

    13. Now, start trimming the fibers close to the body.

    14. Rotate the vise or hook so you can trim it all the way around the hook.

    15. Leave the body hackles fairly coarse and rough.

    16. Then, pull the hair over the top of the hook, and tie it down behind the hook eye.

    17. Next, flare the hair back over the body and tie it down behind the hook eye.

    18. Then, whip finish and cut the thread.

    19. Finally, remove the fly from the vise and even up the hair at the back of the fly. Your final fly should look something like this.

I doubt you'll have any problems if you try to expand on this idea. I think you'll find it is an easy fly to tie, and one the fish will go after without hesitation. Well, at least cutthroat trout and bluegills do. ~ AC

Previous Al Campell Columns

If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice