Summer is coming and it's time to stock up on the trinity of terrestrials; hoppers, beetles and ants. I think beetles are the most underrated of the three. There are all kinds of beetles in the great outdoors but I just tie them in black and tan size #14-18 because that's all you really need, with June bugs and Japanese beetles being my primary target species in size #14-16. I tie #18's in black only to represent a wide variety of the smaller beetles. Oh, and lady bugs too using this same simple pattern but with orange foam for the shellback and a Sharpe marker for the spots on a #18 hook.
All you need is some 2mm craft foam and some peacock quills. Use the foam to create the shellback and head and the peacock herl for the underbelly and legs... use some super glue in the process to hold things firmly in place and add a small thin piece of brightly colored foam for an indicator and your good to go.
A simple fly to tie and super effective. I fish these flys a lot with great results. When there's nothing hatching, try a beetle they are available to the trout throughout the summer so the fish see a lot of them. Funny, most fisherman seem to neglect using them. I've had more than one client turn their nose up when I've suggested tying on a beetle, that is until the fish rises and takes it.
side view - Notice everything is above the hook shank on this rather small size #18 hook, leaving as much of the hook gape available to the fish...