Friday Fly Day - Beetles, but where?

So from the sounds of it, the green / manuka beetle are emerging in great numbers throughout the country, and they certainly are here in the south. Smaller than the brown beetle, the manuka beetle presents a high country smorgasbord and as always, the Manic Fly Collection has you covered...

One problem however exists... how DO you see these tiny size 16 film flies in often joggly, or just straight up heavy backcountry water? My best tip is to slow down your rotation and watch your loop unroll. Track it out to the drop of the fly and you're in... however sometimes you simply need to see your fly on the water so here are a few more tips...

Post it:

Humpy Fly

Quite simply, put a post on it. The Para Improved Green Humpy is a great pattern for high country beetle chompers and the bushy white post provides the vis in most conditions.

Foam Manuka Beetle

The Foam Manuka Beetle has a more subtle sillouhette than the para improved humpy and a white, high viz post and is perfect for the softer edge waters where fish can often examine your fly a little closer.

True Green Beetle

The True Green beetle comes into its own when the trout are examining everything, closely. The small, super realistic prey image and natural hard shell can dupe the most wily browns, yet in riffly water, many clients lose track of this petite, deadly fish catcher.


Switched on Queenstown guide, Simon Wilkinson has a very practical solution... fish your tiny beetle on a short dropper behind a high viz pattern. If you see a rise within a foot of your hi viz dry, strike. If your 'indicator dry' stops or pulls, strike. If your indicator dry gets eaten, mate - just strike... with the appropriate delay of course.

Rene's Killer Klink

In smooth or subtle water a hi viz parachute pattern such as Mirfs BLT, Renes Killer Klink, or the Hi Viz Para Adams will get the job done and remain inconspicuous on the water.

Swishers PMX Peacock

In jogglier water a blowfly, wulff or Guide Chute Hares Ear will catch the eye more readily, while in heavier pocket water and faster runs, stimulators, hoppers and Simons personal favourite, the Swishers PMX Peacock not only allows you to track your tiny beetle behind, but provides a juicy alternative for the trout.

Bonus tip from Wilki: "heres a tip - I do the same with tiny willow grubs, and no see 'em spent spinners too. Shh. Don't tell everyone.