Project Description

Snoball Beetle

Pattern Description:

The Sno Ball Beetle is another great pattern from Dennis Collier. Dennis is simply one of the most creative tyers I know and is a pleasure to watch tie and fish with. Dennis developed this fly as a smaller more streamlined version of the popular Chernobyl Ant, for use up in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Sno Ball is a great ‘guide fly’; quick and easy to tie, durable and super buoyant. The trout up in the Park go nuts for it and it has proven its worth on more pressured waters like the South Platte, the San Juan and the Blue. We have also found Denny’s bug to be a killer on mountain lakes and ponds. I used this pattern on the Frying Pan earlier this summer during a heavy baetis hatch and absolutely pounded them with it…keep this in mind, that’s all I’m gonna say.
Dennis has a very specific pattern set up for making the foam body blanks. He uses a jig set up with triangulated measurements to cut the bodies to the appropriate size for their respective hook. Dennis was kind enough to provide me with a chart of the sizes which is as follows:
Size 16 Hook-1/2″ Long X 1/8″ Wide
Size 14 Hook-5/8″ Long X 3/16″ Wide
Size 12 Hook- 3/4″ Long X 1/4″ Wide
Size 10 Hook- 7/8″ Long X 5/16″ Wide
Twist up some Sno Balls and give them a try this season. They work so well they’ll make you SHIVER! Why do you think Dennis’ hair is so white?

Materials Needed:

Hook: TMC 3769 #10-16
Thread: 3/0 Monocord, Black
Body: 2mm Black Foam
Legs: Small Round Black Rubber Legs
Indicator: White Deer Belly Hair
Glue: Zap-A-Gap

Step 1

Attach thread and wrap a base back to the bend. Return the thread to the mid-point on the shank.

Step 2

Start with a piece of foam of the appropriate length for the hook size. (See Recipe) Cut the ends of the foam in a long taper on the rear end and a shorter taper on the front as shown.

Step 3

Tie the foam in with the front end just slightly in front of the hook eye. Bind the foam to the hook at the midpoint with one tight turn of thread but be careful not to cut the foam with the thread.

Step 4

Tie in two non-separated strands of rubber with two turns of thread on the far side of the body in the joint created by the foam tie down wraps.

Step 5

Tie in another double strand of rubber along the near side of the hook in the body joint with two more wraps of thread.

Step 6

Pull the front end of the foam back and advance the thread to two eye lengths behind the hook eye.

Step 7

Form another body joint by binding the foam down again. Be sure that the thread wraps are straight across the top of the foam and not angled.

Step 8

Cut and clean a small clump of deer belly hair from the hide. There is no need to stack it, as the tips will be clipped off later. Cut the butt ends square and place them atop the second thread joint. Make two wraps over the hair and pull down tight on the thread.

Step 9

Flare the hair on top of the foam body by pulling straight down on the thread.

Step 10

Pull the tip ends of the hair up and trim them even with the butt ends. Lift the foam head and bring the thread to just behind the hook eye.

Step 11

Whip finish the thread behind the eye and under the foam head.

Step 12

Pull the rubber legs into position so they are directly along the sides of the body.

Step 13

Separate the legs and trim them to length. They should be about equal to the hook gap.

Step 14

Invert the fly in the vise and apply a layer of Zap-A-Gap to the thread wraps along the bottom of the fly.

Step 15

Finished fly, side view.

Step 16

Finished fly, top view.

Step 17

Dennis’ Fly on right, my fly on the left. Not bad…