The iridescent green beetle is a excellent imitation of the Manuka beetle. These beetles hatch over summer (November – February) and trout feed actively on them. They are widespread across New Zealand and are an important favourite forage species for trout, especially in the central North Island area.

Unlike the Brown Beetle, the Manuka Beetle is active during day light hours when the wind will blow them onto the water – sometimes in great numbers.

The key feature of this pattern is the iridescent wing case. This is the supernormal releaser, or trigger, that trout feasting on Manuka beetles lock in on.

The material used to construct the wing case is green iridescent foil on spandex fabric. This is often used in flower arranging. For more information click on:- Iridescent film

 iridescent foil

The full pattern is:-

Hook type: Kamasan B170 or Tiemco 921

Hook size: 12 -14

Thread: Danville Thread Mono cord 3/0 Brown – this is stronger thread so is good for handling the deer hair. Danville 210 is an alternative.

Body: Dyed Brown Deer Body Hair or Brown Glister.

Wing case: Green iridescent foil on spandex fabric.

Hackle: Brown neck or micro saddle hackle.

The tying instructions are:-

  • Wind thread evenly along hook shank.
  • Cut iridescent foil fabric to a elongated football shape (ends should be shaped to a point – see below) and tie in. Make sure that there is sufficient width to cover the body at the midpoint.

elongated football

  • Select some brown Deer Body Hair to make the body. Remove light down and stack.
  • Lay a small bunch of the deer hair across the hook at the rear of the fly and wind some thread around it. First wrap loose, second wrap tighter. As you do this let the hair spin around the hook and it should splay out in all directions. Push the hair back out of the way and add another bunch in front keep adding it till you have built up the body. On smaller flies like these it is easier to use shorter lengths of hair.
  • Clip the deer hair away to shape the body in that round beetle shape. A rotary vice makes this job easier.
  • Once the body is shaped tie in the hackle. About three winds is all that is required.
  • Tie off the hackle then holding it down out of the way bring the Green iridescent foil forward over top and tie that in. One little tip here is to use a sharp blade to cut off the excess instead of scissors as the blade will give a closer cut.
  • Form head. Coat head and wing case with UV epoxy.

Manuka beetle


  1. Alan

    I would like to speak to you about black-and-white photograph of yours. I am an instructor for the Yellowstone institute in Yellowstone National Park and I would like your permission to use your photograph in some of my materials.

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