Grillos’ Hamburgler – Andrew Grillos

Andrew is a signature tyer for Idylwilde Flies and ties some wicked cool flies. This is the first Grillos fly highlighted here on FrankenFly, but Andrew has already agreed to send more of his creations this way. For guided trips, fly tying lessons, and fly casting lessons Andrew Grillos can be contacted at:



Like many of my flies the Hamburgler was created to fill an empty niche in my fly boxes.  I always liked fishing beetles and never really came across a pattern that was buoyant, durable, and easy to see.  I began messing around with a two layer foam beetle.  The first versions had no wing and fished great, but I had a tough time seeing them.  I love to add neon pink mcflylon into my flies whenever possible because I think it’s one of the best indicator post materials around.  It’s buoyant and bright!  By adding the little neon pink wing to my beetle I turned what’s typically a tough to see pattern into a beetle that just about any angler can fish effectively regardless of their skill (or vision) level.

The hot pink wing may seem kind of loud to some anglers, but you must remember which side of the fly the trout is looking at.  They don’t really even know that bright wing is on there since fish just see the underside of the fly.  The name Hamburgler is just a funny name that really doesn’t have any thing to do with the pattern.  The other name that I considered for the fly was The Pinkeye Beetle, but for some reason Hamburgler stuck!

This pattern has been a great producer for me here in Washington as well.  I’ve got quite a few small streams that are within 90 minutes of Seattle where we can catch dozens of small trout in a day trip.  Creeks that are perfect for fiberglass 3 weights and smallish, durable, foam dry flies.


FLY NAME:    The Hamburgler (foam beetle)

SIZE:    12 and 16
Material Specs:

Hook:    TMC 3761
Thread:    UTC GSP 100, Black
Underbody:    Peacock Ice Dub
Body:    2mm foam, black
Overbody:    2mm foam, black
Legs:    fine round rubber, black
Wing:    neon pink mcflylon
Head:    Overbody foam, tied down to hook eye then pulled back over
Eyes:    medium round rubber, neon pink

Special Tying Instructions:   
The underbody layer of foam should be cut slightly narrower than the hook gap and tied in segmented style (segmented just like the fat caddis’ underbody).  The overbody foam should be about equal to or slightly (slightly!) wider than the hook gap.

Below is a client putting the Hamburgler into action!


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