Ant flies are some of the easiest to tie of all trout flies, yet are extremely effective. During the later fall there are often days where there aren’t too many mayflies and stoneflies around. These are days where you might be surprised at how well these simple ant patterns can work. Of all the trout I have pumped this year I have found ants in almost every one. (more info on pumping a trouts stomach here)That should tell you just how popular these insects are to the trout. One downside is that many ant flies are hard to see. If you tie them with a bright parachute there should be no visibility issues. Here I will go over 2 basic types, the parachute ant and the Transpar-ant.
The Parachute ant is very simple to tie and is one of few ant patterns that are easy to see. If you use a yellow or pink poly parachute material, they should stick out really well.
Tying these Ant Fly’s are a Cinch!
This could not be any easier really, its a matter of making 2 large clumps of dubbing, tying a post of calf tail or poly (foam posts will also work well) and tying hackle around your chosen post or parachute material. This is basically a standard parachute fly, except the dubbing is separated into 2 clumps.
This is another very simple fly to tie and is extremely realistic looking.
The transpar-ant can also be tied on a larger hook using all black thread to imitate a carpenter ant. These are very common all over the nation.
5 minute epoxy
Silk thread in red and black
High quality hook
Start by making numerous wraps of the red thread on the back of this ant and doing the same on the front of the hook with the black silk thread. Make several wraps of each color.
Dab the epoxy onto the thread clumps and allow to dry.
Finish by tying in your black hackle.
Using the Ant patterns for Successful Fishing
Ants can be found crawling all over the riverbanks. You have likely experienced stepping on ant hills after getting out of the river for whatever reason. All over the western US you will find the river banks often covered with red and black ants similar looking to the transpar-ant. While throughout the whole US and canada carpenter ants are also found in large numbers. These flies are amazingly effective when fished below a chernobyl ant using a hopper dropper rig. Grassy banks in the summer will hold large numbers of ants and hoppers to keep trout active. Ants will often sink quickly when they hit the surface of the water, so fishing with a hopper and a sunken ant is a deadly strategy to use if these insects are present in your area. Using these simple ant fly patterns can really get you into some trout when fish are looking for them.
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