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Author:  Dave M [ April 16th, 2018, 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Ants


My favorite terrestrial fly is always Ants. I’ve never had a whole lot of success with Beetles, and while Hoppers work well in certain circumstances out West, here in the east Hoppers, at least for me, are one small step above useless.

My favorite Ant pattern is a #16 Hi Vis Parachute Ant.....usually with a fluorescent yellow post so I can see it well........as Ants sit well down in the film, and are extremely difficult to pick up without that yellow or orange post.

I tied up a dozen this morning, about half all Black, about one quarter all red (brown) and one quarter half black and half red........some with wings and some without.

I also fish foam Ants......and Beetles, but neither are nearly as effective........at least for me.......as the Para Ants.

I tie Ants from huge #12’s through diminutive #22’s.......with 16’s hitting the sweet spot.......again, for me and where I fish.

Anybody have a favorite Ant pattern that they really like?

Dave M

Author:  Hunter [ April 16th, 2018, 1:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ants

Sunken ants work well also. I tie mine with a black glass bead as the front thorax.

Author:  Steve H. [ April 16th, 2018, 1:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ants

Dave M wrote:
here in the east Hoppers, at least for me, are one small step above useless.
Dave M

They work pretty well has a hex cripple. In fact, the recommended pattern from the woman working the Telos gate.

Author:  dryflie [ April 16th, 2018, 1:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ants

I love a Black, Red, Black body ant. Tie it with a post or with wings, the fish seem to love that body. Once, out west, fish were taking small ants and, of course, we had none. My buddy looked in his box, found a Royal Wulff, clipped the tail and most of the hackle and BAM it worked great. We tied Ants that evening and never saw another hatch all week.

The only time a hopper works for me is on Sourdnahunk in July. It's got to be Orange however.

Author:  1weight [ April 16th, 2018, 3:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ants

A basic fur flying ant. In 16-18 brown and 22-24 browns and black. The tiny ones seem to bring out the most finicky "smutting" trout.


Author:  Jeff Reardon [ April 16th, 2018, 3:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ants

Jewell's Bicolor Ant has been very effective for me in both the winged and unwinged versions. See them (and a bunch off other effective patterns) here.


I like fishing a plain unwinged ant 6-10 inches behind something I can see like a small hopper or a parachute Adams.

A version of the bicolor ant with a red or orange glass bead in front of the dubbed head is also money, either as a dropper behind a dry fly, or as a dropper off something like a Copper John or BHPT.

Size 16-20 for both the floating and sunk versions are effective.

I've also got a large and ugly pattern I use during the flying ant falls on Maine ponds that works well. Two black fur balls for body segments, a brown hackle between them about the mid point of the hook, and a pair of splayed Z-lon wings in brown. I tie it on a long shank "hopper" hook in size 12-14 and even 10. The abdomen should be dubbed oversized; the head much smaller.

Author:  Dave in Maine [ April 16th, 2018, 5:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ants

When you have overhanging branches/trees and it's after a rain, especially if the stream is off-color, fish a black #12 ant (no wings) damp, i.e., just below the surface, dead drift. I use a dot of indicator foam at the tippet knot to help see it. Fish key in on big ants the rain washed off trees and drowned.

Author:  maineangler [ April 16th, 2018, 8:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ants

I have had decent success with the only ant pattern I tie or use...Hans Weilenmann's winged ant. Wicked simple tie available on YouTube. Black dubbed body segments, with moose hair legs and a zelon wing. Rides low, like a drowning ant, and the zelon is plenty visible though I have not dropped below an 18 with these.

Author:  vintaged [ August 9th, 2018, 2:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ants

They work pretty well has a hex cripple. In fact, weight watchers points calculator the recommended pattern from the woman working the Telos gate.

Author:  Peter010786 [ August 9th, 2018, 4:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ants

I've done well at time with a Gallops Antacid... although that also looks a lot like a caddis, so I'm not convinced the fish are always taking it as an ant. I've never really fished any other ant patterns enough to know how well they work.


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