Wet Ant
Tied by: Bill Trublubug Southeastern PA, US
Bill Trublubug

Bill Trublubug
6 months ago

About as easy as they come. They catch trout all year long no matter what depth you are fishing.

Two thread bumps with a narrow “waist” and two (no more) turns of hackle.

Bill Trublubug
6 months ago

Doesn’t need the shine but it does dress up the appearance. Before UV resin, it took multiple coats of head cement, now it’s fast and easy. Forgot to suggest you add the resin prior to wrapping the hackle especially on the smaller sizes.

Martsu
6 months ago

Really tasty snack for trout ,in the sunligt it shines deliciously and irresistibly 🎣.Cool masterpiece Bill 👍

Bill Trublubug
6 months ago

I think you used the exact word I wanted to convey regarding how effective this little fly is “irresistible” @Tuononen I’ve been convinced for a long time that trout are “genetically programmed” to eat ants. It’s the silhouette created by the tiny middle waist between the two “bumps” that gets the trout. Whether they are tied to be fished below the surface (drowned) or tied with foam or balsa bumps, this silhouette just gets them. Hope you will try a few and see for yourself. I’ve had fish who were feeding like veritable pigs on a specific mayfly or caddis hatch turn and chase down an ant pattern that had the correct silhouette. Similarly, I’ve had winter time trout who would only eat tiny chironomid larvae fished deeply, just attack an ant pattern like this one. I’ve also found that color means nothing to the trout. I experimented with ants of virtually every color and found that a pink or chartreuse ant with the right silhouette worked just as well as a more naturally colored black or cinnamon one. Size sometimes matters but again, not that much in my experience. While “matching” the correct size when fishing mayflies or caddis dry flies is critical, an ant many times larger than the naturals still catches the trout. Well that’s the epistle on ants from Bill. I almost always choose an ant pattern to accompany any pattern when I’m “searching” for the fly of the day. Thank you for the compliment.

Todd Osborn
6 months ago

I need to get into using UV products but for now I’m mastering my tying techniques. Nice ant 👍🏻

Bill Trublubug
6 months ago

@ToddyOzzy80 Hi Todd. Thanks for the compliment on the ant. If you want to try this ant pattern, you can use head cement instead of the resin. Build the two body bumps with thread and start the slow process of adding coats of the head cement prior to adding the hackle. Takes time but the pattern looks the same as using resin. I hate epoxy but using thin coats of epoxy works too. It’s just hard to keep the epoxy from running and ruining the silhouette. Finally, since UV resin isn’t cheap, check out the dollar stores for a pen like applicator of UV resin. I posted a photo here of an example titled (surprise) UV resin. It has a built in light and costs (again, surprise) a whole dollar.

Luke Smith
6 months ago

Do you have any suggestions on patterns to tie using turkey feathers? I just received a whole lot and looking for ways to use them...

Joseph Chavez
6 months ago

Does he float or sink??

Bill Trublubug
6 months ago

@kookie rivers Hi Joseph. This one is meant to sink slowly and move with the current like a drowned ant. I also like to fish it’s almost twin that has a foam or floating body. They look exactly the same but the materials (thread for the wet version or foam for the dry version) are different.

Bill Trublubug
6 months ago

@kookie rivers Check out my post called Kiss Ant posted years ago for a floating, foam based cinnamon colored ant. I now use UV resin for the shine.

Bill Trublubug
6 months ago

@coolhandwilliam Luke, you can use turkey for many patterns. Most hopper patterns use turkey for the wing and of course there is the famous muddler minnow in all its variations. Many classic salmon flies use turkey feather slips in their wings and you can make a great simple little nymph substituting turkey feather fibers for pheasant tail. They make great wingcases for stonefly patterns. Too many options to keep listing. These few should get you started. LOL

Nate Julich
6 months ago

Hey Bill, have you tried using dubbing instead of the thread on the body segments think the sink rate would be faster or slower. Would you fish this as a dropper or on an indicator rig.

Bill Trublubug
6 months ago

@nthnjulich Hi Nate. Yes, for sure on the dubbing question. It’s a bit more effort to make an even bump with dubbing but that’s the way I started fishing ants back in the Paleozoic era (LOL). Depending on the type of dubbing you choose, you can get any sink rate (or floating if you prefer) you desire. I started tying floating dubbed ants due to their prevalence on my “wooded” streams. Somewhere along the line I switched to McMurray Ants (floating balsa wood bumps) as per Ed Suteyn. These were infinitely superior to the dubbed ants. Again, the critical issue is the silhouette (tiny waist between bumps). Could go on and on about my ant “experiments” regarding size, color, wet vs dry, round vs square bumps, etc. Won’t bore you with details of decades of testing. What makes them strike is the silhouette/profile and the narrow waist is the key. Hope you give the “ants a chance” regardless of materials you choose. I fish the wet versions on a dropper or tied directly to a floating fly used as a strike indicator. When fishing the dry version, I usually tie the ant to a tippet and the tippet to the hook bend of a high floating pattern like a foam beetle. Hard to see black ants at 30-40 feet or more.

Bill Trublubug
6 months ago

Should have added, the variant I now use of the dry McMurrray ant is made of foam. The balsa wood pattern was too time consuming for me. Foam works just as well and is much faster to tie.

Luke Smith
6 months ago

@trublubug thank you

Nate Julich
6 months ago

@trublubug thank you for the info, glad we have knowledgeable people to help us out.

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Uploaded 6 months ago
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