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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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