Terrestrial flies – Ants that catch fish

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These ants are considered lately more efficient than those tied on classic hooks with straight hook shanks . The curved shape also called grub shape or caddis shape type of hook, especially Demmon DGS 900BL    gives a nice look more close to the anatomical shape of insects. Ok a good observer will tell you that an ant will stay straight on the water and will try to swim. Of course he is right but from the statistic point of view an ant will swim only a few seconds then will dye. So when  the insect dye  the body position is bend – very well imitated with caddis fly hook shapes.

Another advice is to keep the flies simple, use thread for making bodies and just a few turns of hackle. Sometime is better to strip the barbs from one side of the feather in order to provide a clean  look. Sometime  a bushy fly,  tied with more hackle will  work better after a Summer rain when the level of the river will increase and will wash away the insects from the river bank. A bushy hackle will help the fly to float longer and will ride well on the water.  When the rivers are low and the water is crystal clear then an ant tied with one or 2 turns of hackle will do the job. Keep in mind that the ants have only 6 legs and the water print or also called insect silhouette should be  well marked.

simple fly fishing ant by Lucian











simple  black winged ant















Bellow  the ant is tied with CDC hackle  and is dedicated for very slow flowing rivers where fish are highly educated and know very well the artificial flies. The CDC used for hackle seems to fool the fish more often than a classic rooster hackle.

black  and with cdc hackle


Bellow is the same fly tied with rooster hackle but for fast flowing rivers like Alpine torrents.

dark brown winged ant


black ant with white wings


These flies are available  for those who want to buy them on  trotline fly fishing shop

  • Jerry
    October 24, 2015

    Very cool! Here’s another tip. For skeinang in a whip finish under a parachute on a dry flies, nothing works better than the good old fashion Bic pen. Remove the ball point and ink and settle the head of the pen right against the eye. Tie in a hand whip finish over the tapered tip, sliding it over the eye of the hook. Works particularly well on small parachutes.

  • Jimmyanderson
    October 30, 2016

    What are u using in material for the ant flys I do make some flys mostly streamers like to make some smaller flys

    • Lucian Vasies
      November 1, 2016

      It is simple, I use for making ants only threads usually and one or 2 turns of hackle. Sometimes I make the body using peacock quill. Coating with head cement or UV resin and that is it. Wing is optional, you can use synthetic material like zink or just one ot two CDC feathers

  • B.Payne
    May 30, 2024

    I use a mix of hackle fibres and cdc in a split thread for ant legs.

    • Lucian Vasies
      May 31, 2024

      Thanks for the comment, yes, it is a good way to imitate the ant legs and it looks really realistic and nice 🙂

  • Bill Payne
    June 17, 2024

    I also use liquid electrical tape over thread for ant bodies.

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