I first seen Jack Dennis tie up this pattern a few years back, explaining the origins of the fly and it’s success at the 1999 Jackson Hole One Fly contest. This is another video featuring Juan Ramirez from the Hopper Juan. Juan knows his way around the hoppers and is magic with foam, deer hair and rubber legs. I’ve seen a few people tie up this pattern and it often looks quite anorexic when completed. I like the way Juan completes his flies, nicely trimmed foam, proportionate legs and a full hair wing. Keep up the nice binding.
Hook: 3 XL #4-8
Thread: Tan 6/0
Under body: Tan foam, ¼’ wide strip
Over body: Brown foam, wider strip than under body
Rear legs: Brown rubber
Hackle: Grizzly or Brown, undersized
Body: Red Krystal Chenille
Wing: Light elk hair over optional small clump of pearl Krystal Flash
Thorax: Ice dubbing
Wing case: Over Body foam pulled back and tied down
Legs: Brown rubber
This large buoyant fly makes for an excellent indicator fly and will float a small arsenal of droppers off the tail end. Richard Strolis ties up some great looking flies and if you are a fan of the Chernobyl Ant, this one should be right up your alley. I’m really starting to hate winter, and I just can’t wait until spring, so tying flies is a great way to pass some time. The fly is fairly simple, and variations can be made with a couple color swaps.
There has been a steady rise of tyers who replicate trout food with as much accuracy as possible. I’m always amazed by the detail and realistic appearance that they achieve. Fred G. Hannie has a nice collection of realistic flies on his site as well as some tying tutorials. Here is the link to his Ant. The ant is “simple” by realistic standards, and so it is a good first step for those wanting to try it out. Click here for the realistic Ant fly tying tutorial.