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Tiny Ants
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Tiny orange ants have been a favorite of mine for years when summer trout get picky. I first started using these guys in the slow water at Allenberry on the Yellow Breeches years ago. While it's certainly not necessary, I like to tie mine with spent wings. A single wing works fine too (most flying ants fold their wings over their backs like a stonefly) but I've always preferred two, usually using tiny hackle tips. Perhaps the fish take it for a midge? Usually, I'll search with a larger #16 foam beetle or hopper and when you find trout in flat water refusing the bigger terrestrials, try a tiny ant, the smaller the better. Orange or cinnamon color works well although plain black or brown are deadly too - just keep 'em small and not too thickly profiled. The photo shows some #24s.

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jpg  Fire Ants.jpg (96.37 KB)
26_4c7dbd058d238.jpg 479X528 px

Posted on: 2010/8/31 22:41


Re: Tiny Ants

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Very nice. I'll have to try and tie some of those. I love fishing Terrestrials. Thanks for the info.

Posted on: 2010/8/31 22:44
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Re: Tiny Ants

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I lash a piece of foam down twice to make three segments. Occasionally I add a wrap of griz hackle between segments. They work well down to 26, and float well.

Nice ties dave. I'll tie some up

Posted on: 2010/8/31 22:56


Re: Tiny Ants
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I had this discussion with Fishidiot when we fished together last week. Ants haven't been nearly as effective for me in the last season or two. I used to fish my size 18 foam (JayL style), dubbing or McMurray black ants and fool a ton of fish. Perhaps ants have become too popular with anglers and thus less popular with fish, I don't know.

Anyway I've been tying them smaller and tying some cinnamon ants which seem to be more effective. Also, a wet ant dropped of a small nymph can work well in the summer.

As many of you know, this time of year the ant "hatch" is on and the winged ants like FI tied can be killer.

Posted on: 2010/9/1 5:33


Re: Tiny Ants

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Thxs for sharing Dave you just reminded me that I'm short on ants and want to tie some up .

Posted on: 2010/9/1 8:39
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Re: Tiny Ants
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Thanks guys.
I agree with Afish that trout can become jaded to floating ant patterns, esp those in typical sizes #18-14. This is particularly, pronounced in reg waters that are heavily pressured like Yellow Br or Fishermen's Paradise. I first noticed this back in the 1980s when the McMurray Ant was so popular. (Since then, with the popularity of closed cell foam McMurray ant bodies have faded and I've met some FFers with a decade or less experience who have never seen one). Anyway, so many folks were throwing McM ants that the fish just seemed to get jaded. They'd eat 'em with gusto in May/June but by late July you had to switch to some other terrestrial or downsize your ants to very small.

Personally, I love foam and use it on virtually all my surface terrestrials now. However, in my experience, you get some diminishing returns with foam flies smaller than #20 and I often found that very small foam ants didn't float well for me and still maintain a slender profile. The photo below shows some of my ants. The foam fella on the lower right is a size #18 (still dwarfs the #24 red ant) and is my go-to ant pattern. The big one on the left is a wet ant. I like a glass bead for the head to give wet ants some weight to sink. This glass bead wet ant is a #14.

Of some note - notice the foam and wet ant are mixed brown and black. While all black ant flies are deadly, and most of my black micro ants are all black....if you take the time to look at many of the large carpenter ants common here in central PA, they are in fact different colors with black heads and thorax but brown abdomens. Don't know if trout really care about this distinction but I usually tie my bigger ants this way.

Attach file:



jpg  Ants.jpg (97.42 KB)
26_4c7e532ecd173.jpg 603X479 px

Posted on: 2010/9/1 9:24


Re: Tiny Ants

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I have had tons of success on WMD ants this year, but my black ants aren't working as well as usual. I am still having success with them, but some years (last year), they vacuum the trout up.

Posted on: 2010/9/1 9:29


Re: Tiny Ants

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Nice ties. I love fishin' the small stuff.

I prefer to use natural over foams...for no real reason other than it pleases me. I'm sure the majority of my dubbing is synth, but I like to use deer hair for the legs of the ant to give it a little more float.

Posted on: 2010/9/1 14:06


Re: Tiny Ants

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Related- (I have ants on the brain since I typed in ants instead of my user name-hehehe)

Have thought of the flying ant hatches lately.

How do you get a handle on them to at least increase your chances of being on the water when they may come off?

I heard early morning or late afternoon.

What types of water do they occur on?

Freestone,tailwater,limers??

Hummm

Posted on: 2010/9/1 14:20
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Re: Tiny Ants

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Paul,

I saw a few on the savage. No great numbers, but it's a start.

Posted on: 2010/9/1 14:26


Re: Tiny Ants

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FishIdiot - What are you using for the wings on your flying ants?

Posted on: 2010/9/1 14:36


Re: Tiny Ants
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The wings are ginger hackle tips.

Posted on: 2010/9/1 17:05


Re: Tiny Ants

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I've been fishing size 20 black fur alot the last few weeks and have been doing really well.

FI have you ever tried CDC instead of Hackle tips? I think that might work pretty well!

Posted on: 2010/9/2 10:44
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Re: Tiny Ants

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Quote:

Alpabuck wrote:

FI have you ever tried CDC instead of Hackle tips? I think that might work pretty well!


It does!

Posted on: 2010/9/2 15:05


Re: Tiny Ants
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Quote:

Alpabuck wrote:
I've been fishing size 20 black fur alot the last few weeks and have been doing really well.

FI have you ever tried CDC instead of Hackle tips? I think that might work pretty well!


I haven't tried CDC on small ants but I'd imagine this would be an excellent modification.

Posted on: 2010/9/2 15:23



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