Suggestions for ant patterns for a beginner tyer?

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PaScoGi

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Want to tie some ant patterns, I heard they are effective.

Any easy recommendations with you tube links? Preferably top water only. I know there is a sunken ant pattern that works great but I am a dry guy (especaiilly this time of year) and want to catch a trout on an ant pattern.

Thanks for any help. The March BRown suggestions were helpful and I just tied up a half dozen of them.
 
redietz

redietz

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This is a real easy one:

Foam ant

Most people don't bother with the middle segment, though.

If you're up to a bit more of a challenge, google "parachute ant".
 
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Fish Sticks

Fish Sticks

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Tan mop fly black fuzzy brushed dubbing collar. No weight. Can tight line on drop shot, suspend under indicator with shot 2” up from hook, or swing like a wet fly with some added weight. If tour foing to fish at night Palmer some partridge on front to push a little water. Tie small to imitate caddis tie big to imitate crane fly.
 
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JinxPA

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Tony Marasco who used to run the Fly tyers Vice in Pittsburgh taught us to Tye a floating ant made from black deer hair. Cut the deer hair from the hide and bind it to the rear of the hook shank tip pointing rearward. wind the thread forward a bit to make your first segment, this should be larger than the remaining 2 segments. Fold the hair forward and bind it down make a nice ball at the rear of the ant. wind forward a bit and repeat the fold and bend to form a smaller thorax area, i guess you'd call it that. Leave 4-5 strands free on each side for legs and wind thread to eye repeat fold and bind to form a neat head trim excess off at head and whip finish or use half hitches. These are fragile but in my experience the more they get beat up the better they seem to work and they float forever with a little Gink rubbed in. My biggest Brown was caught on Little Mahoning after bouncing it off a deflector pole and toppled into the water he was hiding under. Hope this helps you.
 
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JinxPA

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Here is link to a you tube video pretty much the same but he ties the legs in differently.
 
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PaScoGi

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Thanks all love this website
 
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RLeep2

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A large (#10-12) deer hair ant has been my go to searching pattern from mid-May on when there are no other significant bugs around, which is most of the time. The middle hump is nice, but not necessary. Two humps with a decent waist and a few legs on each side is all you need. Plop it down along the bank or tight to cover. Mine usually lasted 7-8 fish before it turned into a bristly hair brush and a lot of the plop is lost due to decompression of the mass. I keep the spent ones in a box by the bench and shave them with a disposable razor and re-use the hook. They're easy to make and even a 10-thumbed tier like me can make a dozen or more an hour. You can get a few more fish per fly by coating the finished fly with Sally Hansen or whatever cement you favor.

If I could only have one surface fly for the period from mid-May on on smaller to medium trout water anywhere I've ever been from Vermont to Oregon to North Carolina to Wisconsin and PA, it would be this ant.
 
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dryflyguy

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I'll second the deer hair ant - (and beetle too)
Really think they work better than foam.
They look buggier to me. And the plop may have something to do with it also.

Jinx - I also learned to tie at Tony Marasco's shop
 
laurelrun

laurelrun

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I like Ken's Crazy Ant:
It's an easy tie with cheap materials. I've also tied a wet version with a few wraps of lead and rubber legs instead of hackle. If you find white shelf liner material, it takes sharpie ink very well and you can go nuts with color variations. I've done some red ones that have produced well.
 
Bamboozle

Bamboozle

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Want to tie some ant patterns, I heard they are effective.

Any easy recommendations with you tube links?

No YouTube links, but easy as heck, durable and two "bumps" is all you need:

Fur Ant:
  • Blob of black or reddish brown dubbing at the back of the hook.
  • Tie in hackle at center of the hook, make a few wraps & tie off remaining hackle.
  • Add another blob of fur near the eye, whip finish at eye of hook.
  • DONE!

Foam Ant:
  • Tie in hackle at center of the hook, make a few wraps & tie off remaining hackle.
  • Whip finish at the center of the hook or make a few wraps (not over foam) & whip finish at head.
  • Trim ends of cylindrical foam so they are short like an ant's body.
  • DONE!

Drawer Liner Foam Ant:

  • Buy some of this or something similar.
  • Cut off two "balls" and lash them to the center of the hook.
  • Tie in hackle at center of the hook, make a few wraps & tie off remaining hackle.
  • Whip finish at the center of the hook or make a few wraps (not over foam) & whip finish at head.
  • DONE!

If you feel compelled you can add wings for flying ants and/or a post so you can see them better.

Good luck!
 
dc410

dc410

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The old deer hair ant pattern mentioned above is really tough to beat. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just needs to “plop”. If you’re not good putting legs on it … just catch a few fish and it will get legs and become even better!
 
F

flyguyfishing

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I use foam and synthetic legs. Easy tie. I learned from FlyFishersParadise, but this video is very similar.


I would agree the plop on hair ant is nice but the ease of tying foam is best for me.
 
Bamboozle

Bamboozle

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The old deer hair ant pattern mentioned above is really tough to beat. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just needs to “plop”...
A lighter than normal tippet, a little oomph and checking your forward delivery cast will cause a fly to flip over forcibly and get you that plop you are after no matter what it is made of.

My go to tippet fishing foam flies is 7X for that very reason.

"Getting legs" aside, deer hair beetles & ants while effective, are too fragile for me. I gave up of the infamous Crowe Beetle decades ago for that very reason.

One of the reasons is, jet black is a hard color to die deer hair which means it sits in the die bath longer so the fibers are more fragile than natural or other colors.

If you like deer hair terrestrials or making elk wing Little Black Caddis, a good patch of black deer or elk hair is something to covet like a good dry fly neck.
 
dc410

dc410

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I think how it rides in the film is just as important as the “plop”. A deer hair ant rides more like a natural ant than a higher riding foam bodied one. It may not be quite as critical on trout (not inferring that they are stupid) but it makes all the difference in the world on a mulberry fly if you’re expecting a carp to actually suck it in!
 
Dave_W

Dave_W

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Don't overlook wet ants.
I fish a lot of sinking ants in tandem with nymph patterns in the early summer. They're easy to tie - just build up a body with thread. I like beads for the body effect.

Try a sinking ant under a foam beetle this month. . .
 
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Mrangler

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I have an entire box of ants and beetles. My go to dry fly ant is Henry Ramsey's red head parachute ant in Sz. 16 and 18. I also tie this with CDC wing for flying ants. That CDC wing does make a difference if flying ants are around. The wet fly ant as David mentioned is a must. I build a body with thread and use a starling feather or hen black hackle at waist. I also tie a tungsten bead sinking version of this . Basically the bead replaces the head. I tie these in 18. My other ant is a carpenter ant. Sz. 10-12. I tie it in parachute and flying ant versions. I use a Sz. 14 -18 beetle and use a wet ant as dropper a lot. Makes for some fun fishing.
 
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