Posts Tagged ‘Fly Tying: Terrestrials


Fly Tying: The Simple Ant

The Simple Black Ant (DS Fly Fishing)

The simple Ant, blown into the stream or mountain lake. Let’s see how complicated one can make this two materials fly pattern. Foam, more visible indicators so you can see it, dubbed abdomen and thorax…I suppose those are worthy additions, but for starters black, brown, red bodies with the basic one to two turns of hackle. Floatation: would the super fine dubbing add to floatation over a thread body? 

This Ant Pattern by The Fly Guide has a nice touch of visible CDC that would aid in floatation and visibility. The dubbed abdomen/thorax would aid in floatation also.

 Both patterns are excellent producers and frankly fish engulf even the simple thread body leaving little doubt of their presence. Embellish the patterns with parachutes and foam if you must but the simple patterns work well also.


Hopper Fishing & Quality Tying Tutorials

Here’s a nice S-B-S tutorial from Hopper Fishing on tying a foam hopper (Stonefly possibilities too) and also check out the more recent post about foam materials. This is a very helpful, well presented site that provides variety for that hopper-dropper set up or the durable, high floating foam hoppers.


Fly Tying & Fishing: On The Edge…Hoppers

Hot Summer days and the dusty shoreline and grass are buzzing with grass hoppers. This is a perfect beginner’s pattern where presentation may be more important than size, shape or color. Whether it is a Joe’s, Dave’s or some other buoyant hopper pattern, work it near the shoreline, close to the edge. Depending upon the size of the river, primarily focus within five feet or so on windy days. When it is hot and still, cast right in toward shore. If the waters allow you to safely wade in, then wade out a ways and cast in toward shore. If you are lucky enough to get an invite on a friend’s drift boat, then a hopper pattern will be a nice morsel to throw in off the grass and dirt banks. Hopper patterns are also, as you may have read in your studies, part of the touted Hopper/Dropper set up, providing an indicator/dry fly offering with a trailing subsurface pattern. Some people also fish two dries, say a Hopper and a Caddis pattern. I know an older gent, who years ago traveled the West, while working for the U.S. Forest Service, and primarily fished the Joe’s Hopper. There are newer Hopper patterns constructed of the new synthetics as well.  

Joe's Hopper (Montana Riverboats)


Fly Tying: Super Ant by The Jersey Angler

I was checking out the blog spot The Jersey Angler re his recent trip to Montana. A nice tutorial was provided and I thought this is perfect for the beginning fly tier and fisher. Terrestrials are often overlooked. Ants, Hoppers, Beetles etc….are often as important as mayfly or caddis…especially when you don’t have any.

The Super Ant by The Jersey Angler


Fly Tying: Foam, Hoppers (Platform for Droppers)

I was bumping along this morning, reading my favorite blogs (my blog roll has exceptional writers/artists/fly fishers) and noted a foam binge at the Fat Guy FF site. Alex referenced the Hopper Fishing blog and upon checking it out, it does have a perfect tutorial on how to construct foam hopper patterns.

I have all the foam. I have had good intentions. But, beyond a few crude Chernobyl’s, I have not put in the effort to tie/construct the foam floatation devices that would provide the perfect support for dropper patterns. Hoppers, Stoneflies, Damsels, Ants…there are increasing materials out there to create floating morsels.

I have recently realized I am too much of a nymph minded fisher. I tie dries and fish dries, but my mind always visualizes downward. Hence, my fly boxes are woefully short on dries and especially hoppers and stonefly dries. Foam affords the perfect insurance your pattern will float, support a dropper or the enticing silhouette for a swamping wallop.


Fly Tying: And You Said You Couldn’t Tie

The Less Is More concept is so simplified that the artistic/creative drive will be ignored here. A suggestion of life and a bigger hook; a practical creation. Positives outweighing Negatives? Not a knew idea, but worth an experiment if those pesky 18-24 hooks lack the bite you’d like. Bare Hook Nymphs and/or Whisper Nymphs.


Fly Tying: Foam Back Winged Ant

Pesca A Mosca, El-Barbo

A simple little ANT pattern with foam that will float  like a cork.


Fly Tying: The Ants Go Marching One by One……………

A simple and, I believe a neglected pattern, is the Ant. Afternoon winds on a lake, the big firs or pines waving in the wind, needles landing along the edges of the lake, and ants. Nice ‘n juicy (I don’t know if they are juicy or crunchy like a corn nuts) ants along the shoreline of streams. Alex Wild likes insects, in general, and Ants too.Very good images of a gazillion ants.

Florida Carpenter Ant (Alex Wild)

Damn lens! Really shows the flim & flam of the tying. Doubt the fish cares re an ant pattern, but I feel pretty good until the macro hones in on the dubbing, hackling and snips etc. So it is…  The ants are what I have tied along the way. I fish them all with no thought of any differences between the patterns. Dumbbell-hourglass shape…a little hackling between the balls of dubbing. The matched small wings (hackle tips matched for length) can be black or white or ?. The balls of dubbing could be replaced with thread wraps to build up a body. Use 3/0 or 6/0 thread to match color you want. You could add a little lacquer to the thread wraps. The dubbing balls add some buoyancy in my estimation. The fly really does not have to float, but should best be in the top strata of water as if dropping from shoreline grass or blown in from tree tops. I tie most ant patterns on a size 12-14 hooks (14’s in pics), based upon shore side observations. I am sure others see ants bigger or smaller (red ant is size 16).


Fly Tying: Beetle Pattern with Post (Siting the Fly)

Beetle Pattern with Post for Finding the Fly

Found this Hatchfinders site and there are several excellent tutorials here on patterns for trout/graying. Also, there is a lot of tropical FF destination information here that I enjoyed. I have done a little bit of this, but not with overwhelming success. I have always wanted to FF the East Cape of Mexico while wading the shoreline. Nice section in here re that. Also, BONUS PATTERN, check out the nice CDC  Spent Wing Caddis (do caddis have a spent wing phase?)…regardless, a nice pattern…..

CDC Spent Wing Caddis (Hatchfinders)

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