Black Ant

June 2011


                               Fly Pattern: Black Ant


              Tyer's Name: Sharon Prosser
              Date: June 6, 2011

    Fly Originator (unknown) and History: More than 12,000 species of ants have 
    been classified. Of these terrestrial insects, queens and males have wings; 
    the workers do not. (Google "ants" to find more interesting facts).

                                       How the Fly is Fished
    Suggested line and leader: When used as a dry fly, use a floating line and tapered 
    leader. It can also be used as a dropper when attached to a section of sinking 
    line that is  tied to a grasshopper fly.
    Depth range: As a dry fly, on the surface, or as a dropper when attached to 
    a grasshopper.
    Suggested retrieve: Cast the fly under the trees and retrieve slowly, while 
    trying to imitate a struggling ant. Swiftwater: Use a larger ant and try to 
    fish the water's edges, allowing the ant to drift with the current. 
    Comments: The best time to use the ant is between spring time (when trees "leaf out", 
    attracting aphids - as the ants feed on the aphid's honeydew)and November, 
    with the prime months being June through August.

                                       
                                       Fly Material
    Hook size /length / make: #12 (or smaller) standard dry fly (Daiichi 1180 or equivalent).
    Thread: size / color / type: 6/0 Uni Black
    Weighted y/n / size: No.
    Abdomen size/color/material:  2mm black foam strip, 'Ice Dubbing' (black).
    Indicator size/color/material: 2mm orange or any brightly colored foam strip.
    Thorax size / color: Same as body.
    Legs / color: Super Floss, black.               
    Other: Sharon prefers using "Elmer's School Glue Sticks" glue rather than dubbing 
    wax to apply dubbing.

                                       Tying Steps
    1. Starting about a quarter of the way behind the eye (this technique helps 
    prevent crowding the eye), lay down a thread base just into the bend of the hook. 
    Then wrap the thread back until it is just above the point of the hook. Note 
    that the "point above the hook" will be referred to as the 'point'.

    2. Prepare a foam strip. The black foam strip should be about 1/8" wide, and 
    a few inches long. To make tying-in easier, trim the "tie-in" end of the foam 
    strip diagonally.
 
    3. Abdomen. At the 'point', tie in the foam such that the strip will lay on top 
    of the shank. The foam strip should be tied-in from the 'point' to the bend. 

    4. Apply dubbing from the bend to the 'point'. This will be the largest section 
    of the ant's body.

    5. Now pull the foam strip over the dubbing. While applying a bit of tension 
    to the foam, tie it down in front of the dubbing, giving it 2 loose wraps. Then 
    tighten the loose wraps. Continue tying down the foam until it is secured. 

    6. Prepare the indicator. The indicator should be about 1/8-inch long and slightly 
    narrower than the black foam strip. This indicator will be trimmed at the finish.

    7. Tie in the foam indicator at its center and on top of the spot where the 
    fore-end of the body was tied down. Now fold back the foam strip to get it out 
    of the way. You may want to use a piece of tape to aid in holding the foam down.

    8. Thorax. Apply dubbing from the fore-end of the abdomen to where the thread 
    base started.

    9. Legs. The legs should be a little longer than needed (about 1" per set). 
    Tie in one strip of leg material at its center on the side of the shank/thorax. 
    Add a few wraps to secure. Now rotate your vice (if applicable) and tie in the 
    other strip of  material at its center on the other side of the shank/thorax. 
    The legs, too, will be trimmed at the finish. Adjust the legs to position them 
    correctly (they should form an "x"). 

    10. Pull the black foam forward and secure it in front of the legs/thorax. Then 
    fold back the foam strip once more to get it out of the way. Again, use tape to 
    assist in holding foam down.

    11.Head. Wrap a thread base on the remainder of the hook. Then apply a small 
    amount of dubbing to form the head.

    12. Pull the foam over the dubbing and tie it down. Fold back the foam strip 
    to get it out of the way.

    13. Whip finish just behind the eye. Pull the foam forward applying a bit more 
    pressure and cut off the foam as close as you can to the tie-in point.

                                 Trimming The Finished Ant
    14. Pinch the indicator and pull taut. Now snip the indicator so it is only 
    visible to you. You (or the fish) should not be able to see the indicator from 
    the underside of the fly. 

    15. Now, rotating your vice, flip the fly over and cut any scraggling dubbing 
    straight across to make a flat surface so the fly lands evenly on the water. 

    16. Return the vice/fly to its upright position. Lightly pinch the shank so the 
    rubber legs dangle down below the hook (don't pull on them) and snip evenly. 

                 Rick Shadforth/Sharon Prosser 06/30/11