April 14, 2019Sean Chahley, Tying Flies

The Uncle’s Favorite Ant

The Uncle’s Favorite Ant – By Sean Chahley.

The emergence of the Black Ant in the Spring typically means that it’s officially dry fly season. As these terrestrial critters make their way out of the ground and take to the skies, the fish can’t help but begin rise to feast on those bugs who took a wrong turn and ended up floating on top of the local rivers and lakes. The Uncle’s Favorite Ant is a small pattern that packs a huge punch by combining the floating features of foam and dry hackle into a profile that fish can’t seem to resist. These can be tied up in only a few minutes and can be used all dry fly season long.

Material List:

  • Hook: Favorite dry fly hook – size 16
  • Thread: UTC70 – Black
  • Foam: 2mm Thin Fly Foam (black)
  • Dubbing: Black Hare’s Ear Blend or Fine and Dry
  • Legs/Wing: Ginger dry hackl

Begin your thread behind the eye and build a good thread base all the way to barb of the hook. Bring the thread back to the eye.

Cut a piece of foam that’s 1/8” wide by about 1 ½” long or, if you’re feeling crazy, one gap length by three shank lengths. Tie in your foam behind the eye of the hook and secure with tight wraps all the way back to the barb.

Build up a dubbing ball over towards the eye of the hook. Shoot to cover the back half or two thirds of the shank.

Pull the rear piece of the foam over dubbing ball and secure with a couple of right wraps. Repeat the process on the front section, starting from the eye and working your way toward the middle. Pull the foam tight to give the body sections some shape but be sure not to pull hard enough to tear it.

Add a few more wraps of thread and flatten out a section for the hackle. This section should be about the size of the hook eye. Tie in your hackle feather on a 45-degree angle with the shiny side facing the bend.

Wrap your hackle forward. Shoot for at least four good wraps and secure with your thread. Trim the excess hackle feather and skip your thread to the eye in front of the foam. Whip finish a couple of times and cut off your thread. Apply your cement on the underside of the front section to protect the thread.

Sean Chahley

Kootenay born and raised and now living in the Okanagan, Sean has always been close enough to a body of water to feed his appetite for exploring and fishing in the beautiful province of BC. When he is not on the water, he is sitting at his vice getting the fly box loaded up for his next trip – tying is his major passion that he is so thankful to have discovered as a kid. Sean’s favorite Hook And Vice cap is the Team Hook And Vice Pro Model. If you are looking to purchase quality hand tied flies check out Sean’s site at https://flyculture.ca.