View Full Version : A fly once overlooked is becoming my favorite...

06-11-2007, 03:15 PM
The past few weeks, I have been doing something I never thought I would do. I have put the green weenie in the part of my fly box that is reserved for the flies that are cool but I do not use that much. Right next to those giant hopper patterns and the fly my son designed. It has been a staple in my summer offerings for years and I will still pull it out during a rain or right after one. The green weenie has served me well. But now... I have re-discovered the ant.

The success I have had the past few weeks at Tremont, Chimney's area and last night at Metcalf Bottoms can not be ignored. Dropping an ant off any dry fly (this is the only way you can fish an ant without 20/20 vision) has produced plenty of action. And not just in numbers but in the size of fish. Seems some of the larger trout will go out of their way for an ant.

Just thought I would share my latest findings. Look for another message about this time next year telling you how I have re-discovered the green weenie!

Paula Begley
06-11-2007, 03:28 PM

I am not in the least surprised. I had a student on the Middle Prong yesterday who caught her first fish on a fly rod using a red parachute black ant.

There is a time of day...when, for my vision and because of the glare on the water, I just cannot see a white parachute. She was having the same problem. So, I had her put on a black ant with a red parachute...now, this is the same fly that I had found still attached to my fishing shirt that morning. It was pitiful...no hackle left...or smushed...and just, well sorry. We put floatant on it and she cast it out...it kinda half way floated and half way sank. In a few casts, she had hooked into one. :biggrin:

Ants must be yummy.


06-11-2007, 05:02 PM
In a previous thread started by ttas67, I mentioned to him that sometimes I fish foam beetles with split shot on the bottom, and the fish seem to like that as well. I haven't fished ants on the bottom like this, but I bet it would work just as well as a beetle, maybe even better. Just high stick'em like a prince nymph.


06-11-2007, 10:45 PM
man, I haven't even thought about ants in a while. thanks for reminding me. I've had great success with ants in the past.

06-11-2007, 10:50 PM
Ants must be yummy.

They are. :smile: No seriously. They have like a citrus-y flavor w/ a little spice. At least the ones I have eaten.

I got curious on a hike one day....I havent eaten beetles though. Ive thought about eating nymphs or duns, but havent. yet....

06-11-2007, 11:24 PM
I'd probably eat a small mayfly. maybe like a #18.

06-12-2007, 12:36 AM
MTN TRT.....I only began laughing after reading your post to scan down and read the "Sorry ladies, I'm taken." Did you kiss her after eating that ant! If she did, you've got yourself a keeper because mine wouldn't go neer me for a week and only after four tubes of toothpaste!

Dancing Bear
06-12-2007, 07:06 AM
I fished my favorite brookie stream this past weekend and the fly of choice was a black foam body ant. It was a killer on the brookies. They liked a yellow stonefly OK but went crazy over the ant. I had great success last summer on the same stream with the ant. Now I always carry them in warm weather.

06-12-2007, 09:13 PM
I agree. If the fish aren't keying in on a hatch, you can't wrong with a Par Adams, EHC, or an ant.

Gerry Romer
06-12-2007, 09:37 PM
For those who didn't see it, there was an article by Tom Rosenbauer in the Spring edition of the Orvis news letter that had some surprising statistics in it. To quote:

"Trout stomach content analysis done by scientists has shown that up to 90% of a trout's diet in small streams is terrestrial insects, and that percentage seldom falls below 50%."

Kinda surprised me the first time I read it. But the more I thought about it, it makes a lot of sense. Bigger streams and rivers should produce a larger mass of aquatic insect life than smaller streams. So the fish in smaller streams should respond more readily to a decent presentation of a likely terrestrial. Smaller stream trout can't afford to be choosy. And the banks and vegetation surrounding small streams are loaded with insect life year 'round.

He goes on to discuss the fact that you probably already have everything you need to imitate terrestrials in your fly box. Again, to quote:

"An Elk Hair Caddis does a fine job of imitating a moth in size 12 and 14, and a leafhopper in smaller sizes. A Humpy or a Royal Wulff can suggest the bulky profile of a beetle or big carpenter ant. A parachute Adams does a fine job of imitating a house fly or wasp. Anything that suggest the bulk and shape of a terrestrial insect works; just save your low-floating and delicate emerger patterns for bigger rivers."

He also suggests dropping an ant or a beetle off a dry to, in effect, use the dry as an indicator.

I guess this at least partially answers the "why" in "Why is the Parachute Adams so effective?"

Food for thought for us. Imitation food for them. :biggrin:

Gerry Romer

06-13-2007, 12:32 AM
very interesting and well written article on the adams. seems its went through many changes. charles adams himself (who the fly is named for) believed the fly imitated an ant!


06-13-2007, 12:49 AM
a few years ago I ran into a bryson city local over on deep creek. it was the dead of summer, blazing hot, and I hadn't caught a thing. we talked and he told me he'd 20 or so in the small stretch he was in. he gave me a fly, told me to lengthen my leader and use the lightest tippet I had. well, I actually had some 8x at the time. the fly was simply peacock herl wrapped down the shank, thicker in 2 sections like an ant body, with a few turns of grizzly hackle in the center. size 16-18. well, I immediately started pulling fish on almost every cast. unbelievable. even though the fly is small, it still was somewhat easy to see with the grizzly hackle. I believe the trout were taking it for an ant, however, i've used it since as a dang good imitation of a midge or any other type of small unknown fly.

06-13-2007, 05:13 PM
Have to disagree about ants being "yummy", Paula. I ate a large tree ant once, totally an accident which the ant and I both instantly regretted. He/she tasted horrible, like bitter metal.

I'll stick to fried grasshopper.

06-13-2007, 06:26 PM
If your aren't fishing terrestrials this time of year you are missing out. I carry one box with nothing but terrestrials with a least 4 or 5 types of ant imitations. I love to fish the quick-site, and simple dubbed versions of antron or rabbit. The parachute version Paula mentions ain't half bad either:smile: