Hook: Mustad R 30 94833 # 12-14
Tying Thread: Dyneema
Body: Black & red melt glue
Wing : CdC
Hackle: Black cock
On the warmest summer days the tempreture rises in the south facing ant hills and triggers the annual swarming. Ants are not good flyers, so they leave the nest in large numbers to increase the chances of establishing a new colony. When they take to the wing they are at the mercy of the wind and end up where it takes them.
If they are unlucky and land on water, the fish go into a feeding frenzy. In extreme situations I have experienced that the trout will take just about any fly that is presented for them. But other times they can be so selective that they will only take the perfect pattern with the right silhouette, colour and behavior. Therefor its important to to have a good imitation too hand, and a more realistic ant imitation than this is difficult to find. Without of course going way over the realistic boundaries and tying a ultra realistic pattern. This is after all a fishing fly! Here I have made the two most characteristic body parts with melt glue, that shine just like the natural in the summer sun. I have also coloured one half black and the other red, I have found that this works under both colours of ant swarming.
This pattern has i in built drowning affect. Right after a ant has crash landed on the water, the rear body part begins to sink, while it’s legs and wings hold it afloat a short while. If you are going to fish this pattern ‘dry’ I recommend that you that you impregnate it well with floatant.
For those of you that are not familiar with melt glue and Dyneema tying thread here´s a little technical information that should help you get started.
Tying with melt glue does require a little more practice and patience than most regular materials. Melt glue is a material that one has to get used to using. Once its mastered, it can be put to use not only in developing new patterns but also as a substitute in existing ones. Melt glue guns come in various sizes from hobby to industrial, I find the hobby size not only the cheapest but also the easiest to employ. Another advantage with the hobby gun is the amount of different glue that is available. Although for this pattern I use a coloured glue, in most patterns I use the transparent or “regular” glue that can also be coloured with waterproof felt markers. The regular glue is also much easier to handle and shape than the coloured. In most cases, It has a lower melting temperature and a shorter drying time than the glues with added colour and glitter.
After tying with melt glue for over a decade and a half, nowadays I seldom use my gun to apply the glue, only for patterns where a large amount of glue is required. Otherwise I melt the glue direct from the “glue stick” with a lighter, or I first cut the required amount of glue from the stick with scissors, hold one end of the glue fragment with needle nose tweezers and warm the other end with the lighter and apply it to the hook. I then continue to melt and form the glue with the lighter on the hook. The clear glue can also be coloured by applying a foundation of coloured tying thread over the hook shank before you apply the glue.
For the past five years I have used only one tying thread for all my fly tying, for everything from the smallest size 28 dry´s to the largest salt water patterns. There are so many advantages with tying with Dyneema it would require an article all on it´s own. Maybe I will publish that later?