Fire Ant

Andres’ fantastic new video on fly-fishing in Chile (see below) naturally got me thinking trout, so what else to do but tie a few flies between weekend turkey hunts …


The Fire Ant is a staple of mine in August, when ants often hold forth and trout can’t resist them. By that time of the year smaller dries can be more productive anyway, because the trout are getting educated. We fish them on finicky cutties and ‘bows from southern Alberta streams to the Elk River and its tributaries. The red butt is an attention-getter, as is the translucent wing. But you can tie them without one or both for a little stealth bomber.

As a guide, I like flies that work and also take just minutes to tie, and this is a five-minute pattern.

A common problem with slimmer ant patterns is that they sink, but the foam underbody and poly wing give the Fire Ant plenty of buoyancy. Try one next time the summer doldrums get you down and you just can’t get that trout to take – you might be surprised! … Chris


Dai-Riki #305 Size 14 or comparable hook

2mm black foam tied in fore and aft (cement to prevent twisting on the shank)

Red Shimmer fiber butt

Single strip of flat Pearl Tinsel underwing

MFC Widow’s Web white overwing/indicator.