Sunken Ant Fly Step-by-Step

Sunken Ant Fly Step-by-Step:

I last touched on the value of ant patterns when I posted a Parachute Ant tutorial in December of this past year. An oft overlooked terrestrial due to their diminutive size, ants make up nearly 1/3 of all insect biomass and are no doubt as valuable a food source for trout as larger grasshoppers and beetles.

Unlike their larger cousins, however, their small stature leaves them more vulnerable to slipping through the surface film and succumbing to the currents. As such, sunken or drowned ants may in fact play a larger role in a trout’s summer diet than those that manage to stay afloat.

As a result, patterns such as the one presented below deserve a prominent place in every angler’s terrestrial box.

Scud/Kilnkhammer Hook (Size 16-20) 70 Denier (Black, brown or red)Materials Gray Dubbing mix (Muskrat or similar)
Grizzly (sized to hook)Materials UV Resin

Sunken Ant Fly Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:

(Mobile Viewers: Click images to enlarge)

Tips and Tricks

  1. Go Deep – For deeper water or stronger currents consider burying a tungsten bead within the thread wraps of the fly’s abdomen. Or if you prefer, simply replace the thread head with an appropriately sized & colored bead.
  2. Mind the Eye – Small hooks and UV resin can be a recipe for disaster. Even a small drop in teh hook eye could render the fly useless. Take care when applying UV resin to your thread head. Better still consider placing a need through the eye of the hook before curing the resin.

Proof of Concept

While I could quickly prove out this pattern on local sunfish, these flies (tied in black, brown & red) are being reserved for my upcoming visit to RMNP national park. Until then they shall remain unproven for the sake of this blog.

Of course, should any of you tie up a few and start catching fish in the interim, feel free to send along some pics. I’ll be happy to share them as part of this post.

Tight Lines!


Small, vegetation lined streams are the perfect spot to tie on a sunken ant as a dropper.
Species Caught on the Sunken Ant Fly to Date:

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