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Foam Assassin Ant Pattern Fish Eye View

ANT Patterns Never Leave Home Without Them

Ants are one of the most abundant food sources available for fish in any body of water during the warmer months.  You will always find ants moving around the banks of your favorite streams, rivers, lakes, or ponds.  For some, this might be the biggest food source they encounter during the season.  This means by tying on an ant pattern you may be giving yourself the highest rate of success because you are matching the fish's natural food source in its silhouette, size, color, and shade.  The bonus is the variety of ways you can fish them from dries, wets (soft hackles), to nymphs.  All are equally effective and produce fish at all depths allowing you the opportunity to catch them at different depths and zones. you will find a variety of different types in a variety of colors.  The most common colors are Black, Brown, and Red.  Don't overlook using other colors as well, to offer a unique offering that may just trigger a feeding frenzy.

Dry Fly Patterns

Let us look at some of the different types of Dry Fly Ant patterns you can tie and fish.  The first pattern is a Parachute Ant that allows you to tie a pattern that will float well, and be highly visible.  An added benefit is the visibility of a Parachute Dry Fly.  Next, you have a Foam Ant Pattern that helps make the pattern more buoyant on the water, and easily visible to fish below.  You can also tie and fish a more traditional stiff hackle Ant Pattern as well.  Often times you will want to tie some wings onto your ant pattern to give the realistic look and profile of a flying ant.

Fly Tying Tutorial HiVis Foam Assassin Ant: 


Materials List:

  • Hook: Moonlit Premium TOGATTA ML102 sz12-18
  • Body: Moonlit Zero Gravity Foam 2mm Black/Semperfli Kapok Dubbing Black
  • Indicator: Moonlit Zero Gravity Foam 1mm Orange
  • Thread: Semperfli Classic Waxed 12/0 Black
  • Wings: Indian Rooster Hackle Tips
  • Legs: Grizzly Rooster Hackle


Sunken Ant Soft Hackle

Now let's look at a Sunken Ant pattern that is meant to fish just under the surface.  These can be tied with a softer soft hackle feather or a stiffer hackle with fewer wraps.  The body can be tied with dubbing to absorb water helping pull the fly down, or with soft hackle fibers and a slender body that allows the fly to sink into the surface film of the water.  This will imitate a drowned ant that is an easy target for the fish to feed on.  These are great options to fish trailing behind your favorite dry fly ant, or regular dry fly pattern especially when you are searching for trout when there isn't a hatch going on.  Also, tie it off an anchor nymph pattern to hit a different feeding zone when searching for the zone fish are feeding in.

Tying Tutorial Video


Materials List:

Ant Nymph Patterns

Last but most definitely not least when tied with some weight using either lead-free wire or a tungsten bead you are able to get the Ant Pattern deep into the fish feeding zone and capture them when they least expect it.  As ants sit in the water they will gradually begin to sink after they have exhausted all their energy making them an easy target and food source.

Salvation Ant Nymph Pattern Tying Tutorial


Materials List:

With all of this, you can see why Ants are found in all types of water, and a key food source for all fish in these waters is that it is extremely important to have them in your fly box.  These are some of the best searching patterns to use and help find fish feeding in different depths of the feeding zone.  Having patterns that can be fished in any type of weather condition, and or body of water is extremely valuable to have in your arsenal of patterns in your box for every trip during the warmer summer months when ants are active all over.


Ants are a common food source for fish: Many types of fish, including trout, bass, and panfish, feed on ants that fall onto the water. By using ant patterns as your fly, you are imitating a natural food source that fish are already accustomed to eating.


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