Beginner’s Fly Tying: Foam & Fur Ant

April is upon us and it is time to consider what other types of natural food will be available for consumption by freshwater fish species. For this reason, we chose the ‘mighty’ ant as our fly pattern for our Beginners class on ‘tax day’, i.e. April 18th.  (Perhaps you thought that I chose the ant as the featured fly pattern because they are a role-model insect, hard at work helping in the decomposition of environmental waste. Wrong answer! Consider instead that ants are a good source of calories for fish — and they are easy for the fish to consume and digest. Theory has it that it is the formic acid in ants which the fish find ‘tasty.’ 

For the April 18th class I chose two different ant patterns: a foam ant and a fur ant, thus imitating both a viable ant floating on the water surface and a non-viable ant suspended below the surface. While we chose the ant as our subject matter fly pattern, the tying steps for the ant are easily adaptable to other terrestrial insects such as hoppers, crickets, and beetles. In the words of club entomologist Mr. Dinkel: don’t be afraid to bring your ‘aunt’ to the class. The more the merrier and she might also like to tie.

Join us at 7:00 PM on April 18th at Trinity United Methodist Church.

IMPORTANT: For newcomers who plan to attend this session, please contact me in advance ( to ensure I have tying equipment available for you.

By Don Fine