Beginner’s Fly Tying: Chubby Chernobyl Ant

Chernobyl Ant
Chernobyl Ant, courtesy of

Summertime, summertime! Now that days are longer and temperatures warmer, it’s time to set aside some of the standard fly patterns which we would use for early season fly fishing. Instead, let’s concentrate on summertime freshwater species: largemouth and smallmouth bass, large trout, and panfish — all of which are looking for large terrestrial foods packed with energy, such as ants, beetles, moths, hoppers, and crickets.

For this reason I chose the Chubby Chernobyl Ant for our next beginner’s fly tying class. The origin of the Chernobyl Ant dates to 1990, when a group of guides on Utah’s Green River were tying flies to resemble the river’s large black crickets. Concoctions of deer hair and polypropylene cord were common at the time, but it was Rainy Riding’s foam flies that started to substantially influence fly design; including the Chubby Chernobyl Ant.

No worry about matching the hatch, try a large terrestrial-insect imitation, like the Chubby Chernobyl Ant alone or with a small dropper fly. This approach has saved the day for many fly fishers (including me). Search on “American Angler Chernobyl Ant” for more about the origin of this fly.

Join us at 7:00 PM on June 20th at Trinity United Methodist Church. For newcomers who plan to attend this session, please contact me in advance (dfine1443 AT to ensure I have tying equipment available for you.

By Don Fine