Presented from Issue 91
Autumn is such a wonderful time of the year. Cool nights, mostly sunny days and light winds. As I write this I am looking out over Great Lake – there is a slight ripple and some superb slicks gliding about here and there. I will go and look more closely at them after lunch. Hatches of jassids and ants are on the trout’s menu and both of these small insects end up in the slicks that form with the morning breeze.
The trout often go crazy on them.
There are hundreds of ant species in Australia from small to large, brown and black, but none of these variations seem to matter to the trout. The trout love them all.
The pattern I have shown you here is used chasing these trout in slicks. Fishing it requires some stealth and I recommend you never drive into a slick, but sit off to the side in the slight ripple and take a long hard look for any working fish. Have a firm plan on how you will approach the task, move quietly and be assured for best result you need an electric bow mount or transom motor.
Hook: Size 14 light shank
Abdomen: Black or brown foam
Mid body hackle: Black or brown cock hackle
Mid body: Seals fur
Head: Foam to match ant being represented
1. Take thread along shank and halfway around the bend. Put a drop of varnish at this point. This will stop the thread slipping.
2. Cut a small slip of foam and form a point on one end. Tie the foam by the point and bring thread forward two thirds of the way back along the shank. Now form an abdomen with foam which is normally nice and fat. Finish this at the thread and tie down.
3. Tie in hackle.
4. With a small amount of seals fur dub on a waist. Don’t take this too far forward. Now make four tight turns of hackle, tie down and cut off excess.
5. Cut a fine strand of foam, and tie it in in front of hackle. Make two turns to form head, tie down and cut away excess.
6. Whip finish, cut thread away and varnish.
7. Turn the fly so you are looking at the underside and cut the hackle off level with the bottom of the body. This will make the fly sit low in the water – and just how the trout like them.