Lot's of talk about ants on my local forum lately, plus I tied this pattern for the terrestrial swap. So I though I would share the ant I tie.
Now I call this My Cracker Ant because while it may use bits from other flies, I put this together, but who knows, someone else is probably tying something very similar, I just haven't seen it.
Hook - #14 Dry Fly hook: I tie all mine on #14's, it just seem to be the perfect size for everything from panfish (who love them) to trout.
Thread - Black
Body - 1/8th foam cylinders (If I could find the 3/16ths I would try a bigger ant)
Hackle - Grizzly: I like this because it looks like legs and wings.
Paint, a bright color you can see easily. I bought some cheap acrylic paint at walmart where they sell the foam, but finger nail polish will also work.
First, take you thread back to the bend of the hook.
Tie in a foam cylinder by the end so that it's pointing back. Throw a bit of whatever glue you use here. (I like the 5 second brush on nail glue cuz it comes with a brush)
Move your thread up to the half way point.
I skipped a picture here, so I hope this is clear (you can see it in the next picture). Wrap forward about 1/8th inch and flatten down the foam cylinder as you go.
Tie in your hackle feather.
Tie off your hackle feather, then move your thread in front of the foam, put in a few wraps to make the foam stand up a bit then tie it off.
Cut off the foam in front so that it is flat on top.
Paint the top of the head.
I'm adding a step here. The acrylic paint is a new addition to these for me and I have found that after a few fish the paint will come off. I did some research on using acrylic paint on foam (seems it's common with foam poppers) and found that you need to seal the paint with a bit of Head Cement / Sally Hansen's Hard As Nails.
This thing will float all day, fish after fish.