Every now and then a fly pattern comes along that breaks the mold and changes the world of fly fishing. The Chernobyl Ant is just such a pattern. Who would have thought that tying layers of foam on a hook in contrasting colors would ever dupe a fish? Not only does this pattern get fish to bite, but in certain times of the year it out fishes more realistic versions of hatching insects.
The Chernobyl Ant is a fly tier/ fisherman’s ideal pattern. Not only does this fly use a relatively cheap item, “foam”, as its primary material but it floats like a cork. Even after repeated strikes from fish this pattern rides invitingly high on the water’s surface.
The Chernobyl Ant is a great searching attractor pattern when fishing new water or when the bugs just don’t seem to be hatching. A good idea is to fish this pattern in a dry and dropper combination to cover the water column more effectively. Combining the Chernobyl ant with a Prince Nymph or Hares Ear is a deadly double threat that most trout will find hard to pass up. During the dog days of summer this pattern can be very effective in imitating the many different terrestrial insects that are unlucky enough to find their way to the water’s surface. Cast it towards over-grown river banks or structure extending off-shore and hold on tight. Strikes from fish will be aggressive and fast so if you are not ready
Start this fly by placing the hook into the vice securely. Cut a thin strip of orange fly foam and trim one end to a taper. Spear the foam over the point of the hook and slide it up the hook shank so that it sits approximately on top of the hook barb. Attach your thread behind the hook eye and take a few wraps around the foam to hold it in place.
Clip a second piece of fly foam the same diameter as the first and taper the one end. Place the second piece of foam on top of the first so that the tapered ends line up and then wrap them down with thread. Clip two one inch sections of round black elastic rubber strips and tie them on to the sides of the body of the fly. For the top of the body, place a small orange strip of foam and tie if down tightly. Hold the orange underbody up to the bottom of the hook shank and proceed to wrap the thread forward, creating a segmented look to the body.
Pull the black piece of foam forward over the orange underbody and tie it off behind the hook eye. Again place two black strips of round rubber on the sides of the body and this time a small white strip of foam on the top. Clip the foam hanging over the hook eye clean off and trim the corners so that the head is not square. Whip finish the thread and cement the thread wraps.