** NOTE** Video for the Perfect Parachute Ant appears below.
Terrestrial season has been my favorite time to throw dry flies for as long as I can remember. Because once the major mayfly hatches are over, trout are looking for the next easy meal. They want something both prevalent and easy to catch. Ants and beetles fit the bill. Add in the lower, clearer water of summertime, and the table is set for good terrestrial fishing — just prospecting likely water with a good ant pattern — all the way through the middle of October in most years.
Hoppers and crickets can be a great choice as well, but only where they are prevalent in enough numbers to keep trout searching for them. Where the bigger form of a hopper is not common, wild trout rarely eat a fly that size. The humble ant, however, is the most prevalent insect on earth. Ants are common around every trout water I’ve ever visited. Trout take notice, and they seem to have an affinity for them.
Trout like ants, so we fish them.
A few years ago, I wrote an article that featured my favorite ant pattern. It’s what I call the Perfect Parachute Ant, and you can find that article here:
Now, one of my favorite fly patterns has a companion video. This short film walks through the reasoning why the pattern works so well. The film also references the origins of this fly — Ralph Cutters Perfect Ant — and highlights why a few changes have been made.
After the fly is tied, there’s a short discussion about how to fish the Perfect Parachute Ant. It fishes well with a splat or fluttered down, but how it lands has a lot to do with casting and leader design. All of this, along with a discussion on locations to fish the ant and even what floatant to use makes its way into this film.
So here it is. Take a look at the video below, then scroll below to find the recipe, along with links to all the materials used to create the Perfect Parachute Ant.
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Recipe: The Perfect Parachute Ant
Hook: Daiichi 1180, or standard dry fly. #10-18
Shell: Black Deer Hair
Abdomen: Black Wapsi Antron Sparkle Dub
Hackle: Brown Rooster Hackle. 3-10 wraps (varied for desired buoyancy)
The Perfect Parachute Ant is so effective and so versatile for me, that it’s the only terrestrial I carry in my box, most days. This is a good one. Tie up a few and get out on the water.
Fish hard, friends.
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Enjoy the day.
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