Mart's Parachute Ant
During the warmer months of the year, they are just about anywhere... Ants.
Early in the season flying ants swarm, and many are blown onto the water. Others are carried uphill by warm air currents and drop into higher streams or lakes, which is called ‘upslope blow-ins’.
Later in summer ants will be on leaves and in branches of streamside vegetation, looking for food. They live in dead trees by the streams, and lots of them drop into the water. In these ants trout and grayling have a constant supply of food all season round.
So whatever hatches, or if no hatch comes off at all, or if you're fishing in the heat of a summer day... an ant is a useful thing to carry.
Many ant patterns are made of foam. They look great, and are fast and easy to tie, too. The problem with these foam ants, however, is that they float quite high. Real ants don’t. They only float for a brief moment and then slowly sink. Enter the parachute ant: a low-riding parachute ant with a submerged body and a post of poly yarn and two strands of pearl Crystal Flash for visibility.
Sometimes trout seem to prefer an ant that fishes deeper. In that case, or if you come to a deep spot where you just know that there should be a fish down there, simply modify the fly. Clip off most of the parachute post, put a split shot on the tippet, some 30 cm from the fly, and see what happens. Works like a charm in riffles, too.