Published May 8. 2008 - 15 years ago
Updated or edited Feb 6. 2021

Mart's Parachute Ant

During the warmer months of the year, they are just about anywhere... Ants. Martin Westbeek shows an easy way to tie a good ant imitation that will sit well on the surface and hopefully lure trout or grayling.

Ready for summer!

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.

Mart's Parachute Ant
Pattern type: 
Dry fly
Martin Westbeek
TMC 102Y, #17
Hyperfine, brown (or black) or any other fine, strong thread
White poly yarn
One strand of pearl Crystal Flash
Abdomen and head
Brown (or black, or cinnamon) Superfine Dubbing
Thread wraps
Whiting Saddle, brown, grizzly dyed brown (or black)
Felt tip, brown, black or cinnamon
Skill level/difficulty: 
Click on the images for more detailed tying instructions

1 - start poly yarn

2 - Abdomen and flash

3 - Fold yarn

4 - Waist

5 - prepare for hackle

6 - Tie in the hackle

7 - Wrap the hackle

8 - Dub the head

9 - Wrap the hackle

10 - Finish the fly

Drowned Ant

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.

Good fishing!


Thank you Martin. F...

Thank you Martin.
For the one you gave me last Flyfair!
I keep it in my special display cabin.
I am tying a few of them today for my next Norway trip.
Late summer in Norway last year they caught a lot of Grayling for me

greetz Ted

I'm gonna try this o...

I'm gonna try this one too. Looks catchie.

Nice piece of work, ...

Nice piece of work, Mart
I'll try to tie some of them this holliday..!


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