Published Jun 16. 2022 - 1 year ago
Updated or edited Jun 19. 2022

Chernobyl Ant

Chernobyl ants are probably one of the most popular foam flies around if not the most popular. They are basically unsinkable, are relatively easy to tie, have lots of movement with the legs, and the color combos are endless. These can be tied very large, but its possible to get them quite small as well. In fact I like tying these for small sunfish which have very tiny mouths. I usually tie them down to a size 16 even. Many people will fish these much larger for Trout and even larger yet for Bass. I have seen some in the size range of 2-4 even. Quite large. Of course at that size you would want to use a thicker foam more than likely like the 3-4mm size. When tying down to size 16, occasionally I will use the 1mm size foam for the top piece to keep from bulking the fly up too much. Either way, adjust things for your local waters. Tie them in whatever size or color you want. They are fun to tie, and when you get the hang of it, you can pump them out pretty quickly.

Being a foam fly, especially one with so much foam on it, you can imagine they float very well. Also they are very visible on top of the water and there is no issue with trying to find them no matter how far you cast, or how choppy the water is. In fact, I think of them more like an Indicator with a hook on in. Many times out fishing for trout, I notice they will occasionally hit my indicator. If the river permits it, I will use the Chernobyl as my indicator and then sink a tunsten nymph behind it. This allows me to have a hook connected to my "indicator" and those frustrating indicator bites can become a bent rod.

To be honest I dont really see this as an ant imitation unless tied in one of the very small sizes (like 14-16). A world where ants are 3" long is not a place I want to live. However they do seem to be more of a generalized pattern. They can mimic hoppers, stoneflies, or just about anything else that floats on the top of the water. Many times trout will sip up things that aren't food mistaking it for something. More of a reaction bite. So I believe thats what this is, a reaction bite fly. Something bright, easy to see, that the trout says, hey there is something. Then takes a bite without inspecting it first.

As you all know, I work closely with both and Both of these shops have offered every one of my subscribers a discount. So go to their shops, and type in "McFly" at checkout for 15% off of anything you buy on their sites. The hooks risen sells are just as strong, if not more strong than the ones I used today in the video. But priced much more reasonably. So definitely check them out.

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Hook: Risen 9231 (size 12) -
Thread: Veevus 10/0 (brown) -
Under-body: Micro Ultra Chenille (tan) -
Body: 2mm Eva Foam (brown and yellow) -
Glue: Loctite Brush On -
Legs: Centipede Legs (small, speckled yellow) -

Vise: Renzetti Traveler -
Bobbin: Stonfo Bobtec -
Scissors: Risen Spring Assist -
Whip finisher: Dr. Slick brass -
Foam Cutters: River Road Cutters (Chernobyl-style, tapered end, XS) -
Fly Tying Bench: Oasis Walnut Compact Bench -
UV Light: Solarez UV Cure (high output) -

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