Moving into autumn it’s great to have your ducks in a row for your last shot of the season. Chances are fish will lock onto mayfly, and chances are your boxes are full of emergers, duns, spinners and floating nymphs. But what if the fish are ignoring them?
In times of peak feeding activity when very large amounts of a particular food source are readily available, trout can really lock on and feed avidly to the exclusion of everything else. They develop a prey image to quickly identify their next meal in the most efficient manner possible and anything falling outside these parameters is simply disregarded.
Getting your fly noticed, without bucking the trend too severely is key.
A pattern I have found that can often breakthrough in such situations is the good old Ant. More subtle than a blowfly but ballsier than a mayfly, it’s a pattern you don’t see too often in anglers boxes.
Now, this isn’t just a late season fly. Generally present right through the late spring, summer and autumn months, ants offer a great alternative to mayfly when you’ve gotta keep it subtle.
They can be presented to rising sippers or dropped blind along grassy banks. I find the best ‘ant water’ is generally the shallower, softer water tight in near the banks or again the shallower, slower moving riffles. Fish can blend in incredibly well in such places and so an inviting morsel will often bring them up.
Another killer rig incorporating an Ant pattern is when fishing them in bouncy water in behind a stimmie, or other high viz pattern.
Ants are simply a pattern many anglers just don’t fish enough, so we thought we’d introduce you to our brand new Manic Fly Collection CDC Ant Black in #16.
Every fly box in both Australia and New Zealand would be remiss without some.
CDC Ant Black in #16