Before I begin making the trip back east back tomorrow morning, I want to share a new favorite terrestrial pattern I picked up on my travels while fishing in MT. The pattern is called Arrick’s Flying Ant and it’s been a favorite ant pattern among both resident anglers and guides for years. I recall my brother talking about this pattern over 6 years ago, but I became reacquainted with this pattern while fishing the Madison River two days ago. While I believe good tactics trump patterns, this fly saved the day while fishing near the $3 Bridge area with Charles Boinske, Cline Hickok, and Blue Ribbon Fly Shop Guide Drew Mentzer.
After a good morning nymphing up a few fish, the crew wanted to get some dry fly action in. With little to no signs of any hatches, Drew suggested that if we wanted to fish dry flies then we should try one of his “go to” ant patterns-Arricks’s Two Tone Flying Ant. The originator of the pattern is Arrick Swanson, owner of Arrick’s Fly Shop in West Yellowstone MT. Long story short-this pattern outperformed any dry fly pattern I had previously used that day.
The quality I like about the pattern is it’s visible, easy to tie, and floats like cork. As with some of my favorite trout patterns, this fly (i.e. this is the two tone variation) has contrasting colors built into the fly. Other colors options Arrick uses are straight black and straight cinnamon. Below is short but very informative YouTube video showing how Arrick ties this simple but deadly ant pattern.
Whether you tie your own flies or prefer to buy them from Arrick’s Fly Shop, I would humbly suggest adding a few to your dry fly arsenal this fall.
Happy Dry Fly Fishing
For more information on buying Arrick’s Flying Ant, please go to https://www.arricks.com
For information on how to tie Arrick’s Flying Ant, please click on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fza-VWpwjOA