Spent Wing Para-Ant
Created by Mike Telford
By Al and Gretchen Beatty

Previous Flies
Fly Tying Terms

Mike [Telford] developed this fly to imitate the large carpenter ants found in the riparian habitat of the small Sierra Nevada streams and lakes. He designed it to be durable, highly visible, and to float forever.

The Para-Ant is fished primarily as a searching pattern because it is a good source trout often see on a regular basis. We really like the design and how well it floats. It has gained a permanent spot in our terrestrial fly box.

Materials list: The Spent Wing Para-Ant

    Hook: Size 14-20, dry fly.

    Thread: Black.

    Body: Black foam and dubbing.

    Post: Orange poly yarn.

    Hackle: Grizzly.

Method: The Spent Wing Para-Ant

    Step 1

    Step 1: Place the hook in the vise and apply a thread base that covers the back half of the shank. Use a straight edge and razor blade to cut a strip of foam about as wide as the hook gape. Tie it to the end of the hook shank and trim off the waste end. Cover this tie-down point with black dubbing leaving the thread at the center of the hook.

    Step 2

    Step 2: Pull the foam strip over and bind it to the center of the shank slightly forward of the hook point. Pulling slightly on the foam while tying it down produces a more rounded segment.

    Step 3

    Step 3: Pull the foam strip up, advance the thread a couple of turns, and cover them with a bit of dubbing. Bring the foam back to the hook shank and bind it to the hook. Again a more rounded profile will result if the strip is tied to the shank while under tension.

    Step 4

    Step 4: Cut the tag end of foam in half. Tie the poly yarn to the hook at the 1/3 point on the shank, stand it up, and wrap a parachute platform. Prepare a grizzly hackle feather by removing the fuzzy material at the base of the stem, tie it to the hook in front of the post, and bind it to the parachute platform. Trim the waste end and leave the thread just behind the hook eye.

    Step 5

    Step 5: Pull the split foam sections around each side of the post/feather and bind them to the hook at the eye. Tie them down under tension to make this last segment smaller than the first. Do not cut the waste ends. Wrap the hackle parachute style and tie it off on top of the foam. Whip finish and trim the thread from the hook.

    Step 6

    Step 6: Stretch each foam tag and cut it from the hook as close to the tie-down point as possible. Use the tips of a pair of sharp scissors to cut off the hackle fibers to the front and rear of the post, leaving a spent wing. Apply a coat of Aqua Head to finish the fly. ~ Al & Gretchen Beatty

Credit: If you haven't picked up Innovative Flies And Techniques for your home library you've missed a terrific book with just tons of information. You would not learn everything in this book in a lifetime on your own. Al and Gretchen Beatty have done an outstanding job on Innovative Flies And Techniques, don't miss out. ~ DLB

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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