THE CHERNOBYL ANT (reprint)
The Chernobyl Ant is one of those unique patterns which come along once every so often ,which, being designed for a particular species, demonstrates an ability to catch fish far beyond the intent of their creator.
The Chernobyl Ant is one such pattern. While it was originally designed for Cutthroat Trout in the West, it has demonstrated an ability to catch many other species in both warm, and cold water, all over this and other countries.
I personally have caught Green Sunfish, Red Breasted Sunfish, Blue Gills, Rock Bass, Crappie, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, and Rainbow and Brown Trout on this fly. I have not yet tried it in saltwater, but I wouldn't bet against it even there!
This pattern and a few others have come up in the chat room on several occasions. I am constantly amazed at the lack of general knowledge about this great fly.
Now, once again let me admonish you, if you are a traditionalist, or a purest, this pattern has nothing to offer to you. If however you enjoy catching fish, and are of modest tying ability, get ready to have more fun than should be allowed by ones self in a pair of waders.
This thing catches fish!
- Hook: 94840 Size 6 to 12(94845 Barbless is also recommended).
- Thread: Black 3/0.
- Body: Black Fly Foam.
- Wingcase/indicator: Yellow Fly Foam.
- Legs: Rubber Leg Material (original was black, I prefer white).
1. Before I completely confuse you, I have adjusted my vice in the tying sequence pictures so that you might have a better view of the operations.
2. Begin by laying a thread base on your hook, starting at the eye and progressing rearward to the shank directly opposite the point.
3. Cut a piece of black fly foam approximately 3/8" wide. (Narrower for smaller hooks.) Nip the black foam at the rear end at about 45 degrees on each side leaving a generous flat at the extreme rear. Don't get real fussy here, the original pictures I have show a beautifully rounded rump and head, but the fish don't seem to mind the mitered look.
4. Now, tie the foam strip in allowing the butt to project maybe 1/8" or so beyond the bend of the hook. Tie it down well!
5. Next, tie in the rubber legs on each side on the tie in point. (about 3/4" seems to be a good length for the legs on this size fly size 6) Note: the legs are not figure eighted as in some flies, they are two separate "V's, one on each side.
6. After you have tied in the rear legs, lift the foam at the front and run the thread under it to a point about 1/4" behind the eye, and tie down well.
7. Now using the eye as a guide for your scissors, cut the fly free of the longer strip of foam. (you get a lot less waste this way ) Again, "nip" the front of the body at about 45 degrees leaving the same flat area at the front as you did at the rear.
8. Tie in legs on each side of the body at the front of the fly, just as you did at the rear.
9. Take a strip of yellow foam, a bit narrower than the black and tie in at the leg tie in point on the top of the fly. This will be your indicator, so feel free to size it according to your individual impairment, mine is rather average.
10. Now slip the thread under the head of the fly and tie off at the hook eye as on any other fly.
The last step is to use "Daves Fleximent" to glue the head, and as long as you have it out, put a drop at each of the leg/body tie-ins on the bottom side of the hook. This will prevent twisting and generally add a lot of durability to the fly.
Being a gluttonous creature I have landed as many as 50 fish on a single fly, which I retired as much from embarrassment as anything else. If tied well, these things last for a lot of fish.
As far as technique with this fly, a dead drift into typical holding areas will bring the fish like a dinner bell brings chow hounds! You might also want to "grease" your leader. And a dropper is not out of the question either. Good luck, and let me know how you make out with this thing where you fish, good and bad! (Though I expect to hear nothing bad frankly)
Tight lines, screaming reels, and remember, just lift the rod tip, don't rip their lips off ! ~ George E. Emanuel
Fly of the week reprint from the archives – August 2, 1999.
For more great info, check out: