Best Ant & Beetle Fly Patterns

Ant-Acid Purple/Black

The Ant-Acid has become a go to pattern for our Missoula fly shop. Not always sure it’s taken for an ant, this fly blends flash, natural materials and a good silhouette to take a lot of fish. We carry this fly in Black as well, and would have no problem using it in a cinnamon/purple combo, or black/red.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook:  Standard Dry Fly Hook Size 12-16
  • Thread:  Black 6/0 Danville
  • Abdomen:  Black Dubbing
  • Rear Wing: Holographic Silver Flashabou
  • Thorax:  Purple Dubbing
  • Mid Wing:  Elk Body Hair
  • Head:  Black Dubbing
  • Legs:  Purple Micro-Legs

Cinnamon Ant

This is the classic dubbed ant, as effective now as it was when it was first tied. This fly can be fished on the surface or sunken. If you’re a tyer, emphasize the separation between Abdomen and Thorax. Ants are quite segmented, your fly should look the same.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook:  Standard Dry Fly Hook, size 12-18
  • Thread:  Brown 6/0 Danville
  • Abdomen:  Cinnamon Dubbing
  • Legs:  Brown hackle
  • Thorax:  Cinnamon Dubbing

Jake’s Gulp Beetle

Jake’s Gulp Beetle is a variation on the classic foam beetle. The addition of the indicator makes it a much easier fly to see, and therefore fish well. Foam beetles float like corks, and can be used to hold up a small dropper if needed. This is pretty much the all-purpose beetle.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook:  Standard Dry Fly Hook Size 12-18
  • Thread:  Black 6/0 Uni Thread
  • Carapace:  3mm Black Foam
  • Body:  Black Ice Dubbing
  • Legs:  Black Spanflex
  • Indicator: 1mm Orange Foam

Additional Ants & Beetles Resources