The Red Ant

The Red Ant

This Classic Rogue River Steelhead Fly has accounted for a lot of steelhead over the years.

The Red Ant is a classic steelhead fly that is synonymous with the Rogue River and the other streams in the southern part of our state. This pattern and its many variations, including the Green Ant, have fooled steelhead throughout the Northwest. Quite often used in the early season on the Deschutes, especially in the low light hours, this bright yet drab pattern is subtle enough that it doesn’t turn steelhead off.

 

As mentioned, one of our favorite variations is the Green Ant and I would consider it a dark drab fly and a perfect counterpart to the original Red Ant pattern.

Here's an excerpt from the Trey Combs Book Steelhead Fly Fishing and Flies

 

"The Red Ant and Rogue River have long been closely associated. Kennedy speaks for the pattern: “This Year (1971) the best bug (Fly) by far was the old reliable Red Ant. It seems that year after year this fly is the top producer. I must have dressed 100 different flies during the off-season as well as during the time we spend on the Rogue, but none of these new or modified patterns worked as well as that old Red Ant. This year the Maverick (see) was almost a complete washout, the Park (see) wasn't much better, and the Dingbat (see) only produced a couple of good fish. It has always befuddled me why a bug that's red hot one year isn't worth room in the fly box the next. Perhaps after another 40 years of tying I may find an answer.”

 

Recipe

Hook: Daiichi 2441 Sz 8

Thread: Black Uni 8/0

Tail: Golden Pheasant Tippet

Butt: Peacock Herl

Body: Red Floss

Rib: Gold Oval Tinsel

Hackle: Brown

Wing: Fox Squirrel