Join Bennett-Watt and learn how to make the GR Ant fishing fly.
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ï»¿Glenn River: The next fly Wayne and I are going to tie is the GR Ant. The hook that we're going to use is actually of glass beat hook. It's a Daiichi 1251 and black as the one we're using size 18 it also make it into bronze which is a 1250. Wayne is going to show you the materials for dead sample.
Wayne: For the body Glenn is going to use Nature's Spirit Dubbing, and Bill's Stretchy Foam, and for the legs he is going to use Black Super Hair.
Glenn River: The thread that we're going to use is Gudebrod 10/0 kind of interesting that when you use these bobbins that I'd like to use these right adjustable bobbins, once you place this fuller thread onto the body you can't tell what size it is so this is my color coding system, this is 5 and this is 5 for 10 so that's tells me exactly what size thread that is.
We're going to put a thread base down the shank similar to the spider. We're going to use our fine scissors to trim off and once again we're come partway down the bend like thread black hook and a black ant. Coming forward we will use that hook point for our stopping point. I might add that I often point myself kicking that hook up just a little bit I have never had a problem about whacking the hook, opens that gap just a little more.
I've already pre-sliced the foam and in terms measuring the foam a good rule thumb is to be inside the gap of your hook just slightly. We're going to set this on top making sure that it doesn't roll away from us with the soft thread wrap, apply pressure and tie it down. We'll make some locking wraps going forward touching that corner and we can reach over if we want to touch to that corner.
Those are our locking wraps. Same construction as a spider, open spiral, open spiral and one more little one. Coming partway down the bend and make sure that this is tied in with plenty wraps. You know this I have this bobbin set for continue control. I can slide this 10/0 thread just like using my favorite Ross reel with my 7x tippet.
It bends forward and set up shot for the dubbing. What I'd like to do is I like to bowl the different colors of dubbing and I like to get this little business our credit found then I can place these in here myself. And that way I can carry all my colors with me so we'll start from just a little bit of black. We move everything towards ourselves to move away from the hook point and we'll put in.
You'll notice, we're back to our synthetic dubbing so I can slide it on the thread versus with spider. The natural fur was grabbing the wax it's on the thread and with this long stranded dubbing we have too much and I have to use some big scissors. We'll probably put dubbing on twice. It's much easier to use a smaller amount so we'll start wrapping it backwards.
And these are not necessarily touching turns I'm actually dropping into those gaps. And now I come back up on top and I'm going to start to, to form that infamous shape. Adjust a little bit more dubbing now decide tell to hook so I can move away from that hook point and I can get real close to the fly and then I can come right back on top.
And that's going to be back segment and I want to finish with a little bit of bare foam, putting my thread on top of that bare foam. And that's what I'm going to pull the back segment over. Applying just a little bit of stretch now I'll add just a little bit. It's start on my side because when I wrap just to show you in an exaggerated sense it'll roll. So I'm towards in it a little bit.
I'm going to wrap and I actually set it where I want it. Now, that soft grab and then this will be my lockdown pulled down tight. Lockdown, and lockdown, and lockdown. Same setup as we had on the spider. I need to advance to the front of the hook eye so I'll reach under, pull towards me and stretch hard, Lockdown wrap, lockdown wrap, I pull in and I twist towards me so that when I lockdown it picks it up, keeps it up on top of the hook shank. This is to put that real fine narrow connection between the two joint. And I want to make sure I go to the very end of the hook eye.
Wayne: It's pretty strong foam as well?
Glenn River: It is very strong foam. So there is my thread wraps on both sides of that foam. Repeat steps from earlier stages, scarf on a little bit of dubbing you can slide right up in the place, similar to building the spider we're going to build a little round ball, we used the orange dubbing if you remember. The real beauty behind this pattern is this foam Bill's Skilton's Black stretchy foam Ants beetle crickets and the legs. Turn over you have to and you could actually move this foam and see where you're hook eye is because you want to stay as far forward as you can near the hook eye, advancing on the spot, except you can cheat now because you have that foam as a backstop.
Drop down off of that foam, drop down off of that dubbing and now, we're ready to pull this back. I like to show you this from the top you see you can see what's happening instead of just stretching this and tying in I'm going to stretch this tie in and when I lockdown I'm going to release so that we could sucked into that dubbing. So we're going to pullover and as I lockdown I'll release and it jumps right up against that dubbing. Now, I pull tight advance, advance, advance. Pulling tight on it and I pull tight here. This will be that nipping tear there is your nip. I'm pulling hard you can see the hook bouncing. There is your nip, there is your nip, there is your nip and now we will flatten this surface out with our thread.
And we can even go back and make sure that back segment is nice and firm. We set up sharp right in the middle. I don't get too crazy about getting rid of some these fibers because if you look at these little creatures under magnification they have a lot of hairs. They usually trap air bubbles. Here's our Super Hair I think this is used for salt water patterns we're going to use this for legs and this is the greatest thing going for a small Ant patterns.
I struggle with my ant till I found this material I used to use this drake crystal flash. We're just going to need three pieces, keep them all about 2 inches long so that they are easy to work with, we need to come up with six legs and we have our thread part. I show you a top view we use the bobbin as next to our hand, we will push it against the thread, slide the all the way round and drop it into place.
Wayne: Use those kinks for your advantage as long it's going to straight material?
Glenn River: So there is the leg on the nearside and I'll put a wrap to separate the leg from the foam. Repeat that step for the far side. Again, push it against the thread set that direct on the side, Locking wrap and then we can wind back and then repeat that step where we separate the leg from the foam.
The reason we do that separate the leg from the foam, separate the leg from the foam, the reason we do that is, if we had an epoxy right coating which we're going to do it helps the leg from being glued to the body segments. The metal saddle life is that easy. I set my thread up in the middle take this leg pick one of these segments and just drop it right down on top of the fly. You can see how you can slide it back and forth.
Go with a soft lube drag it into place and it's end. Figure 8 criss-cross. Pick a place to whip finish. If you set these legs forward like I did I may whip finish right between them and if I had set him in a different place I could pick any area to whip finish. I'm going to slide right in here and whip finish just behind these legs, come in from below spin over and tighten.
You can see these scissors are beautiful I can slide right up that thread and squeeze. If you've ever looked at any ant, specially a big carpenter ant they have very long leg so we're going to nip off, pick a segment and nip off, pick a segment back here and nip off, pick a segment over here and nip off, pick a segment right over here and nip off, pick a segment over here and nip off, and I will just touch this dubbing right here.
Now, if you're looking for any of these floats that even in the surface film this would be your player and if you're looking to put some other components into the ant I will show you here just two products that I use, I use this Hard Head by Loon fly finish and clear.
Wayne: And that's ends durability of the fly?
Glenn River: I do. I actually like the appearance, I actually like the extra weight that it makes do it, gives you that hard shell look. I'm just going to put a little bit ang. You know for more rod building and all your different epoxies that you have that I'm not very fond of epoxies, but this is simply a neat, neat material to work with. If you did it on the legs you can right profit your hand takes a while to dry.
Just coat that foam flatten back and sometimes I even keep to finish on top of fly so just before it's totally hardened I'll press down with my fingers and as promised there is a little bit on those legs and you can just cut that off. The last thing, I would do and I do the steps with most of my ants is after that drives and it takes sometime to drive I apply a black fingernail polish of some sort just putting a coat or two over the top.
And you can tell by looking into my box that I have some that are not coated as well as have some larger ones that are coated and I also have added some wings for this forming and the mating season just adding a tuft of poly and you have instant flying ant. That is the GR Ant.