“Never again will I be unprepared for an ant hatch” were part my thoughts on the drive home after watching sceptic Clanwilliam yellowfish refuse some of my ‘buggy’ nymphs over the weekend. The fishing was phenomenal, best I had ever experienced in the Tankwa Karoo, but I missed out on about three extra yellows that could’ve made the trip a tad sweeter.

Hence my interest in a more realistic ant pattern (such as Kelly Galloup’s Sunk Ant) for the selective few yellowfish that resisted to eat regular nymph patterns. The idea (as with most of our yellows) is to get the fly down quickly, in the feeding zone of cruising or schooling fish, and have the fly make contact with the indicator. The slightest take on the fly will then show on the indicator (even the little ‘nibbles’ that our yellows are so well known for).

So I included beads of my choice (tungsten for weight and glass for a realistic, translucent abdomen) into the slick profile of this ant pattern and covered the beads forming the abdomen with Solarez UV cure (specifically Solarez UV-Cure F-l-e-x Formula used here) to make the flies sink quicker:


Step 1 – Select your desired size hook (#14 scud type hook used here) and load two beads of your choice onto it; wrap white thread (14/0 Gordon Griffiths shear white used here) to form a small bump where you want the abdomen to end:


Step 2 – Tie the thread off just in front of the bump and colour it with a marker pen (Copic Sand E33 marker used for this fly):


Step 3 – Push the bead onto the 1st thread bump and tie another bump ahead of the bead to secure the bead in place (this will form a nice translucent abdomen):


Step 4 – Colour the thread bump in front of the bead with the same marker as before and cover the thread with varnish (Sally Hansen clear nail varnish used here):

I use two 1.5 mm fluorescent orange tungsten beads, separated with thread for the abdomen of the termite version of this fly.


Step 5 – Use a suitable colour dubbing (a nice warm brown dub used here) to form the ‘thorax’ of the fly:


Step 6 – Add two sets of wings just in front of the thorax (natural mallard used here):


Step 7 – Tie the white thread off and colour the thread wraps with the marker pen again – I secure the thread wraps and half hitch with varnish (Sally Hansen clear nail varnish used here):


Step 8 – Flip the fly in the vise and coat the abdomen bead with a thin layer of Solarez UV-Cure F-l-e-x Formula; make sure that the entire bead is evenly coated and let the UV-Cure settle for 3 seconds or so after applying it before curing it with a UV torch:


Step 9 – Trim unnecessary dubbing sticking out and voila, the Solar Ant with tungsten/brass/glass bead size and colour of your choice is now complete (I always like to quickly hold the fly in direct sunlight to make sure that the UV-Cure is properly set) – this is my Solar Balbyter pattern:


A #20 Solar ‘Fire Ant’ with a metallic red tungsten bead as abdomen and UV red dubbing used for the thorax.


A #18 Solar black ant with small black glass bead used for the abdomen.


A #14 Solar sunk termite tied on a Hanak B 260 BL Stillwater & Wet fly hook for extra strength – yep, Clanwilliam yellowfish fight damn dirty!


For the fly recipe please check out the Sunk Termite post:

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