I’ve encountered swarming termites too many times on fishing trips to ignore them as important food items for fish in Western Cape rivers (the fish also started feeding like crazy during the termite swarms). Other, buggy flies worked well to catch fish during these ant hatches, but there were also picky fish (and some really big fish) that refused to eat these flies.

So I’ve been playing with drowned termite patterns (the yellowfish I targeted during the ant ‘hatches’ were hesitant to commit to a dry fly and took sunken patterns much more confidently) and some of them worked fairly well on small stream Clanwilliam yellowfish, but the flies didn’t meet my personal taste.

That was until I spotted Kelly Galloup’s ‘Sunk Ant’ on Instagram – now that’s an ant fly for you!

Kelly Galloup’s ‘Sunk Ant’


(Thanks Ed Herbst for sharing this video with me)

I used Kelly’s ‘Sunk Ant’ to tie a ‘sunk’ termite variation that I believe will work really well during the summer months in the Western Cape rivers (and other parts of South Africa?). I’m hoping that trout and yellowfish would not be able to resist this number!

A #14 Sunk Termite
#20 Sunk Termite
Small Sunk Termites with different bead sizes


Hook: #14 – #20 scud type hook (#14 Grip Caddis Larva & Pupa hook 14731 used for the bigger version here)

Thread: 14/0 Gordon Griffiths shear white

Wing: Mallard (Egyptian goose chest feather)

Abdomen: two 1.5 mm orange tungsten beads separated with tread (coloured with a Copic Sand E33 marker) and covered with Solarez UV-Cure F-l-e-x Formula

Thorax: Sand colour dubbing

Head: 1.5 to 2 mm ‘black nickel’ tungsten bead

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