Two-toned X-rated Ant Materials Listing & Tying Instructions
Littlebrook asked me to post the materials listing and tying instructions for the Two-toned X-rated Ant pattern, so here they come:
THE TWO TONE X-RATED ANT
HOOK SIZE.....................#12 or 16 TMC 5212
SHELL BACKS..................BLACK/TAN CLOSED CELL FOAM
UNDER BODIES................BLEACHED & DYED BLACK PEACOCK HERL
LEGS..............................FINE to X-FINE BLACK ROUND RUBBER LEG MATERIAL
INSTRUCTIONS FOR TYING THE X-RATED ANT PATTERN
1. Place your hook in the vise with most of the curve of the hook showing above the vice jaws. Tie the thread in at the point where the gaster (the rear most body segment for our ant's body) will begin.
2. Tie in a strip of hook gap wide laminated tan/black closed cell foam, with the black side facing up, binding it down the hook shank to about half way around the curve of the hook.
3. Tie in 2 or 3 strands of peacock herl by the butts, on top of the under body of foam, tied down and around the bend of the hook. Then wrap the thread back up to the tie in point. Wrap an under-body of peacock herl over the under body of foam, and tie it off. Clip the excess herl away at the thread but don't discard the excess herl at this time. The remainder will be used to make the slightly smaller head section on our X-rated Ant pattern. Using what is left over utilizes the natural taper in the herl to keep the head in the proper proportion to the abdomen on our X-rated Ant pattern.
4. Now, pull the shell back over the under body and tie it down under slight tension. Once it is secure, increase the tension on the foam while trimming the excess away with your scissors angled toward the rear of the hook at a 45 degree angle, forming a taper in the foam as it is severed. Now bind the stub end of the foam down to the hook shank as tightly as you can - tapering it down to the shank with thread wrap tension as you go. Then, wrap your thread all the way back up to the eye of the hook.
5. Now we will repeat the same process all over again, only working in reverse from the eye of the hook backwards, toward the ant's waist. Just as you did with the gaster, repeat steps 1 through 4 but from right to left this time, instead of going from left to right, assuming you are right handed. After completing this what you should end up with is the ant's body and head formed on the hook, with the thread hanging down from the narrowest point on our ant pattern's waist.
6. Letting the thread hang from the weight of the bobbin at the narrowest point on the ant's waist, take two previously-cut rubber leg strips by their ends and slide them both up under the thread at the same time until they are resting on the top of the hook shank. Release the legs and they should sit right where you left them, held in place by the tension on the thread from the weight of the bobbin.
7. Make three light turns of thread around the legs at their tie in point, and then release the bobbin again. Grasp each end of one leg strip and pull it down until it is on the side of the ant's body. Then do the same with the other leg strip. Now make 3 tight wraps, whip finish and trim the thread away.
8. Place a drop of head cement right on top of the securing thread wraps to securely hold the legs in place, and let the cement to set up.
9. After the cement is set up, pull all the legs up over the top of the fly and pinch them between your thumb and first finger. Trim the excess leg material away by holding your scissors at a 45-degree angle to the hook shank, so that the hind legs will end up being slightly longer than the fore legs are going to be after they are cut. Release the legs and view your ant pattern from above. It may be necessary to do a little additional trimming to even out each pair of legs. When you are satisfied with the appearance of your ant's legs, the fly is finished.
The legs may appear to be a little too long at first, and that's Ok. Exaggerating the length of the legs helps to accentuate the triggering effect of the narrowness of the ant's waist is what we want to do, and it also gives the legs better action on the water because the longer legs move more easily in water than shorter legs will. I would try fishing the pattern with the legs a little long and shortening them up only if you feel it is necessary after fishing the fly. Shortening the legs will tend to make the fly hit the water harder when cast, which isn't necessarily a bad characteristic to have with terrestrial patterns at all. But you do not want it to hit so hard that it scares the fish all the time.
The two-tone foam with the tan side up makes these flies much easier to track and see on the water than an all black ant pattern would be able to be seen. The fly is still dark from underneath for maximum visibility to the fish against the sky, but it is much easier for you to see, looking down on your pattern from above the water. Two sheets of 2mm foam of the proper colored foam can be glued together using 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive, which is available from most building supply stores, to form your 4mm thick two-tone closed cell terrestrial pattern foam sheet, then cut the sheet into proper sized strips for the size of fly pattern that you are tying, whether it be an ant or a beetle pattern. The thinner Razor Foam is most appropriate for tying the smaller sized ants and beetle patterns. Buy one package of each color in the opaque Razor Foam, which will consist of 2 sheets each of .5mm & 1.mm thick foam. When you glue the sheets together, use one sheet of .5mm thick foam with one sheet of 1.mm thick foam of the opposite color, so all the finished two toned sheets will end up being 1.5 mms thick. I hope these instructions are clear and understandable enough to allow anyone wishing to tie these flies to be able to do so. The ant is actually two beetle bodies tied on the same hook, except that with the beetle pattern a soft hackle is wrapped over the thread wraps securing the beetle's foam over body to the hook in between the body and the trimmed foam head....Golden.
Last edited by Golden; 10-31-2013 at 10:01 PM.