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Mr. Bill's Flying Ant
Text and photos by Al & Gretchen Beatty
Excerpt from Innovation Flies And Techniques
published by Frank Amato Publications

Bill [Black] designed this fly in 1993 to utilize Spirit River's unique wing material patented under the name Wing & Things. As the pattern evolved, he added Crystal Spalsh for the antenna and legs, which we really think addes to the fly's attraction.

Bill talks about fishing the pattern, "I fish it on Camas Creek, a very small stream full of native cutthroat trout. The pattern sits flush in the surface film and these little guys gobble it up. Though these fish are not particular about their meals I have found it works just as well subsurface as it does on top. I sent three dozen to my buddy Lefty Kreh and a couple months later he wrote me a litter saying it was the best spring-creek ant he had ever used. That's quite an endorsement!"

Materials for the Mr. Bill's Flying Ant (Brown):

    Hook: Size 10-20, dry fly.

    Antenna: Gold Crystal Splash.

    Body: Antron dubbing, brown.

    Legs: Gold Crystal Splash.

    Wing: Mottled brown Wings & Things.

Tying Instructions for Mr. Bill's Flying Ant:

    Step 1: Place the hook in the vise and apply a thread base to the complete hook shank. Leave the thread hanging at the front of the hook.

    Step 2: Select a single strand of gold Crystal Splash and fold it in half. Tie it on the hook directly behind the hook eye to form the antenna. Trim away the excess material.

    Step 3: Apply dubbing to the thread and form the front part of the body. Wrap the thread to the center of the hook, again apply dubbing to the thread, and construct the back segment of the body. Note it is much larger than the front. Be certain to leave a space between the two applications equal to one-eighth of the hook shank.

    Step 4: Tie two segments of gold Crystal Splash on the hook at the fron of the back body segment. They should sweep toward the back of the hook.

    Step 5: Tie two segments of gold Crystal Splash on the hook at the back of the front body segment. They should sweep forward. Trim the legs so they are all the same length.

    Step 6. Cut a section of Wings & Things that is almost as wide as the distance of the hook gape. Use a pair of scissors to shape a wing and tie it to the hook between the two body segments. Whip finish and remove the thread from the hook. Use a pair of scissors pressed against a finger to shape a foot at the end of each leg. Apply a coating of Aqua Head to finish the fly. ~ Al & Gretchen Beatty

Credits: Excerpt from Innovative Flies and Techniques, By Al and Gretchen Beatty, published by Frank Amato Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 82112, Portland Oregon 97282; Phone: 503-653-8108

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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