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Chubby Ant Tutorial

August 24, 2014

How to tie a chubby ant


PATTERN DESCRIPTION: The Chubby Ant is a high floating, easy to see ant that really catches fish.  An ant pattern can be a fantastic fly during the summer months fished as a searching pattern, or to imitate real ants, or flying ants that somehow, always end up in every stream here in Montana.  Fish seem to really key into ants at any time during the summer months.  Ants can also be used during hatches, especially trico hatches, to attract rising fish.  I have seen steadily rising trout keyed into trico’s move 4-5 feet to chase down a size 16 Chubby Ant on both freestone rivers and tailwaters.  I like to fish a small hopper trailed by a size 14-16 Chubby Ant during the late summer months.  I am no longer surprised that the ant will catch more trout and larger trout almost every time. The Chubby Ant is a simply deadly, easy to see, and easy to tie pattern that will surely surprise you.



Hook:  Dai Riki 730 sizes 12-18 (2xl nymph hook)

Thread: Black 8/0

Body: 1mm Black Foam, cut into hook-gap wide strip

Wing:  1 strand Chubby Poly Wing

Legs: Zebra Hopper Legs – Black Fine


Tying Foam Ant Step 1

Step 1:  Wrap a 3 layer thread base onto hook.  End at point of hook.

Chubby Ant Tutorial adding foam strip

Step 2: Cut a thin strip of 1mm foam.  Trim foam to width of  gap of hook.

tying in foam to chubby ant

Step 3: Secure tip of foam strip to the top of hook with 3 wraps of thread.  Notice strip of foam is extended towards back of hook.

Chubby Ant foam body

 Step 4: Fold the 1mm foam strip forward forming the rear metasoma or body of the ant.  The fold should extend to just beyond the bend of hook.

chubby ant tutorial

Step 5: Bind down foam with 3 firm wraps.

adding thread to chubby ant

Step 6: Lift up foam strip and advance thread to 1 eye length short of eye-of-hook.

chubby ant body

 Step 7: Lay foam strip on top of hook.

making foam body for chubby ant

 Step 8: Bind down foam with 3 firm wraps of thread.

foam chubby ant

 Step 9: Wrap thread back 2-3 wraps towards bend of hook to secure foam to hook as shown above.  End thread at 2 eye-lengths back from eye-of-hook.

double loop foam body

Step 10:  Fold remaining foam strip back to form the head of the ant as shown above.  Notice the fold extends, just beyond eye-of-hook.

chubby ant double loop

 Step 11: Trim tag of foam strip flush with body.

chubby poly wing

Step 12: Comb out one strand of Chubby Poly Wing.

tying in chubby poly wing

 Step 13: Secure Chubby Poly Wing on top of hook with firm thread wraps.

chubby poly wing on foam ant

Step 14: Bind down poly wing with firm thread wraps, advancing towards point of hook.  Don’t worry about covering all of the white poly wing with this step.

chubby wing on ant

Step 15: With firm thread wraps, cover and compress the waist of the ant to just beyond mid point of the waist as shown above.

Adding rubber legs to chubby ant

Step 16: Prepare two strands of black fine Zebra Hopper Legs.

tying in rubber hopper legs on chubby ant

Step 17: Secure legs to waist or trunk of ant with 4-5 firm wraps of thread.

top view of rubber legs on chubby foam ant

Step 18: Secured legs.

Foam Chubby Ant Tutorial

Step 19: Advance thread forward towards front body of ant covering up remaining visible white poly. Next, advance thread to hook eye and whip finish.

trim poly wing on chubby ant

Step 20: Trim post to length of hook.  The posts seem tall, but the longer posts aid in floatation and visibility, plus the fish can’t see them.

Chubby Ant

Finished Chubby Ant

Top view of Chubby Ant

Top view of Chubby Ant


Tie on and hold on!

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 9, 2014 2:33 pm

    This really is a great tutorial. Fly fisherman all over are benefiting from your generosity. Looking forward to trying out a chubby ant.

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