What fly do I reach for when fish aren’t cooperating? A small ant pattern is a go-to throughout the season when hatches or rising fish are not evident. I keep a few ant patterns in every dry fly box, usually nestled in a corner until frustration hits. They have a away of turning a day around, as trout see this little morsel from far off and know the profile well. Close to banks, run through riffles, and sat in the foam with a subtle twitch – it all works. This tutorial by Curtis Fry at FlyFishFood will run you through a simple black ant pattern that can be tried in a number of sizes. This pattern is a good play when the hopper bite drops off as fish see more and more big foam patterns this time of year. I like to tie my black ant patterns in sizes 12 and 1, and I like white and pink foam for the indicator. My eyes seem to pick those colors up more on the water. For a great drowned ant pattern, I omit an indicator, and add a bead head. I run the drowned ant as a dropper under big foam during the heat of summer, when ants are active and moving constantly along banks and foliage. Ant patterns are great flies to tie yourself- cheap, easy, and best of all they flat-out fish.