Tying The AZ No-Slip Ant

This fly isn’t pretty and its list of materials are far from a romantic dry fly, but it floats like a cork and looks realistic. Ants are a favorite fly of mine to use because they don’t often “hatch” but they are always out on every creek in the summer. The hardest part of fishing an ant fly is the mix of buoyancy, visibility and realism. The thinner the ant, the more realistic. The thinner the ant, the harder it is to see and keep floating. To make the ant visible and to make it float, it turns into more of a beetle than an ant. Enter the AZ No-Slip ant. A madam X style parachute with legs and the body of Ken’s Crazy Ant. The foam body makes for a very easy tie and just about every fly is improved with some orange rubber legs. The body is made of a drawer liner cut into segments. The beauty of it is it allows you to tie all the way down to a size 18 or up to a 12 using the same body material!


  • Size 14-18 dry fly hook, the wider the gap the better
  • Drawer foam liner (whatever color you want but I like black)
  • Rubberlegs (black or orange)
  • Synthetic fur for the paachute post
  • Size 14 dry fly hackle, grizzly dun or brown
Grizzly dun hackle
The secret ingredient is the foam drawer liner
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The foam makes a very ant-like body, trim away sides and pull foam segments off of roll to get the antennae look the foam has. I also like how the drawer liner has a little texture to it. 
Wrap your thread to the back of the hook to build a thread base and then move forward to even with the hook point
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Tie foam body segments down with 5 or 6 tight wraps


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Add orange and black legs to the forward body segment.



Tie in a parachute, make sure the base of the parachute is well wrapped, this will help with hackle wrapping later. I like to leave the parachute a little long at this stage so I can hold on to it while I wrap the hackle on to the post. 
Wrap size 14 hackle 4 to 5 times around the parachute post and tie off. After the hackle is secure whip finish behind the hook eye and underneath the foam “head”. I do this to limit the amount of hackle I catch in my thread wraps.
Add a drop of head cement to the bottom of the fly, this helps hold the fly together and gives it a little shine!


The finished product!

While not the prettiest thing to tie, this ant imitation seems to do well and is very visible despite its small “footprint” on the water. Plus it seems every fish in Arizona likes some orange rubber legs!

Happy tying and tight lines!!






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