The Chernobyl Ant
Early June found us fishing a pressured stream in Northern Idaho that has become all to popular with the spin fishermen and fly fishing enthusiasts alike making it difficult to catch the nicer fish. Many steams aren’t able to be fished at this time of year due to the spring run-off lasting till the first part of July in Idaho, however, with very little snow-pack the rivers were fishing great early.
Fishing was slow and we found ourselves at a particular favorite hole watching an evening hatch come of the water that appeared to be an Evening Dun Mayfly of sorts. With that hatch easy enough to match my wife and I myself proceeded to catch a few small fish on that pattern. After which I asked what she wanted to do as far as changing the fly due to the fact that there were obviously bigger fish that were active in the hole. She told me to go big or go home and that she wanted to try that big one. The fly of her liking had nothing to do with the hatch and was about a size 8 yellow Chernobyl Ant. Reluctantly I tied it on for her and upon watching her lay it perfectly in the run a 15 inch cutty exploded from the water to devour her fly.
After watching her land five more nearly the same size I was not only tired of taking photos, but I had to come to the conclusion that with me being a man and her being a woman that once again in my life I was wrong in my thinking and she was right. At which point I changed to the same thing and watched time and time again for the rest of the weekend the same result of cutthroats exploding on the fly!
The conclusion that was formed over the weekend was that these trout had just come off a salmon fly hatch and had been accustomed to the more filling flavors of a large yellowish-orange salmon fly and this pattern happened to resemble that. It worked then and has been HOT ALL SUMMER! THE FISH ARE HAMMERING IT!!! The salmon flies aren’t hatching anymore but there is something about this fly that keeps the rising for more. It has definitely been a favorite in my box this year.