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Tying the Travis Para-Ant for later-summer trout

Tying the Travis Para-Ant.

Parts of the West got a taste of things to come this week — Colorado and Wyoming got some snow, and here in Idaho, a brutally cold wind chased summer away for a bit, littered the streets with broken branches and left thousands without power.

But summer’s not over just yet, and that means terrestrial season isn’t over, either. In fact, the first couple weeks of September are usually pretty great dry-fly weeks as things cool off a bit and trout look up for big bites of protein.

One of the best terrestrial flies to use this time of year is an ant pattern. Just two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get up to the St. Joe River country in the Idaho Panhandle, and ants were the dry-fly ticket of the trip. I used black foam ant patterns, but patterns like the Travis Para-Ant, tied above by tying aficionado Tim Flager, would most certainly have worked, too.

As fall comes on, ants are among the most active terrestrial insects, and wherever wood and water intersect, they are almost always present, and always on the menu for hungry trout.

On another note, check out how Tim uses UV resin to seat the parachute in the pattern above. Sheer genius.