For the fly fishers I know best, the ant is pretty much a "marginal" pattern. While terrestrials in general fall into this category for many fly fishers, the ant is one that deserves a bit more attention. From a tying standpoint, there are few flies that are easier than the ant. It requires no exotic materials, color and size can be changed to suit, wings can be added, can be tied parachute style, floating or sinking etc. etc. I consider ants to be a valuable fly to have at all times, but tend to fish them on breezy summer days, usually on small streams.
A note on proportion: What makes an ant fly "look" like an ant is the distinct head and abdomen separated by a skinny , leggy thorax. Be sure to create the abdomen and head as "ball-shaped" and keep the wraps of hackle tight together. I tie mine with a few wraps of thread ahead of the abdomen, and before the head to accentuate the separation effect
Tying The Ant Fly Pattern
Hook:Tiemco #101 (or any standard dry fly hook)
Thread:Black (or color to suit)
Body:Fine black dry fly dubbing
Hackle:Black (or color to suit)
Start thread, and wrap back to the bend. Begin dubbing the abdomen
Advance the thread as shown, tie in the hackle.
Wrap the hackle approx. 4 times (for a size#18 fly) and tie off.
Advance the thread as before and dub the head, almost half the size of the abdomen.
Make a few tight wraps of thread behind the eye and tie off. Add a drop of head cement to the final wraps