This pattern was the product of Rainey Riding’s imagination after the Chernobyl atomic plant accident.

Resembling an ant only in the weirdest imagination, this is a great stimulator pattern.

The closed cell foam used in this ant floats like a cork, and the 8 rubber legs dance a jitter bug across the surface of the water.

I first encountered the Chernobyl ant many years ago, while visiting a fly fishing shop in Toronto Canada, called Skinners. I enquired about good patterns for Brook trout in the north, they said that I would only need one fly, the Chernobyl Ant… When I was shown the pattern, I immediately thought… Oh a typical American larger than life, synthetic affair.

But while fishing for Brookies in the north, I must admit that it wasn’t the only pattern that worked, but it was without doubt, the one that worked best.

This is not at all a complicated pattern to tie, but it must be tied in the correct order and manner. This is not only a great surface attractor for Brook trout but must species that surface feed. So try it on rainbows and salt water sea trout as a night lure.


Hook Mustad R79NP-BR 9 X long # 6-8
Thread Dyneema
Under body Yellow razor foam
Over body Black razor foam
Legs Barred rubber legs Medium
Hi-Vis indicator Yellow razor foam

Step by step

1. Cut two strips of razor foam about 6 mm wide and 7 cm long.


2. Before you secure your streamer hook in the vice thread the lower yellow foam onto the hook as shown.


3. Swing the foam around to one side and attach your tying thread, running it all the way so it hangs just over the barb of the hook.


4. Swing the foam around so that it lies under the hook shank. Squeeze the foam around the hook shank and make 5 or 6 turns with tying thread to make the first body segment. Be careful not to pull too tight or you will cut the foam!


5. Place the black foam strip on top of the yellow and tie in on the same position again with 5 or 6 turns.


6. Take a long length of rubber legs and fold it in half. Tie this in on top of the black foam, this time you can increase the pressure of the tying thread.


7. Using scissors cut the front loop of the legs in the centre.


8. Now grip the two legs on the side nearest to you and carefully pull down until they ‘snap’ into position between the groove between the black and yellow foam. Repeat with the legs on the back side.


9. While holding both the black and yellow foam back, as shown, wind your tying thread about 5 mm along the hook shank.


10. Now lift up the yellow foam and make 5 or 6 turns of tying thread to complete the first body segment.


11. Repeat stages 9 and ten for the next body segment.


12. Continue until you have made 5 or 6 evenly sized body segments finishing 5 mm behind the hook eye.


13. Now pull down the black over body foam and secure with tying thread in the same position as the last body segment.


14. Tie inn another set of legs following the same procedure as before.


15. If you would like to make your Chernobyl ant easier too see at a distance or in low light, you can tie inn a small section of bright foam as shown, as a Hi-Vis indicator.


16. Holding both ends of the Hi-Vis indicator trim it down to size, and whip finish.


17. Trim the tail and head of your ant as shown here.


18. Your finished Chernobyl Ant is ready to dance.
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