Chernobyl Ant -

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Rainbow and Brown Trout Fishing Flies
Adult Dragonfly Buckhorn Special Hare's Ear Chernobyl Ant
Clouser Minnow DamselFly Dragonfly Nymph Caddis Fly
Madam X Parachute Adams Stimulator Wet Dry Fly
Woolly Bugger MayFly Mouse Hornberg

By David Kotok
Special to The New Jersey Angler

     The Chernobyl ant is, perhaps, the greatest dry fly I've ever used. Its silhouette must look like a grasshopper or other large terrestrial to some fish and like a dragonfly to others.

     It has given me terrific results with bass in the northeastern United States as a dragonfly imitation.  Any sunny day whenChernobyl Ant Fly Pattern dragonflies are in the air will do. You do not need a hatch underway for success with a Chernobyl.  You do need flat water.

     Now, I know you can say that about a lot of top water flies and poppers, but the Chernobyl seems to always work. Having tested it against alternatives, I always come back to this as my preferred instrument.  Technique for throwing the Chernobyl requires a little attention. The hook can turn on a strike, which means you have to re-center the hook each time there is a rise.  In addition, because of its weight, the fly has a tendency to land upside down more than half the time.  A slight twitch is enough to right it but you have to remember that the spinning in the air can put a twist in your leader.  Smoothing the leader between fingertips every few casts is necessary to correct this deficiency. 

     Larger Chernobyl ants seem to work better than smaller ones without regard to the size of the fish. Clearly larger is better for big fish.  I've also used the Chernobyl as a strike indicator when nymphing.  You need something floating to signal a strike, why not make It something that might be attractive?  Every once in a while some large fish will hit the Chernobyl, usually when you are least ready for it.  Something about the Chernobyl silhouette on top of the water attracts large trout even in conditions when you would not normally expect them to rise.

     I've caught brown and rainbow trout in North America and South America with a Chernobyl.  I've also caught largemouth and smallmouth bass and nearly any other type of top water feeding fish.  It works.  Good luck.

Editors Note:  David R. Kotok is the Chief Investment Officer of Cumberland Advisors, Inc., a Vineland-based financial advisor. Reach him at P.O. Box 663, Vineland, NJ 08362-0663 or e-mail to

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