This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Chernobyl Ant.
It’s an attractor fly pattern and can imitate cicada, crickets, grasshoppers, and stoneflies.
Larry Tullis of Orem, Utah relays the fly’s development in Tying Flies with Foam, Fur, and Feathers by Harrison Steeves. Larry tied up a foam body cicada from a beach sandal in the late 1970’s and shared it with other fly fishing guides on the Green River in Utah, including Mark Forsland. Mark is credited with another iteration in the mid-1980’s, originally known as the Black Mamba to imitate cicadas. When rubber legs were added it morphed into the Chernobyl Ant.
Other guides added to the evolutionary process, resulting in today’s version.
The fly was shown to Jack Dennis of Jackson Hole who used it in the prestigious 1-Fly Contest. The Chubby Chernobyl caught many fish and the fly’s success skyrocketed from there.
I must have tried them in the late 1990’s. Many fly tyers have changed colors and added other materials. That’s probably how the Chubby Chernobyl was invented.
I’ve tied it in different colors and use it for a simple stonefly pattern. Most recently, I fished a black/tan version to imitate the Cascades Stone (read about this fly in my post The Golden Stonefly Cousin – Doroneuria baumanni).
Who cares what the fish think it is…it works!
Give it a try.