Guide flies are a staple in most fly boxes. Almost everyone has a fly that can be fished when all else fails to catch fish. They're versatile, easy to tie, and easy to fish. They must be simple enough to tie that you can go home after a long day of fishing and tie fifteen without a problem all of which can catch fish. It must be able to fish multiple ways, dry fly fishing, stripping, even under an indicator. All of this is true for one of my coldwater staples, the red ant.
The red ant is one of the first flies I ever learned to tie and is still one of my most tied and used patterns. It can be fished on top as a dry fly with extreme effectiveness. The very next hole you can put it four foot under the water fishing with an indicator and have just as much success. It can even be stripped and swung through flat water to hook up as well. A true jack of all trades I urge anyone fishing coldwater to load a few in their box.
Hook: Size 14 Scud Hook
Thread: Red or Black 140 Denier Ultra Thread
Body: Thread wraps forming a head and abdomen.
Hackle: Small or Medium Gage Grizzly Hackle