.......................  ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

08/21/09

Fly Fishing Yellowstone - Flying Ants

The Camponotus genus of the Formicidae family has various species of ants
that are called Carpenter ants. The carpenter ants develop wings and actually
fly and land of the surface of the water occasionally. If they are not trapped by
the surface tension, they slowly sink. In the fast water streams they mostly sink.

These flights usually occur late in the afternoons during the spring and early
summer but I have seen them at other locations in the early fall. They normally
only last a couple of days in any one place and spread out for no more than a
week or two on most streams. When the flights are over, the carpenter ants
loose their wings. The discarded wings can be seen on boulders, logs, and the
bank or floating in the water.

The smaller streams that are in the forest areas seem to be the perfect
habitat for the Carpenter ant. These insects are fairly small, usually only about a
size 18. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting on a swam of flying ants to show up.
You will be lucky to discover them a very few times a year but then again, you
may just happen to come across several flying ant swarms. If you do you want to
be prepared because the trout will be certain to eat them.

We ran into huge swarms on the Lewis River a couple of years ago in late
August. These ants were there for two days for certain and maybe longer. We
didn't go back after the second day. Flying ants were everywhere, on the water,
in the air and in the grass around the banks. We managed to do much better
than we normally do on the Lewis those two days.
























"Perfect Fly" Flying Ant

Copyright 2009 James Marsh