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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Flying Black Ant Tutorial & HMG Review

Heat up your tying sessions

I had seen a couple videos and photos floating around showing this method from Joe Nicklo, so I decided it was time to try out his HMG (Hot Melt Glue) method for tying flies. If you're interested in the supplies for this method, Joe sells them on his website here.

As you can see here and on Joe's website, there are some really cool patterns that you can whip up using hot melt glue as part of the fly.

HMG Mayfly by Joe Nicklo

HMG Scud by Joe Nicklo

Anyway, my concern to begin with was how well the glue stick material would take to being scorched with a super-hot soldering iron. Surprisingly, it didn't take long to get the hang of light touches and sculpting the material on the hook. With the exception of a few errant stabs and swipes, I found it relatively easy to work with and shape the flies I tied. Overall, though as you can see from Joe's website, you can really tie a lot of different style flies with this method. Definitely worth looking into.
Fly Black Ant

So, for this pattern, I used the new Allen D202 dry fly hook. I think this hook is quickly becoming my favorite for flies bigger than #16. I've been tying on it for the last couple or three months and it's a great hook. The black hot melt glue did the trick on the body, although my OCD comes out and would probably do a final coating in Loon or CCG to get a shiny finish. And finally, in fishing this pattern it actually floated pretty well, so that's a good sign given that I'm floating a couple of clumps of glue on a hook. Anyway, give 'er a whirl!


Hook: Allen D202 #14  -- Buy Here --
Thread: MFC Premium Thread, Black 6/0  -- Buy Here --
Body: Hot Melt Glue. See the HMG Kit here
Hackle: Whiting Saddle or Cape, Black  -- Buy Here --
Wing: White CDC (try the bulk CDC option here)  -- Buy Here --


  1. Hey guys, what is your "floatant system" for dealing fish slimed CDC? I've been seeing a lot recently about DIY floatants (wax in white gas, albolene in lighter fluid, feather fletching powder & silica dessicant crystals, ScotchGuard, Rain-x, etc.) but I never see any discussion on compatibility with CDC. I have see some people swear by Frogs Fanny, Tiemco Dry magic, Shimazake Dry Shake, Loon Lochsa, etc. Amadou, Wondercloth, Shamwow, on and on and on. Just curious what your guys take it since I'm really just stating to expand dry fly fishing after years of nymphing

    1. Frog's Fanny and most other desiccant-based floatants are best for CDC as they draw the moisture out. Cheech has a good DIY floatant we call Napalm but not great for CDC. Otherwise, I'm suing Loon Aquel for most all other applications.