Given a normal year, summer sees all kinds of tit bits loosing their footing in riparian foliage and consequently tumbling to a watery grave. Present to a greater or lesser degree all through those warmer months things like black gnats, house flies, beetles, ants and so on to keep trout looking up. Aside from being clumped together as terrestrials, one thing that links them all is their colouration, usually near as damn it, black.
For years, I’ve been a slave to patterns that cover every conceivable insect or bug found along our riverbanks. Not such a bad thing in theory, but in practice, it means carting around a wheelbarrow full of fly boxes… Dressed in sizes 12 down to 20 (smaller tyings seem to sit well on the Varivas 2100) the APT is a plausible imitation for all kinds of land borne creatures, even more portly beetles if you deviate from the dressing here to include a peacock herl abdomen rather than the usual dyed black pheasant tail. Both of which are spun round your tying thread prior to winding, resulting in a far more durable body.
CdC tips make for a delicate wing which can easily be seen. Obviously, various shades show up depending on the prevailing light; natural (dark dun), beige and white cover most eventualities for me. Whilst a black hackle would be more in keeping with terrestrial patterns, I’m more a fan of light blue dun that clipped on the underside is bound to suggest the splayed wings of a drowned natural. That said, a reddy-brown hackled version looks the part too, especially where flying ants are concerned. A neat build up of dubbing suggests either a thorax or the head of a natural.
APT (All Purpose Terrestrial)
Hook: K4A/K4AY # 12-16 Varivas 2100 #18-20
Thread: Black 14/0 Sheer
Body: Dyed black pheasant tail/swan/goose herl, or peacock herl for alternative
Wing: 2-3 CdC tips
Hackle: Blue dun/black or red game cock hackle
Thorax: Peacock ice dubbing
[Above] A peacock herl makes for a more portly pattern that can pass for a beetle
[Below] APT dressed using dyed goose herl