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Thread: Carp Flies

  1. Default Carp Flies

    I recently started fly fishing and really the only places where I can fly fish is a state lake about 1 hour away. I do have a few rivers/streams closer to me though but about the only fish in it are carp. I didn't even think about fishing for carp, but I saw some posts on here and it sounds like alot of fun.

    The river/stream, not sure what to call it, is only about 3 feet deep at the deepest but usually much shallower. It is also pretty muddy and visibility isnt great. So Im wondering, in these conditions, what flies should I use. I dont have any "carp" flies so are there any essentials that would be easy to tie? And what size should I tie them in?

    I appreciate any help/suggestions

  2. #2

    Default Re: Carp Flies

    Welcome to the board!

    Basic nymphs would be good e.g. gold ribbed hare's ear, pheasant tail, prince nymphs. Woolly buggers in earth tones. Crayfish patterns, though they can be a bit complicated. (the buggers can work for these, too).

    A lot of carp flies feature rubber legs-often basic patterns or variants with legs attached.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)

    Default Re: Carp Flies

    Whitedice, carp will eat many things from nymphs to crayfish to small baitfish & vegetation. I once read that orange was a good color, and have had some good success with flies that incorporate orange. But, I've caught them on other colors as well. Olive, black, & brown shades all seem to do well at times. In muddy water I think dark colors might do best, but you have to get it in front of them without spooking them. That's the main thing.

    Best to keep the flies simple IMO, a basic profile that might imitate a variety of things, and of a size that fits both the waters & the size of the fish, and your equipment. I use flies tied on size 2, 4 or 6 the most and an 8 wt. I've caught smaller ones on a 6 wt too.

    Here's some flies I've had some success with. There are others in wide use & a search for carp flies will give you more. These are simple, a dubbed body, a tail of rabbit fur, (or other soft textured hair) and a wing or collar of similar hair. Sometimes a couple of strands of flash, like copper, gold or bronze helps.

    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Carp Flies

    All the flies shown up there will work. One thing you have to pay attention to is that Carps take your flies when you present them right in front of them probably a small 12 inch dish when they are muddying, i.e. they are sucking the bottom. So an accurate casting is imperative. You can easily see them doing this when you see their tails are up, and the water color around their heads are a bit more tainted.
    Hook one for us.

  5. Default Re: Carp Flies

    Thanks for all the advice. I tied my first pheasant tail nymph, and it actually turned out halfway decent. Ill tie a few others and then go give it a shot. If I can get a day sometime this week that isnt in the 100's I might go, and since that probably wont happen, I might as well go tonight
    Thanks Again.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Carp Flies

    Backstabbers are hands down the best carp fly out there...but they wll pretty much eat anything. Good Luck and welcome!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    St. Louis, MO

    Default Re: Carp Flies

    In water that skinny, make sure you have something that doesnt kurplunk too loud, they will spook nice and quick if you do. thats how my home water carp are, but if i go to another creek if the fly doesnt make a tidal wave when it hits the water they dont pay attention to it.
    "When you do things right, people wont be sure you've done anything at all."

    Storm Drain Bonefisher

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Hillsboro, OR

    Default Re: Carp Flies

    Here is a peek inside the fly box of the most well known and most successful carp fly fisherman in Oregon. It isnt me btw. It is however a member on this forum....

  9. Default Re: Carp Flies

    I recognize a couple of those flies vans! must have snapped that at the orvis store. Lots of good carp patterns out there, but like any fish, it really comes down to forage. Figure out what the primary forage in your lake is, and you can bet the carp will be eating that. When in doubt, smallish nymph patterns work well...San Juan worms and this variation (the trouser worm by my buddy Mctage) are good to me as well:

    Find out the forage and imitate will be in business.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Bothell, WA

    Default Re: Carp Flies

    The Chocolate Cherry and the Carp Carrot are proven Carp patterns. Lots of soft hackles tied for Carp are variations of the Carrot.
    The take is the premier moment.

    Mr. P.'s Blog

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