My number one carp fly: Carp Spawn
TMC 2457 Sizes 8-16
Over the years, my number one fly has been a larger more compact version of a sucker spawn imitation. This fly is tied with egg yarn. The importance of the egg yarn is paramount. On the backcast, it dries out and lands softly for a good presentation. However, it quickly saturates in water to sink to the bottom where it is fished. This pattern is deadly sight fished to mudding carp. I like to wait for the fish to go down to mud to present the fly. As the fish emerges from his mud cloud, the spawn should be waiting for him on a platter. I also fish it to slow cruisers. I lead the carp a lot and have the spawn waiting on the bottom of their projected path. The bright colors allow for some really long presentations in the clear water of some of my home waters. Carp that have not been targeted (virgins) by fly fishermen will take this pattern on the descent.
Carp Spawn FTW
Damsel Bugger: Heavy, Medium, Light
TMC 5262 and 5263
This is a modified woolly bugger tied to somewhat resemble a damsel/dragon. The Schlappen on either side is meant to slow its descent and create a parachute affect. This pattern is tied in three different styles: Light, Medium, and Heavy. The light and medium weight patterns can be fished in the middle of the water column. The light is designed to hover and descend slowly. The medium will sink slow but can be stripped in the column for more aggressive fish. The heavy is designed to be fished on the bottom. This can be tied large or small depending on the scenario. Very versatile.
Perkiomen Creek stripping the damsel bugger…oops did I just say a location?
Flat on the top and bottom.
Another stripping mid-column…
Damsel in Distress: Partridge Authentic CZ Czech Nymph Hook Sizes 6-10
My take on Adam’s “Damsel”
Looking pretty in a big guy’s mouth…
Easily my second best producer and the fly responsible for almost all of my large fish. It is tied on a thin wire barbless czech hook and is basically weightless. My largest fish have been taken in deep water, 1-2 feet below the surface where this fly hovers. It can be tied with a lead under body or with bead chain eyes to adjust the sink rate and dap for bank feeders. For more information on how to fish it just read Adam’s synapsis of “the damsel”.
Be aware that this pattern is designed for still water carp. Fish found in areas with current will be able to put a lot more pressure on the hook than a still water fish. This hook is designed for European nymphing and I use it because it is extremely light and slows the descent of the fly. Keeping this in mind, I have caught carp close to 30 lbs. on 3x using this pattern with no problems. I have never had a carp bend this hook but I am 100% positive that a big river fish will.
Shorter, Lighter, Arched, Different Materials, and an Epoxied Frame
Flooded bank caught fish…
I’ll never forget having my damsel hovering on the edge of some floating weeds as this guy cruised beneath the flotsam completely unaware of my presence…
The Carp Crab
Gamakatsu Stinger B10S 4-6
This is a crayfish imitation designed to replicate a crawdad in the defensive position. It is as wide as it is long and is inspired by Diablo Crabs for saltwater species and several different popular carp imitations. The use of long webby Schlappen for the body material creates its width. It easily collapses on the descent and strip and juts out whenever stopped. It is heavily weighted by dumbbell eyes to get it down quick, ride hook up, and perform a slight headstand. It is designed to be used for large and aggressively feeding carp in rivers that are looking for a big meal. It can also be tied with a weed/snag guard for uneven terrain.
Subtle UV Under-body
Defensive crayfish position.