Fly fishing for carp is a segment that has grown, and will continue to do so, for so many reasons...but most importantly, because catching carp is so much fun! Though there's a steep learning curve, stick with it because perseverance, time, and knowledge of carp behavior will help to ensure success. Have confidence in the patterns below, as they are some of the "tried-and-true" ones of this niche in fly fishing.
It seems that one of the fastest growing segments in fly fishing is for carp, especially because they are such a great fighting fish! McTage's Trouser Worm, created by the owner of http://www.flycarpin.com, is a pattern that comes highly recommended in this niche of our great sport. Fish this pattern with confidence, and feel free to vary the color, with red being another effective selection.
Featured in this "Two Minute Fly Tying" tutorial is the Krazy Carper from Jamie Kaminski. Though catching the attention of those fly fishing for carp, this pattern is quickly developing into one that's known to be effective with many species. The Krazy Carper is a simple one to tie, and allows for many color combinations and variations with its body material. This is a great fly to fish, with one of the Krazy Carper's most important features being its similarity to the Zonker-style of flies.
Created by John Montana, the Hybrid Carp Fly is one that continues to receive rave reviews as the top carp fly fished today (as evident on the http://www.flycarpin.com/). This pattern, which incorporates few materials, is easy to modify and has endless color combinations. I discuss the original pattern in my introduction, and examine some possible variations available during the tying of the Hybrid Carp Fly.
This segment of fly fishing continues to grow, and be sure to check out John's website for additional information related to fly fishing for carp: http://carponthefly.blogspot.com/
Featured in this YouTube fly tying tutorial is the "Sculpzilla," an excellent representation of a sculpin from the Solitude Fly Company. This is a nasty streamer that is known to catch some really large fish, plus an easy pattern to tie when broken down into individual steps. Most importantly, you can vary the size and color of this pattern to match sculpins, leeches, and other bait fish in your area.
The original Sculpzilla was tied as an articulated streamer, and though those are effective patterns, I wanted to demonstrate that this fly can be modified and tied on a regular streamer hook. The key to this is keeping the proportions correct, and this fly has more than enough movement to it even without being tied articulated.
There are many leech patterns out there, yet this one may be the fastest I've ever tied; thanks to Landon Mayer for creating this simple yet effective pattern! This fly is a variation of his original, being that I have modified it slightly for carp...but don't forget that Landon recommends tying the Mayer's Mini Leech in smaller sizes for trout. More is discussed about the pattern following the tying, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it as well. This is part of my "Two Minute Tying" series, and it's a great fly that can be tied quickly and easily at the vise.
In this fly tying tutorial, I share a popular streamer, the Zuddler Conehead Minnow, which is a cross between two other extraordinary patterns. This fly, part Zonker and part Muddler Minnow, has lots of characteristics that fish like, including great movement from the rabbit strip and a front profile that resembles many bait fish. I offer a number of variations throughout this tutorial, and encourage you to share any you create. On a related note, this is a video response to a younger member of our fly tying community; I recommend that you check out Jordan Lee's tying of this pattern, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDkS49K6fS8
Guest tyer John Mlakar ties a great pattern known as the Swimming Crane Fly Larva and then shares some of his personal variations (which I highly recommend looking into!). John also gives us some tips to fish this fly, which is a simple and effective one. Have fun with the variations of your own, and let us know how you like this Swimming Crane Fly Larva.
In this fly tying tutorial, I show an easy way to vary the traditional Woolly Bugger, which is by substituting a schlappen hackle for the traditional saddle hackle. The former consists of a marabou butt section, plus has very webby hackle throughout. I encourage you to try some flies with this hackle, plus wet them at the end at your bench (like I do in this video) to see how they will look in the water.
In this fly tying tutorial, I demonstrate the tying methods for a fly called the CrawBody Crayfish. Representing a favorite meal of both trout and smallmouth bass, the crayfish as a pattern is intended to be fished lower in the water column, and can be utilized in both streams and lakes. There are many variations that you can make to this intermediate pattern, thus feel free to experiment and determine what works best on your local waters.
For this fly tying tutorial, I share a pattern that needs little introduction, Bob Clouser's famous fly, the Clouser Deep Minnow. This is a "go-to" for most fly fisherman, and with good reason: It catches fish! I share a few tips to employ when tying this pattern, plus various pieces of information I learned from Mr. Clouser during his demonstrations.
During this fly tying tutorial, I showcase my friend Tony Spezio's pattern, the Chili Pepper fly. Tony shared a few stories related to this Woolly Bugger-type pattern, thus I take the first few minutes to share those with you. I also have modified a few of the techniques and components of this fly, but wanted to ensure that the integrity of the original was still intact. Thanks, Tony, for sharing this great pattern with me!
For this tutorial, I chose a great streamer that is known to catch large fish. Using a barbless jig nymph hook from Allen Fly Fishing (http://www.allenflyfishing.com/), I varied the colors of John Barr's original slightly to create this "Meat Whistle."
This fly tying tutorial is centered around the topic of sculpins and a pattern to represent them. The fly, a Sculpin Bugger, is easy to tie, and more importantly, encompasses some great characteristics of the natural sculpin. Featured in this video are "Sculpin Helmets" from the Flymen Fishing Company (http://flymenfishingcompany.org/products/fish-skull-products/sculpin-helmet/) and some new hackle on the scene from Joel Alsdorf (http://www.alsdorfgenetic.com/).
In this fly tying tutorial, I demonstrate the techniques for tying the Black Bunny Leech. This pattern is suggestive of a leech, though if you vary the colors of the rabbit strips, other baitfish can be represented. At the front of this fly is a Fish Skull Baitfish Head (http://flymenfishingcompany.org/products/fish-skull-products/fish-skull/), which helps to add both weight and the desired appearance of eyes. This fly was tied on the Allen Fly Fishing S402BL hook (http://www.allenflyfishing.com/n212bl-nymph-streamer-2xl-barbless/), though I also recommend tying this leech on hooks up to 4xl.
In this fly tying tutorial, I show the steps to tie a fantastic fly for steelhead, known as "DeFrank's Grim Reaper." Originally tied for the Great Lakes region (specifically the tributaries of Lake Erie) and the steelhead within, this pattern is useful for a number of species, and is a "go-to" for many fly fishermen.
I call this a variant because I have modified this pattern from its original design, which can be found: http://www.defranksflies.com/defranks-grim-reaper/. I believe that both patterns are effective, and challenge you to make any additional modifications to add to the pattern's ability to catch fish.
Leech patterns are favorites among stillwater fishing specialists, and this pattern tends to be a common "go-to" for many. The Simi Seal Leech, created by John Rohmer, is a great fly tying pattern for everyone due to its relative ease. Variations are absolutely possible and encouraged, hence one of the reasons I tie this pattern in white to represent minnows in local waters. This pattern itself is a variation, as I use a blended dubbing of my own, similar to the material called for in the original.