There is orderliness and precision to fly tying. Results are immediate and tangible. Repetition and production are relaxing. It is rewarding to fill storage boxes with dozens upon dozens of flies. It is even more satisfying to line up little armies of flies in the boxes I use when I’m fishing.
There is a creative, imaginative part to fly tying. It is fascinating to experiment with new tying materials and to play with variations of tried and true patterns. Sometimes that experimentation yields wonderful results, sometimes questionable results, and sometimes laughably bad results.
While sitting at the vise on a cold, wet day, daydreaming about warm summer days stalking Carp on the flats I can convince myself that just about any new fly or modification of a proven pattern will be the absolute best Carp fly in the universe. Flies like this have not only never been in a Carp’s mouth they have never even bet wet. Is it okay for me to call a fly that has never been wet a Carp fly? Sure it is. I think as long as I can laugh at myself it is.
As fly fishing for Carp is gaining more and more traction and as there are an ever increasing number of bloggers and fishing forums, imaginative “Carp flies” abound. There are so many Carp flies out there that have never been in a Carp’s mouth, and never been in the water, it’s just plain funny.
In anticipation of the coming Carp season I have a couple variations on existing patterns that I think are going to work. The first is The Wild Thing.
Actually I have already caught some Carp on this fly last spring but only a few. The San Juan Worm is a proven Carp pattern and I’m hoping this is an improvement. It is tied with a rubber band. No matter how it lands it is always three dimensional. The Wild Thing has caught some Carp so it is not really an Internet fly.
Experimenting with some of my Salmon flies I started using rubber tails this winter. I decided to add a rubber tail to a Carp fly and see what happens. Again, when its dark and cold out I can talk myself into believing anything will work. I actually do think this fly has a lot of potential. I talk myself into believing that the Carp will be attracted to the movement of tail. Who knows if it is true? Maybe it will scare them and maybe it won’t make a bit of difference. Time will tell.
The Rubber Tail Carp Woollie:
I tied two flies for this article that I thought were silly or more like downright ridiculous. I put a rattle on the first one and I’m calling it The Carpalooper.
Sitting at the vise I can say the Carp will be attracted to the fly because of the noise. I think that is funny because they are so easily scared. But the more I daydream about it I start to wonder; maybe it will work. I think maybe I’ll put the fly on my blog and say that it will be this year’s big fly.
This next fly is the pièce de résistance, the crème de la crème, the cat’s whiskers, the best of the best of the best. This is not just A Carp fly, this is THE Carp fly. Fly fishing for Carp was revolutionized the day this fly came off my vise. It’s not just a Carpalooper it’s the Super Duper Carpalooper! Not only does it have a rattle; it has a propeller. Noise and motion; how can the Cyprinids resist? They can’t. Fly fishing for Carp will get so easy with this fly it will make things almost boring. (The rattle is made of glass and has two beads inside it. It is inside the mylar tubing on the Carpalooper and under the chenille on the Super Duper Carpalooper.)
The Super Duper Carpalooper:
The rattle I used:
Okay I tied the Carpalooper and the Super Duper Carpalooper because I thought it was funny. It is funny to me because of all the Carp flies on the Internet that have never caught a single fish and particularly because of all the flies I have personally tried for Carp that just haven’t worked. Sitting at the vise and then blogging I can say anything is a good Carp fly. Who would know?
I really do think that The Wild Thing will produce for Carp. I think I can catch fish on the rubber tail fly but I don’t know if it is an actual improvement. Maybe both flies will just end up being Internet flies that don’t catch fish. But here’s the thing. The more I look at my Carpalooper and the Super Duper Carpalooper I find myself thinking I just might actually try these flies. I tied these flies because I thought it was funny and to poke a bit of fun at all the Carp flies on the Internet that have never been fished and to poke fun at myself because of all the flies that I’ve tried that have not worked. Sitting at the vise I have talked myself into thinking these flies just might work. HA! Wouldn’t it be funny if I never catch another fish on The Wild Thing and the Carp just love the Super Duper Carpalooper? Well there you go; I ended up falling for my own silly flies.
Jim is a freelance writer living in Bothell, WA. His home water is the Columbia River.
Reprinted by permission from the NACA magazine. All rights reserved.