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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Carp Carrot Questions and Answers

I receive a number of emails about Carp fishing and about my Carp Carrot. Here are some of the questions that people have asked along with answers.

Do you have a favorite size or version of your Carp Carrot?

While I fish it from sizes 6-12 I prefer 8 & 10. I prefer the two versions I have pictured here. Gold dumbbell eyes with a white rubber tail and black or nickel eyes with a black rubber tail. (I spread the hackle a bit to show the body.)

Why do you use the dumbbell eyes?

Using dumbbell eyes was initially about weighting the fly sufficiently to get it down but I have also found that I like that the point of the hook is up when the fly settles down. I think that I get fewer snags and more hook ups. I think the dumbbell eyes create a different look or profile. I would emphasize the word “think” in these sentences though.

Will you sell me some of your Carp Carrots?

Sorry, I don’t sell flies.

Is the Carp Carrot available in fly shops?

Not now but it may be next year.

Will you give me some of your Carp Carrots?

Maybe. If you email me and ask me to just send you a dozen, nope I won’t do it. (It has happened more than once.) If we have corresponded some, then I might give you a few flies. If we fish together then I will definitely give you some.

Why do you think this fly is so effective?

I don’t really know. It is though. I have some thoughts on some of the common elements of effective Carp flies and will mention that in the answer to another question.

You fish this fly on your Columbia River, have you fished it in any lakes?

Yes, there are two lakes, one in particular where I have fished it quite a bit and the Carp respond very well.

Have you tried the Montana Carrot?

Well that’s a bit of a funny question to me. I was fishing with John Montana and his dad two summers ago on the Columbia. It was July 26, 2008 actually. Let me say that John is truly a stellar Carp fly angler and a quality person. At that point I had been fishing the Carrot for three years already. On that particular day I had caught a few fish and John Jr. or John Sr. had not got a fish yet. That’s not a normal day for John by the way. They saw a fish move to my fly. When I released that fish I gave each of them a couple Carp Carrots. The one I gave John Jr. and John Sr. is one of my preferred versions I mentioned above. I have tied the Carrot with a dubbed body and two shades of orange yarn. To say that my Carrot is lighter or darker in color or lighter or heavier in weight compared to another Carrot is also funny to me since I had been tying it for three years before I started giving any away. During those three years I had already tied it in sizes 6-12. I had tried it with a lead wire wrap, beads, dumbbell eyes, and no weight at all. I had experimented with different hackles and body colors too. I had tried it with a rubber tail and without. I made an earlier post in my blog about the history and variations of my Carp Carrot. Like I said, it's a bit of a funny question to me.

Are there other flies you fish for Carp that you feel are equally as effective? If there are will you post pictures of them?

No fly works all of the time for Carp. It’s not an easy game which is one of the things that makes it so engaging. There are some days, not all days, when the Carp will noticeably move to the Carp Carrot. I sure like those days. Other Carp fly fishermen across the country have had the same experience with the Carrot. Still, there are days when the fish prefer the SJW. There are other days when I seem to do better on a Hare’s Ear, a Leech, or on one of my Carp Woollies. I made a post earlier in the year showing some of these flies. I will post additional pictures of some of my other Carp Woollies soon. I should add there are some days when the Carp prefer to nap, look for love, or to eat real food and not my fakes. And there are days when the wind is blowing like heck, or the sky is cloudy, or the river is high, or my casting is bad, or my feet are clumsy, and all of my flies are equally ineffective.

Through these last seven seasons I have experimented with a lot of different flies for Carp. I can give you a good serious list of flies that just plain don’t work for Carp, at least not for the Carp I have chased. I have tried a number of different Salmon flies for Carp and got no love. I really thought that I could get Carp holding in current to pick up small baitfish imitations. I believe that at some point at least some of them actually eat small baitfish but I have not had a take on any of my Clousers or other Salmon patterns, even the small, sparse ones. I have swung baitfish patterns in front of holding Carp and I have dead drifted them and not got a single Carp to take. I have tried some other brightly colored patterns and they don’t seem to work nearly as well as rust, orange, brown, black, grey, burgundy, and olive patterns.

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