Thursday, November 21, 2013

Good Dry Flies For Carp - Reader Recommendations

In my last post I asked for advice from my readers on good dry flies for carp.  The idea was to make a list of what dry flies people have actually caught carp with and then use that as the starting point for building my carp on the dry arsenal this winter.

The response was awesome - thank you so much everybody who responded on this blog, facebook or the CarpPro forum!

What was shocking to me was how many times hoppers and cicadas and other larger meatier dry flies came up in the conversation.  I have mainly been thinking (with significant trepidation) that the main thing that would work would be the same little itty bitty cute classic dry flies that I grew up catching Trout on or even smaller in the case of midges.  While those are on the list it would seem to be not absolutely necessary.

Here were the recommendations - x4 would mean that at least 4 people mentioned that fly:
  • Small Hoppers (x6)
  • Adams in several variations, recommended by many (x4)
    • Parachute
    • Normal
    • White
  • Cicadas (x4)
  • Mulberry Flies (x 3)
  • Elk Hair Caddis (x 2)
  • Deer hair pellet fly (x2)
  • Cotton wood seed pattern (x2)
  • Small Stimulators
  • Small Muddler Minnows (grassies)
  • Size 16 Griffiths Gnat 
  • Damsel Flies (picture below)
  • Small black ants
  • Small black beetles     
  • Floating eggs
  • Gray Drake
  • Skitters (picture below)
  • Tarauntulas
  • Madam X
  • Droppers
  • Suspender Buzzer 
  • Inch worms
The Skitter (Compliments of Mr P at Got Backing)

Spearyhopper sent some pictures of super sweet damsels tied with furled flash foam from craft stores.  The version he has caught carp on is the single (non-mating) on the left.  I like these allot.


  1. Hi Trevor. You can also try with a foam beetle like this I published on my blog ( It's the first dry fly I always try when I find a carp feeding at the surface

  2. I'm on a similar quest to stick a carp on a dry and have put a fair amount of thought into it. Finally decided to just to carry the same selection of dries I use in trout fishing. I figure wild carp are just as opportunistic as wild trout in that regard are liable to be feeding on just about anything that presents itself.

  3. I have to say that for me it's opportunity to use a dry, infrequent. I long for the day I see cloopers like in the U TUBE videos, I trust I will have a suitable fly for the situation.


  4. Presentation is the key to catching carp. They will eat anything if it looks appealing!

  5. Will fly floatant and paste put carp down?

  6. @The Laughing Fly, I don't know for sure, but based on what I've read about their senses, I would think so. I don't use it. I've gotten into using 1 or 2xh nymph hooks for strength, foam and maribou for float and those small ugly things work fine for me for catching them on the dry without using floatant.


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