Monday, March 31, 2014

CarpPro Issue 7 Issue 7 came out tonight, and this issue features many of the flies from our recently completed swap as well as an editorial from yours truly.

The more astute of you may happen to notice that my fly-swap submission was one of the bigger and creepy crawlier carp flies in the swap which is in odd contrast to my editorial.  What can I say, except that I am just as confused as you are and - "Do as I say not as I do" 

While we are at it lets throw in "Shut yer mouth when yer talkin to me!".  Which is an inside joke.  Sorry about that.

My favorite part of this issue, though, was the article from Treavor Hackenberg about fly fishing and Asperger's Syndrome.  Despite our best efforts to aggrandize it, fly fishing is really a pretty trivial excersize - except for somebody like Treavor. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: Hackenberg's Dirty Harry

Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier:  Treavor Hackenberg
Location:  PA
Instagram: @thackenberg

About: "This fly is just a mix between Roughfisher's Carp Crack and Egan's Headstand.  I fish the fly with slow long strips and random hard short strips to make it look like it's digging down in the mud."

Notes:  At 15 years old, Treavor is a member of the significant youth movement in carp on the fly.  His energy and passion are awe inspiring and you will be able to read his full story in the next issue of CarpPro.  As far as I can tell, many (most?) fishermen under 20 really have no concept of carp as a "trash fish" and that is very very satisfying.  

I ran into a young man at a local lake a couple of weeks ago.  He saw me getting out my fly rod, nodded sagely at me and asked how the carp were biting.  I did a double-take and asked him how he knew I was chasing carp.  His looked at me like I was insane, and said "Well, you are fly fishing so I just figured".  No shit - honest truth.  I am a little more used to people looking at me insanely BECAUSE I am chasing carp.  The new reality is going to be confusing at times.

Oh yeah - this is the last fly in the swap.  Kaput.  Done.  - McTage 

  • Hook: Straight shank, size 6
  • Tail:  Red Fox
  • Body: Crystal flash dub, rusty orange
  • Leggs: TCO Round Rubber - medium
  • Hackle:  Orangish / Reddish hackle 
  • Head : Greay crystal Flash dub
  • Eyes:  Medium bead chain

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: Scott Wells' Carp Fly

Copyright 2014,  Scott Wells,
Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier: Scott Wells

Location: Denver, CO

About: "This is a guide fly with only two basic materials.  I have used this fly or close variants to it for many years and have caught a ton of carp on it."

Notes:  Scott Wells has been harassing the Denver South Platte carp on the fly as long as just about anybody I know.  He has a passion for anything having to do with water and the outdoors and he has extended that passion into his art.  We are going to get a little side-tracked from his fly on this post, because You HAVE GOT TO check out his fish prints

Scott specializes in making carefully enhanced prints of real fish and his mirror carp prints have got to be the coolest carp art I know of.  They are also for sale - so don't be shy if you like his stuff.

Copyright 2014, Scott Wells,
  • Hook: Size 6 Gamakatsu SL-45.
  • Eyes:  Medium Brass, silver coating
  • Thread: 6/0,  fluorescent orange
  • Body: Leech Mohair 
  • Tail / Leggs: Hareline Buggy Nymph Leggs, Brown

Copyright 2014, Scott Wells,

Monday, March 24, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: Frasier's Package of Crap Flies. I mean Carp Flies.

For this year's swap we decided to do something a little different.  In order to thank Dan Frasier for saving the swap, getting us all SA GPX lines and for everything else he does for fly fishing for carp we made him a special package.  A very very very special package.  And then we talked him into video-taping the experience!  Check it out.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fly Swap 2014: Galvin's Olive Soft Hackle

Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier: Chris Galvin
Location: Denver, CO
Website: Trout Hunters

About: "Because I am faced sometimes with more difficult carp like in the South Platte and some local stillwaters I often like to show them something subtle that they havent seen.  This fly has a nice soft landing and the fish will often find it mid column while it is dropping and it rarely scares the fish.  I also like little flies for carp because I can animate them a little more without intimidating them."

Notes:  Unlike most of the swap flies I have had the pleasure of watching this one catch several carp.  One of them was on a lake that drives me absolutely nuts because the fish are difficult.  Or I suck.  Hard to tell.  I have spent many many hours on this lake with limited success and Galvin walked up and landed a fish on his second cast.  He has no idea how close he was to getting thrown in.  Oh and please don't notice all the UV elements on this fly.  Those are top secret. - McTage

  • Hook: size 4 owner mosquito
  • Thread: Olive
  • Head:  Color the olive thread with black magic marker and cover with super glue.
  • UV Hotspot tag: Glo-Brite floss #6
  • Body: Custom blended dubbing (Chris blends dubbing like paint, from feel not by measurements.  See picture below):
    • Brown Olive, Olive and Grey Hares Ear Blend from
    • Amber and orange sow scud
    • Umpqua olive cdc dub
    • Spirit River UV2 Enhancer Light
    • Two colors of peackock dubbing
  • Hackle: Olive Hungarian Partridge.
  • Weight:  Optional 0.015" Lead Wire.  The swap flies had 8 wraps.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: Frasier's Foxy Lady

Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier: Dan Frasier
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Instagram: @dcfrasier

About: "The Foxy Lady is the product or a horrific vehicle accident. Returning from a fishing trip a few years ago, I ran over a red fox with my Wrangler. So it was more horrific for the fox than it was for me. Anyway, I jumped out, put the fox out of his misery and then got to looking at his fur. I couldn't resist so I took the tail. The color and, especially, consistency intrigued me. I went through many many different prototypes of flies, using the fox fur; attempting small crayfish patterns. The color was what I wanted, gray's, rusts, and blacks, and the action in the water was perfect, but I just couldn't get the profile I wanted. The fur would collapse on itself. Eventually I stumbled upon the answer. By tying in the hackle with the tips facing forward and then folding them back eventually when it came time to tie the head, I created a collar that stood almost as wide as the fly is long. That, along with the SUPER delicate presentation and slow sink rate allowed me to target the super skinny fish I frequently encounter. This is my go to fly all summer long when faced with crayfish eating carp."

Notes:  It is a good thing Dan stepped in and offered to help with the swap this year because otherwise it just wasn't going to happen.  It certainly wasn't going to happen with free Orvis fly boxes and free Scientific Anglers lines to boot!  Dan making stuff happen is nothing new though.  It is just what he does, and behind the scenes Dan has been putting the fly fishing for carp revolution on his shoulders and lifting it on high.  The poor guy's fingers bleed with all the messaging, emailing and electronic kbitzing he does coordinating the various cells of the revolution across the country.  Thanks man. - McTage

  • Hook: CarpPro Gaper Size 6
  • Head: Bead-chain Eyes
  • Tail: Red Fox Tail Fur
  • Body: Rust coarse dubbing of your choice
  • Hackle: Red Fox Tail, spun with tips over the eye and folded back when tying the head

Friday, March 14, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: McTage's Chubby Chaser, Leech

Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier: Me
Location:  CO
Website: This one.

About: "I have been working on this fly for several months now specifically for this years fly swap.  It started complicated, got simpler, and now after about 40 prototypes, hours of bathtub testing and 20 or so carp hooked, it is really pretty simple.  Take a Jaime's Krazy Karper style peirced rabbit strip, add some sweet Cohen's Carp Dub in a loop, throw in my signature head-stand style and the coolest freaking carp fly name ever (if I do say so myself) and there you have it.  A relatively easy to tie head-stand leech pattern with a laterally flattened profile and some good looks.  

So far I have had really excellent luck with it to hard tailing carp over a silty bottom that are creating thier own heavy dust cloud that makes it hard for them to find your fly.  I have actually had outstanding success in that scenario, which is pretty common on many of the front range reservoirs which are basically silt pits."

Note: I'm adding this to McTage's post without his knowledge... man I hope he doesn't yell at me. Trevor is not only a tremendous carp flyfisherman, he is one of the true revolutionaries in carp fly design. The amount of thought, testing, and trial that go into his fly patterns rivals that of new airplane designs. That's why his flies are not only shockingly creative, they also act EXACTLY how he hopes they will in the water. On top of all that, Trevor is a great guy who puts forth a gargantuan effort to make this swap happen. I've helped this year and you wouldn't believe the amount of hours spent away from his family and the water in order to bring you this; the best fly swap for any species, full stop. Thanks for making this happen for everyone McTage. You are a gentleman and a scholar. - DF

  • Hook: CarpPro Gaper Size 6
  • Thread:  140 Denier UTC, black
  • Eyes: #6 black bead-chain (what you get in the store is painted brass)
  • Bead: 3.25mm brass, black
  • Over and Underbody: Pat Cohen's Carp Dub Northern Lights Black from Hareline
  • Mid-Body:  A 5/8" long magnum rabbit strip tapered on both ends 

Tying Video:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: Berrell's Deadpool

Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier: Wendy Berrell
Location: MN

About: "Deadpool. This goes to the character in X-men who was a cocktail of the various superpowers of the captured mutants. That's how this fly's name came to be. It's a cocktail of various mutants. 

The Peabody may be called the basic starting point. I think it was noted in a critique somewhere that the Peabody is much like a partridge and orange. So maybe it is not even a bookend in itself but one must start somewhere. From there, these attributes were pooled:

(1) The soft hackle of the Carp Carrot and the Montana Carrot.
(2) Deep burgundy of the carp-effective San Juan Worms.
(3) Headstand of the LOD.
(4) Twist tail of the FYI.
(5) Foam tab of the Holschlag Hi-Tail Craw.
(6) Worm + soft hackle of the Hybrid. 

The tier needs to consider the dumbbell eye size relative to foam tab size and arrive at desired sink rate; oversize the foam tab to start, do some testing and if necessary trim the foam tab."

Notes: For years Wendy has foregone the opportunities to fish trout offered by living in the Driftless Area in favor of chasing carp. He's fished them from the Pacific coast to the Great Lakes with immense success. When he's not catching carp Wendy is writing beautifully at his blog, one of my favorites. Also, I once spent 3 days at Wendy's house without changing odd theme involving me spending the night is developing with many of these tiers. - DF
  • Hook: strong scud hook, varying size per water type
  • Head: dumbbell eyes of your preference
  • Subtail: tab cut from sheet foam
  • Tail: twisted chenille, either one strand doubled or two strands twisted together
  • Body: chenille wrapped forward to head
  • Hackle: Any good matching soft hackle; these are from pheasant

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: Crazy Charlie's by Chase Harmon

Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier: Chase Harmon
Location: Nebraska

About: "I live in the panhandle of Nebraska and primarily fish large mud flats for carp when I am not in Wyoming trout fishing. These particular mud flats have a lot of Fathead Minnows that the carp love to chase and suck up. The Crazy Charlie is a simple, yet effective fly to immitate these minnows. I like to use carp flies that fall slowly instead of plummeting straight to the bottom. I feel that it gives the carp a chance to take a look at the fly on the way down. In most cases, the fly never hits the bottom before getting sucked up by the carp. I fish this fly primarily when the carp are on the move.

Oh yeah, carp on glass is fun!"

Monday, March 10, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: Martinez' CSG Convertible

Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier: Steve Martinez
Location: MI

About: "This fly is a convertible fly, taking some tips from bass fishermen. A stinger hook is looped off of the main hook and held with a piece of silicone rubber. The extra tail has a great action and adds some bulk to the profile. If you want a more delicate profile the trailing hook can be slipped over the hook and removed. When the tail is removed the fly resembles  a sculpin/goby profile. When the tail is attached the profile has a more crawfish look.  "

Notes: Steve is one of the most innovative tiers out there and I think the design of this fly illustrates that nicely. An accomplished tier, world class guide and CarpPro prostaffer, Steve Martinez exemplifies the carp on the fly world. Out of the box thinking, intense creativity and trying the untried. 

  • Hook: Daichi 1530 s24
  • Tail 1: Barred Marabou
  • Tail 2 : (seperate hook, cut) Grouse or Pheasant
  • Tail 3: Grizzly Hackle
  • Rear: Orange Shlappen Palmered Intruder Style
  • Rubber Leg 1: 2 Orange centipede legs, tied on side of hook
  • Body: Olive Brown Lazer Dub
  • Forward Coller: Orange Schlappen Palmered Intruder Style
  • Head: Dubber Razer Dub
  • Eyes: Med - Large Black Bead Chain

Sunday, March 9, 2014

McTage's Chubby Chaser Leech Tying Video

Chubby Chaser Leech, because I like my carp round and juicy.

2014 Fly Swap: Clifton's Carp Bug 2.0

Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier: Ty Clifton
Location: CO   

About: "I wanted a fly with lots of movement but small. I want my flies to be like high class strippers... Lots of movement. That's what gets our (DSP) fish you know. "

Notes: This is a variation on the fly Ty sent for the 2013 swap where he is looking for even more movement.  This fly is only about a half and inch long and is really discreet.  These kind of small super simple super lightly dressed carp flies are ideal on the Denver South Platte where the carp have been inundated with beefcake crayfish patterns. - McTage   
  • Thread: 140 Denier rust
  • Hook: Gamakatsu SL45 size 8
  • Eyes: 1/8" Spirit River Dazzle Eyes, 1/8' brass.
  • Legs: Pumpkin Silly Leggs
  • Body:  Rust midge diamond braid
  • Wing:  Two rust grizzly marabou tips.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: Morlock's Quick Craw

Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier: Kevin Morlock
Location: Beaver Island, MI

About: "Last swap I tied up a big batch of my jumbo Bunny Craws and sent them off. While I knew the fly would be too big for many of the carp destinations where they would end up, I wanted others to see the size and style of flies we're using here. This year I wanted to send something that most of the other people could use and maybe even catch a carp with. My choice was the Quick Craw, a fly that fits the standards of a classic carp pattern."

Notes: If flyfishing for carp has a God's honest celebrity, Kevin is it. You may have seen him popping up on In-Fisherman Magazine, In-Fisherman Television, Jeep Magazine, Eastern Fly Fishing Magazine, Midwest Fly Fishing Magazine, Detroit Free Press Newspaper, As Tough As They Come — Iditarod 2007 TV Documentary, Due North Outdoors Television, Woods-N-Water News Magazine, Fox 2 Television, 9 & 10 News Television, Big Outdoor Radio, or WYIN-TV 56 Television. He's also a ProStaffer for CarpPro. When he isn't getting make-up put on for his next big TV spot, Kevin is CRUSHING carp on Lakes Michigan's Beaver Island. And just to make you feel bad about yourself, he also completed the Iditarod in 2007. Big deal, one-time I had to run almost a whole mile in gym class. - DF 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: Erdosy's Carp Crab

Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier: Mark Erdosy
Location: Delaware
Instagram: @thisriveriswildflyfishing

About: "The carp crab was designed to imitate a crayfish in the defensive position. It's inspiration came from the Diablo Crab, which is a saltwater pattern that utilizes the "webby" portion of a schlappen hackle to give the fly a deadly action in the water. I use the pattern while fly fishing for carp on the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers in NY, PA, and MD that have a large population of crayfish. The pattern is heavily weighted to get deep quickly even in flowing water. I typically use the drag and drop method when fishing this pattern, and like to put it within a few feet of the carp's field of vision. Carp are quick to investigate the pattern and have taken it on the drop, sitting still on the bottom, after a quick twitch, and even blind casting and stripping in the fly. Carp have chased this pattern down and turned around to come back and eat this fly. It is really exciting to fish and is a welcome change of pace from the intricacies of fishing the column with unweighted flies.

The fly can be tied and fished in a wide variety of sizes. Smaller and lighter sizes do well in skinny water, while you can tie this on a size 2 or 4 hook for big carp in rivers or the Great Lakes. My best color combinations are brown, rust, and orange followed by olive and yellow. You can vary the number of rubber legs in the tail and can also tie it with a weed/rock guard if you are getting hung up. When stopped, the pattern should perform a slight head stand, the schlappen should protrude out the sides and resemble a crayfish. I tied it with a UV polar chenille underbody that gives the pattern a good sheen without spooking the fish."

Notes: An absolutely premier fly by one of the carp world's premier fly tiers, the Carp Crab is simply deadly on crayfish eating carp. It's broad profile and lifelike action define one of the most important elements of a good carp fly. Namely, the fly does most of the fishing for you. If you'd like a few of your own they can be purchased here.  Mark is a CarpPro prostaffer, contributor to numerous acclaimed fishing blogs and sites and a Catch Flyfishing fly designer.
  • Thread: Danville Denier 70 match color of fly
  • Hook: Gamakatsu Stinger Sizes 2-6
  • Eyes: Lead Dumbbell Eyes Medium/Large, should be plated...nothing shiny.
  • Legs: Speckled/Barred Rubber Legs, I like Montana Fly Company Speckled Sexi Legs
  • Dubbing: Just a small base layer of your favorite dubbing 
  • Body: UV Polar Chenille: Brown
  • Hackle: Long Webby Schlappen 
  • Wire: Gold, Copper ...wrap to secure Schlappen
  • Back: Thin Skin (bottom) Stripped Magnum Rabbit Fur (Top)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Winter Carp On The Fly Fix Video 2

Whether or not it is still Winter in Denver when all of our stillwaters are iced-out is negotiable - BUT there was snow on the ground this morning so I think it still qualifies.  Snow in the morning, carp on the fly in the afternoon!!!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: Lipton's Whistle Pig

Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier: JP Lipton
State: Minnesota
Instagram:  @roughfisher

About:  "This pattern contains many of the key elements found in a successful carp pattern: Soft hackle, rubber legs, bead chain, coarse/buggy dubbing, UV hotspot, and most importantly, it rides hook point up.  While the mini legs can be a pain to tie, especially in the dry, static electricity filled air of winter, it will pay dividends.  There is plenty of movement with those legs, and the variegation of the legs is awesome at providing a disruptive camouflage. This fly is very compact and robust, presenting a hearty meal to carp and thus providing a high benefit-cost value to feeding fish.  In the case of of finicky, selective fish, undress the fly and tie it naked, without the soft hackle collar and dubbed head."

Notes: JP is one of the true OG's in the carp on the fly revolution. His innovation in both patterns and materials is unparalleled and has inspired many a first time carper. JP's Carp Crack was one of my earliest "confidence patterns". I also puked in his yard once. - Dan
  • Hook: Umpqua U401 (Stainless, 1X Strong O'Shaugnessy), Size 4
  • Thread: UNI-Thread, 6/0, Fire Orange
  • Eyes: #8 (5/32") bead chain, Black
  • Tail: Woodchuck, guardhair
  • Body: Roughfisher Spectral Seal Sub Dub, UV Olive (or Kaki for Kaki version)
  • Underwing: Krystal Flash, UV Pearl
  • Wing: Woodchuck, underfur
  • Legs: Centipede Legs, mini, Olive (Or White for Kaki version)
  • Thorax: Roughfisher Spectral Seal Sub Dub, UV Khaki; Hen ringneck pheasant

Monday, March 3, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: John Montana's Hybrid

Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier: John Montana
Location: Portland Oregon
Home Water: Columbia River
Instagram: @johnmontanacarp

About: "Now, when people ask me "What flies should I fish for carp?" The easy answer would be the Hybrid. I catch 80% of my carp on that fly, and it is a concrete answer that I can give complete with a picture, list of tying materials, and even a link to where you can buy some.  But it is the wrong answer. The right answer is to say Rule #1: Know your more here"

Notes:  There is something appealing about this fly for both carp and carp fly fishers alike.  Since it hit the internet a couple of years ago their is no doubt that John Montana's Hybrid is the hottest carp fly out there.  I have had really good luck with it myself last year.

  • Hook: CarpPro Gaper size 8.
  • Eyes: Small brass, black nickel. 
  • Tail: Ultra chennile, standard wine or claret.
  • Body: Hareline Black Ice-Dub Chennile.
  • Hackle: Pheasant Rump, yellow.
Tying Video:

Saturday, March 1, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: Mr. P's Black Betty

Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier: Jim Pankiewicz  - Mr. P.
Location: Bothell, Washington
Home Water: Columbia River
Instagram: @JimPankiewicz

About: "I fish this fly and the carp carrot in rivers and in lakes. Early in the season size 6-8 hooks work best, in the mid-season size 8, and at the end of the season size 10 tends to work better. I tie Black Betty with three different sizes of dumbbell eyes. The speed of the current and the water level determine how heavy of a fly I fish with. If I have caught several fish, or if for any reason the hackle starts to disappear, the fly noticeably loses effectiveness.

Notes: I love this fly because of what it is, and that is a carp catching machine. Mr. P has condensed this fly down to pure carp catching essence. No bull, and no extraneous details designed to catch fishermen instead of carp. The result is a fly that is going to work anywhere. As a matter of fact, I would feel 100% confident throwing this fly to carp anywhere in the country!

I also love this fly for what it represents, and that is our constantly evolving heritage. Fly-Carpin has put me in the lucky position of knowing most of the longtime hardcore carpers in the country. I talk to a bunch of people about their favorite flies and how they evolved in the sport. Through those discussions I have learned that most experienced carpers have some version of a soft-hackle in their top 5 favorite carp flies. If you dig deep and read between the lines you find out that nearly all these flies were directly or indirectly influenced by Mr P's Black Betty and Carp Carrot. These are good flies of their own right, but when you add up all the flies that owe them lineage, these flies are Titans!

  • Hook: Tiemco 3769 #6-10. The swap fly is #8.
  • Eyes: Nickel colored brass 7/64, 1/8, or 5/32. The swap fly has 1/8. 
  • Tail: Red round rubber—medium
  • Body: Peacock herl—two strands
  • Rib: Gold or brass wire (counter ribbed). The swap fly has copper.
  • Hackle: Pheasant rump dyed black