2012 Carp Fly Swap

Welcome to the summary page for the 2012 Fly-Carpin carp fly swap.   I was not sure what to expect when I kicked this off in January 2012.  It turned out to be an amazing swap with 22 participants from across the country.  Those participants include many of the most influential and respected fly fishing for carp experts in the country.  Enjoy this summary, I doubt there is a better compilation of carp flies on the Internet!  Double click any picture to get a full slide-show!

2012 Fly-Carpin Carp Fly Swap Line-Up

Reynold's Carp Bitter
Barry Reynolds' Carp Bitter Carp FlyTier: Barry Reynolds
State: Colorado
Website: BT2 Productions
Notes:  Barry has been working on perfecting this pattern for a while now. In an odd twist in 2010 Barry hooked and landed and released a 45" grass carp estimated at 61lbs on a version of this fly.  I guess even the most stalwart vegetarians sometimes crave protein!  

Montana Carrot
John Montana's Montana Carrot Carp FlyTier: John Montana
State: Oregon
Website: Carp On The Fly
Summary:  "This is a variation of the legendary “Carp Carrot” by Mr. P. with some different materials and the addition of dubbing covering the dumbbell eyes. Bottom line…carp eat this fly, even when I am the guy behind the rod. I fish it every imaginable way, but get the best response with tiny, short, sharp strips, usually continuously."

John Jensen's Rubber Lipstick
John Jensen's Rubber Lipstick Carp FlyTier: John Jensen
State: Iowa
Website: Currents
Summary:  "A brown and green fly that rides hook up -- could'a stopped right there but I've added some bling on the bottom and rubber legs for kicks. Sometimes attacked on the drop but most commonly hoovered as it twitches past a tailing carp." 

Pat Cohen's Shaggin' Dragon
Pat Cohen's Shaggin Dragon Carp FlyTier: Pat Cohen
State: New York
Website: Super Fly
Summary:  "Dragon fly nymphs in general have been a part of my carp fly arsenal...I have caught fish on all kinds of variations of this fly.  This is the end result of all my playing and testing"
Notes:  Pat gives details on the Shaggin' Dragon at his blog.  This and other carp-worthy flies by Pat Cohen are available for purchase at the Super Fly Store.

Roughfisher's Carp Crack
Roughfisher's Carp Crack Carp FlyTier: The Roughfisher
State: Minnesota
Website: roughfisher.com
Summary:  "Carp Crack, always lethal!"
Notes:  The Roughfisher offers a wide selection of great carp flies with even cooler names at the Roughfisher Online Store.  This is a particularly good on-line resource for those who don't roll their own and would like one-stop shopping for a wide selection of carp patterns.

Nate Taylor's Mello Yellow
Nate Taylor's Mello Yello Carp FlyTier: Nate Taylor
State: Colorado
Website: Dirtbag Fly-Fishing
Summary:  "I call this guy the Mello Yellow and it is one of my favorite carp flies. I like this “yellow mustard” color because for some reason I just get a better reaction from the fish and it is a little different than what everyone else is throwing."
Notes:  Tying instructions and video can be found on Nate's Page of Carp Fly Videos

Gregg's Carp Eggs
Gregg's Carp Eggs Carp FlyTier: Gregg Martin
State: Idaho
Summary:  "Eggs are nice in that they land softly and present a very visible piece of possible food. Carp often go far out their way to investigate them on the bottom or even suspended in the water column. I normally fish these to either poorly seen or unseen fish under an indicator. I do not think they are taken for an egg, as I catch most fish where they never see such a thing."

Purple / Black Backstabber Carp FlyTier: Lonny Garris
State: Colorado
Website: Caddis Fly and Pixie Poo
Originator:  Jay Zimmerman
Summary: "Zimmerman's Backstabber in purple/black or all white has increased my catch rates for carp. I find this fly to be simple to tie, rugged and the carp just gobble them up. I use the color shown in the spring and fall. While it seems to work best in slightly off-color I have also had luck in clearer water."

McTage's Primordial Carp-Stew
McTage's Primordial Carp Stew Carp FlyTier: Trevor "McTage" Tanner
State: Colorado
Website: Fly-Carpin
Summary:  - "This came in close second for my most productive carp pattern in 2011. The Carp-Stew is designed to have the general profile of a baby crayfish, fall hook up in a fairly level drop and have lots of life-like action under the water."
Notes: What I tied up for the swap varies just a little from the recipe I have previously posted on the Carp-Stew.  

Goodwin's Mean Ol' Dirty Frisco (MF'er)
Ty Goodwin's Mean Ol' Dirty Frisco Carp FlyTier: Ty Goodwin
State: Georgia
Website: finewater
Summary:  - "I catch most of my carp on pheasant-tail nymphs, but this year I decided to develop a fly that would draw more takes. A fly with a larger profile that lands without commotion and drifts s-l-o-w-l-y to the bottom.  I wanted dark colors for visibility in dingy water, a hint of bling, and an easy tie."
Notes: Ty also sells fly fishing for carp t-shirts!

Rice's Sazerac
Will Rice's Sazerac Carp FlyTier: Will Rice
State: Colorado
Website: It Aint Pretty, The Drake
Summary:  "Invite a guy who fishes in the ghetto to a fly swap, you get a ghetto fly. I have been tying different variations of this pattern since I began fly fishing for carp on the urban section of the South Platte River. It was originally designed after a red fish fly someone gave me when I was fishing Mosquito Lagoon."

Matt Pike's Carper's Crab
Matt Pike's Carper's Crab Carp FlyTier: Matt Pike
State: North Carolina
Summary:  "This fly resembles all the patterns I have caught carp on in some way. It's color matches the lake bottoms that I've fished, the bright orange dubbing is a staple in every carp fly I throw and the rubber makes it lively. The light weight makes this fly right at home on the ankle deep and dead still lake flats I frequent. No twitching stripping or jerking, just make the cast and hope the fish doesn't spook!"

Sean Hudson's Mud Bugger
Sean Hudson's Mud Bugger Carp FlyTier: Sean Hudson
State: Colorado
Website: Unquenchable Curiosity
Summary:  "This is, without a doubt, my “go to” pattern for carp. This fly was tied with carp in mind, but it works great for other species too – largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout, catfish, walleye, and even bonefish..." Read more including tying instructions.

Ridenour's Bug A Boo
Eric Ridenour's Bug A Boo Carp FlyTier: Eric Ridenour
State: West Virginia
Website: Big EZ World
Summary:  "I have been carp fishing for over 20 years.  I fish paylakes and some wild carp and just got into fly-carpin'.  I think this fly will coax a few carp because of the way it dances in the water.  It basically does a headstand and the soft feather dances like a fair maiden of the sea".  See his original Bug A Boo blog post.

Morlock's Craw Bunny
Kevin Morlock's Craw Bunny Carp FlyTier: Kevin Morlock
State: Meeeechigan
Website: ThirdCoastFly, Indigo Guide Service
Summary:  "This relatively simple crawfish pattern is one of my bread-and-butter flies for Great Lakes carp. I keep the size to about three inches but vary the color, usually having half a dozen or more color variations in my fly box..." Read more including tying instructions.

Bill Henry's White Bugger
White Wooly BuggerTier: Bill Henry
State: New York
Website: Great Lakes of NYC
Summary:  "I have caught carp & just about anything else with white woolie buggers. I believe the red in an area where the gill would be is what makes this fly work. When carp are tailing place this fly in front of the carp(no more than 2 feet) twitch the fly the carp should make a bee line towards the fly. I really can't say what the carp is thinking but presentation is the key here."

Tail Chaser
Tier: Barry Reynolds
Originator: Umqua
State: Colorado
Website: BT2 Productions
Summary:  "This is a cool Umqua fly I came across chasing Red's the last few years and I have had some success using them for carp"

Anderson's Carprunner
Austin Anderson's Carprunner Carp FlyTier: Austin Anderson
State: Texas
Website: Pondbass
Summary:  "I thought up the CarpRunner tying in the car on the way Possum Kingdom lake in West Texas. It's really deep and clear, so the fish I was seeing were 6 or 7 feet deep and I needed to get down to them quickly. This worked like a charm, and I had a 20 fish day!"
Notes:  See Austin's post on the CarpRunner for more background and tying instructions.

Galvin's Carp Swallow
Chris Galvin's Carp Swallow Carp FlyTier: Chris Galvin
State: Colorado
Website: Colorado Trout Hunters
Summary:  "With deference to the late Jack Gartside, this is my modified version of his "Sparrow". I usually fish this fly at close range, flipping and/or jigging it in front of a target.
Notes:  Chris guides for carp in the Denver area. If interested contact him at galvinguiding at gmail dot com

Ty's Carp Fly
Ty Clifton Carp FlyTier: Ty Clifton
State: Colorado
Website: Colorado Skies Outfitters
Summary:  "This is a subtle pattern that I go to when the carp are being finicky."

Ridderbos' Cheap Bastard
John Ridderbos' Cheap Bastard Carp FlyTier: John Ridderbos
State: Meechigan
Summary:  "This is a variant of Mike Schmidt's Foxee Bastard without the bling of flashabou.  I call it the Cheap Bastard.  I think flashy flies turn off my local carp so I took the it out, and now they tear it up.  I like to cast this fly and slowly drag it along the bottom, pulling it in front of the carp.  They ambush it  like a crayfish dumb enough to walk out in front of them."

The Medina Selection
Micheal Medina Carp Fly SelectionTier: Mike "Carpio" Medina
State: Colorado
Summary:  "Dude, I had a heck of a time coming up with 10 different carp flies!"
Notes:  I didn't explain the 10 of one pattern thing very well to one of my best carpin buddies! It is really funny because he uses the big black marabou nasty in the middle at least 80% of the time.

Legion of Doom
Wendy Berrel's Legion of Doom Carp Fly
Tier: Wendy Berrell
State: Minnesota
Website: Fishing and Thinking in MN
Summary:  "Legion of Doom. It is your destiny..." Read more about the background and details of the Legion of Doom here.

McTage's Leather Trouser Worm
McTage's Leather Trouser Worm Carp FlyTier: Trevor "McTage" Tanner
State: Colorado
Website: Fly-Carpin
Summary:  - "This was my most productive pattern for carp in 2011. The intention of this fly is a worm that falls hook-up, headstands, is tough and can be stripped or swum when needed. It works great!" read more
Notes:  These are bonus flies to sweeten the fly swap pot.

USCARPPRO StickersProvider: Dave Smith
State: California
Website: USCARPPRO Magazine
Summary:  Dave Smith and USCARPPRO are big supporters of the growth in fly fishing for carp and feel that it is helping to legitimize carp as a game-fish. In a show of support and solidarity Dave sent stickers for all the participants. USCARPPRO is free, online and usually includes at least one fly fishing for carp article!


  1. Favorites...in no order
    Montana Carrot
    Carp Crack
    Mellow Yellow
    Bug a bou
    Carpers Crab
    Legion of Doom
    and I like the style on your worm. I'll definitely incorporate that in a fly or two. Nice flies everyone great to see whats goin on out there.

  2. I enjoy looking and reading of them all. If anyone recieves my flies PLEASE let me know if you used them and how they worked or did not. This is the book I've dreamed of.


  3. Missoura - Good choices! And love your site, some sweet looking flies you have there.
    Gregg - In about 3 to 4 weeks hopefully. I have a feeling the MFer, Swallow and eggs are gonna be killer for ice-out pond carp.

  4. Gregg,

    I'm with McTage. In the next few weeks they should be great!

  5. Errrr...ummmm...gulp. Not sure about that Bill. For the very reasons it turned into such a great swap (lots of participants, very few rules and restrictions, lots and lots of pictures, etc. etc.) it was quite a bit of work. I would be hesitant to add restrictions and do a wimpier swap and at least right now I would be hesitant to commit to the work again. Check back in a while when the old memory has faded.

  6. Impressive lineup... when do I get mine?

  7. Love the detail put into these. Very nice to sit back and look at some masterful work once in awhile.

  8. Just got my flies! I remarked that I thought not using them was a stupid idea to to others, now I'm not so sure. My plan now is to try to duplicate them exactly as possible and use those. But, if THOSE fail me I will use the originals. The mail flattened most, twisted the eyes on The Sazerac, so I immediately steamed them and the fibers all came back to life. I am going to post carp caught on them or their facsimiles when it happens, every one. Just a happy time for this guy! Thanks everyone involved, especially McTage and his support crew at home.


  9. How could I forget, thanks for those that sent stickers! My van is becoming a true carp mobile.


  10. Alex - This was an invite only thing, except anybody and everybody was invited. Next time I will drop you a line so you don't miss it. Maybe Nate will donate a fly or two.
    everend - Thanks to you and your excellent how-to post on OBN!

    BFS - Some of these guys are certainly masters of the art.

    Gregg - Next time I have got to come up with cheap boxes of some kind. I was stumped this time around though. Kinda surprised though, most of the flies that came IN in bubble envelopes did OK. Those that came in in flat envelopes all had to have the eyes straightened.

  11. McTage,

    I have received flies from that were in a bubble wrap envelope as mine were but about a half dozen styro- foam peanuts were sprinkled within to separate the inside. Just am idea.


  12. I'm vacillating like a girl, decided to fish all sent patterns. Managed to set up a tying station after a weeks absence, long story, and get a good look at all the flies. I debarbed most of them, do you all fish barbed flies for carp? I would like ingredients from those of you who didn't include them if you don't mind. I am sure I am OK with what I see but official items are best. These are Jensen's Rubber Lipstick, Montana's dubbing used in the Carrot, Rice's Sazerac, The Tail Chaser, Medina Selection Marabou Tailed Nymph. Thanks much.


  13. And Ty's Carp Fly. My email is gdjrb@q.com. I love to tie and want to try to do everybody's flies. Any help would be appreciated!


  14. I know a couple of your questions. Montana uses Free Range Dubbing from Singlebabed (google it, great custom stuff) and Pheasant for the collar. Ty's used Wapsi Craw-Dub in a loop and combed with a gun brush for the body and pretty sure rabbit for the beard.

  15. I'm so sad I missed this swap. I would have loved these flies. They all look great.

  16. thank you, a lot of good ideas in there.
    the worm in particular I think will work on other species too..
    I've caught most everything that swims in Chatfield on a fly - crappie, catfish, etc, but never a carp. I always expect to see them on the Plum Creek mudflat but hardly ever find them there.. will try again this spring, newly inspired ;-)

  17. Awesome carp flies! I'd love to get in on one of these!


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