Thursday, February 3, 2011

Carp...yes please!

Living in Dublin Ohio allows me to partake of many things very close to home...trout fishing is not one of them. To chase trout requires that, at a minimum, I jump in the car and drive nearly an hour north or an hour west. Doing so certainly is not a problem when time allows but for those quick trips I stick to warmwater fisheries which is something cetral Ohio has a LOT of. It is not an uncommon site to see me out chasing fish around the Darby, Little Darby, Scioto, Olentangy, or any one of another few dozen watersheds around town. When I head out on these trips I am generally targetting smallies, white bass, or saugeye. Even on those trips though, if truth be told, I am always looking out of the corner of my eye for that big cruising shadow, flip of a tail or fresh mud plume. Yup...Carp! There's not much like getting out on a small local creek after a long day at work and having a few 1lb'ish smallies come to hand on the 5WT , then tie in to a six pound freight train!

For a while I lived on a lake west of town that had a few square acres of mud flats that lended itself to some supreme carp fishing from a kayak. While there I honed my technique and worked on fly patterns to target these fish that can vary from lazy to super skittish and nearly impossible to approach. Once I moved I found that most of what I learned there translated very well to the slow pools and eddys on rivers around Columbus where the carp tend to hang. Working with some materials that were relatively new to the market back in the spring I tied up some new prototype flies and threw them in the boxes. After a few times out, and a few tweaks, they were performing exactly as designed and were put to good use as a 'craw-ish' imitation fooling fish. Neither fly is what I would call a realistic imitation, but rather is more of an impressionistic fly that simply looks like food.

Mike's Gorgon Craw makes good use of Senyo Shaggy Dub and barred rubber legs as antennae and claws. The grizzly marabou both provides a mottled look and 'movement without movement', in other words even in between strips the fly appears to have a little shimmy. The bead chain eyes are enough weight to get the fly down where it needs to be, but not so heavy as to make a commotion when entering the water.

Even more impressionistic is Mike's Hairy Nibblet. It more or less looks like a soft craw in a defensive position...but not exactly... Again with the bead chain eyes for the same reason as above.
Both flies were designed to be effective but also quick ties since you will lose some as they generally need to be fished on the bottom. I keep them in my box in Tan, Olive, Black and Rust. As far as size I have found that 6, 8, and 10 pretty much cover it, and in my experience a size 8 carp fly is generally my go to size.
Happy carp hunting!
-mike schmidt


  1. Those are great looking flies Mike. They would work just as well on Redfish, Permit and Bonefish down here in Florida.

  2. I was thinking the same thing Paul, and I happen to have some tied up on Gama SL11-3H for when I am in New Smyrna in May!

  3. Funny, I was thinking the same thing and I was going to tie a few for reds also b/c I'm going to Punta Gorda, FL in May. Definately gonna peek in the carp box for redfish flies to take along. Guide is supplying flies but...
    I just passed on ordering some of that shaggy dub too! (kicking self in nuts...)

  4. Mike, where can I get some of that Shaggy Dub? My usual suppliers don't seem to have it.

  5. It is a Hareline product so any shop that carries their stuff should be able to order some for you. That said I know that Mad River Outfitters has every color in stock and ready to ship so you can give them a call or order on line and have it within a few days.