I started out the day with a blind squirrel which took down a nice Grass Carp.
Then I moved on to a Mexican Standoff, the black and white one…
Up around the bend I saw a nice grass carp in the middle of a tiny “bay”. I placed the fly within a foot and half of his head. He swung and dove, I continued to stip and bang! Fish on.
It was hot and I’d already come from the creek but I decided to get back over there and move up instead of down like I had in the morning…good decision!
I gave this little Mexican a workout taking three more Grass Carp and two Commons. I even had a hefty Drum towards the end of the day, but he evaded being photographed.
My first late afternoon excursion ended with me covered in Grass Carp slime. Once again the Blind Squirrel put the hurt on the fish, the official count was one Common and two Grass Carp. One of which went full airborne just after hook up. It literally reminded me of a whale jumping and body slaming back down, good stuff!
One man personal photography is a tricky subject when holding a thrashing gassie. I still haven’t mastered the technique. I saw this fish come to the surface so I chucked my squirrel at him. He followed in interest and disappeared into the murk. I continued with a stripping technique I call the craw strip. Basically its one full lenth strip (? 1.5-2ft long) at a moderate pace but done with 3-4 stutters. Verbally it sounds like dunt dunt dunt dunt, to me anyway. Sometimes the fish will follow out of view for a ways and then take. Thats what happened with this fish.
The moral of this report is that grass carp like Blind Squirrels too…seems to be a theme lately, the Blind Squirrel that is.
This little crayfish fly has a number of inspirations but Sean Hudson’s mud bugger tie definitely comes to mind. The fly has been tweaked, tapered and swiss straw wrapped both top and bottom, add some copper rib if your anal. The toughest part of the fly for me is keeping the size reasonable, this one is a size 6. The fly started with rubber and crystal flash antennae plus a sprig of squirrel tail, followed by two colors of swiss straw, a lighter color for the belly and a darker shade for the back. I then used a root beer schlappen at the back/head of the fly for the “claws” and went to various bugger sized hackles for the rest of the body being sure to back wrap each to keep them pointed back/forward whatever, you get my drift. The final hackle was smaller and not back wrapped. To finish the fly, split the fibers and pull the straw through on both top and bottom. All in all I like this fly and it will get tested sometime soon, though I have very few doubts about the viability of the pattern.
Top side view
I had to give this Carp fly a post of its own. With no weight and a hook point up ride it’s fast proving to be one of my most effective flies this season for sight fishing to spooky carp in 3 ft of water or less. I’ve gone to a swiss straw under casing for a more finished look. I did a few up with bucktail, which is viable, and one with EP fibers which are not as good at keeping the hook point up, but squirrel is still the way to go. You get a killer crayfish look and despite having no weight the fly still has a good sink rate, whatever is lost in sink rate is far outweighed by it’s ability to present to fish that would otherwise bolt the second anything with eyes touches the water. With or without eyes this fly gets the job done. I wouldn’t overlook this pattern!
bucktail version underbelly
Tied big with burnt orange bucktail, turkey undercase, and two colors of schlapen