Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Carp Candy

Wild Cherry

I first decided to tie the Carp Candy after hooking several large carp on Bluegill Candy. The hook used in the bluegill candy at the time was a Tiemco 5212. Although the hook was plenty stout for the bluegills and occasional small bass when a large carp or bass took the fly it usually straightened the hook. When the hook didn’t straighten the small gape didn’t hook enough of the carp’s soft mouth and the fish pulled lose.

Green Apple

The only structural difference between the two flies is a wider heavier hook and the weight of the eyes. The real fish attracting trigger on the fly is the hackle tip along the bottom of the fly. The action it imparts to the look of the fly seems to drive even resting fish to strike. The hackle tip along with the reverse palmered hackle makes the fly settle to rest on its head every time. This puts the hot red tail up off the bottom making it more visible to feeding carp.


The first versions were tied in olive like the first Panfish Candy. After fishing the Carp Candy successfully in a pair of North Texas lakes I started tying them in a range of colors and finally settled on the three listed here. In more cases than not the burnt orange seems to be the most successful of the three under normal conditions. The olive has been most successful for me in extremely clear water and the chartreuse seems to be most visible in shallow murky conditions.

Fishing Tips
The Carp Candy is intended to be used as a sight fishing fly. I prefer to use it on a medium length leader, 8-10 feet, of 8-12 pound break strength. I also attach the fly to my leader using an open loop such as the perfection loop. This allows the fly more freedom to fall as it is intended.

When stalking clear water flats try to spot moving carp and cast in the suspected path the fish is moving. I try to keep the fly 6-10 feet out on the cast when they are spooky and closer in as possible but never closer than 2 feet from a moving carp. As the carp moves closer to the fly twitch it just enough to make it move ever so slightly. The sound and movement should attract the attention of the fish, if not let it move closer before trying again. Usually the slightest movement of the fly within sight range of a foraging carp will either cause it to move closer or send it to the depths.

In most cases I have found the less movement of the fly the better. Once it gets their attention they will either take it or flee. The exceptions have been in murky water where more movement of the fly is necessary to elicit any kind of reaction.


The other exception is when the carp hovers over the fly but will not take. In this case a series of quick short strips will induce a reaction strike because the carp most likely believes the fly to be fleeing.
Though it’s not my first choice in fly selection I’ve also taken sizeable trout while searching for carp in lakes where they are both present. It will also attract strikes from largemouth and smallmouth bass when the opportunity arises.

Lemon Drop

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