carp fly fishing - easy fly design

carp fly fishing - easy fly design

Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Last week I fly fished for a single huge carp. He was cruising up and down a bank in crystal clear water. Several times I was in proper casting position but had the wrong fly on!

Each time the carp was changing the water depth I needed to change my fly in order to be able to position it in front of his nose. Usually the larger carp won’t rise a significant distance for a dry fly. Even less they like to follow a fly dropping down. So the key is to make it easy for the carp to just inhale the fly right in front of his nose.

It seems fair to say that for most of us it is very difficult to change the fly and make a proper knot when a large fish is cruising right in front of us. Yes, my hands still get out of control in these moments either. So I had the idea to create a (carp) fly which would work as a dry fly and a sinking fly as well. I believe the simple flies are not always best, but the best flies (for fishing) are always simple.

I took a piece of sponge and put a hole in it. Then I shaped a piece of cork fitting in that hole. That way I could add the cork to the sponge fly in order to present a dry fly. After taking out the piece of cork I could directly lay down the fly and then it sank clearly. If I additionally was squeezing water out of the sponge part of the fly before presenting it, the fly was sinking very slowly for the first three feet. In summary I could use that fly to imitate a floating piece of bread, a slowly sinking one as well as a faster sinking one. All that was possible without having to tie a new knot (changing the fly) every time the carp was changing the water depth.

So I could just concentrate on the fish and trying to feel the perfect moment when to position the fly in front of the carp based on watching his exact movements. There are moments when carp definitely don’t take a fly and then suddenly they seem to get in a different mood – maybe willing to take a fly. It takes serious time watching them to get the right feeling for this. But it sure works!

So after not having positioned my fly several times because it did not match the situation, I was in a much better position (having the perfect fly on within a second) with the sponge-cork fly. It was then when the carp proved me to have had the right fly on and finally we met!


During the weekend I was back in teaching single and double hand fly casting as well as fly fishing for pike & co. in the early mornings and late evenings.

Right now I am making my plans for a trip to Denmark in order to teach fly fishing for Sea trout all week long. I am really looking forward to that trip. Water temperature is perfect and we may get some really good coastal fishing. Hopefully you are heading a fishing trip either!

All my best


p.s.: Paul, seems as if we both don’t have left out a single day fishing for quite long now!?

flyfishing carp