Welcome to Warmwater Fishing!

All Natural
By Jason Cotta, Phoenix, AZ

Living in the urban jungle of Phoenix, AZ I like many others find it difficult to make it to the high country to go fly fishing for trout. However I have found a great way to quench my fly fishing needs and I have found that by the way of carp. Carp are very spooky and selective feeders not to mention their hard fighters and grow to gargantuan proportions. Because they are such an excellent challenge fishing for carp will undoubtedly improve your casting which also makes them great practice for trout. John Rohmer once told me that "catching carp will make you a better trout fisherman."

While all this is well and good I think I may be straying from the subject of why I'm writing this article. Let me turn things around a little, carp feed very heavily on the natural vegetation found in the lakes which I fish. Whether it be a clump of aquatic vegetation or a mesquite bean pod that has fallen from a tree carp love this stuff. However after a quick search on the internet I couldn't find any existing flies to imitate such things so I did what any self respecting fly fisherman would do and made my own. Here are two very simple flies I have found success using and hope you have the same.

Mesquite Bean Pod

Materials List

    Hook: Size 4 streamer hook

    Thread: Tan

    Body: 2mm Tan Foam

Tying Instructions:
    1. First wrap a layer of thread covering the hook and end at the bend.

    2. Now tie a half-hitch so the thread will stay put when you remove the hook from the vice.

    3. Remove the hook from the vise and insert it in the middle of a piece of foam approximately 3/8" wide and 4-5" long.

    4. After securing the vise back in the vice fold the foam over and use the thread to segment the body of the fly to represent multiple seeds.

    5. Trim any excess foam and tie off.

    6. (Optional) Paint the fly using either a yellow finger nail polish or enamel. This is to better match the color of a natural seed pod. However I have found about the same number of fish will take either.

Fishing Notes

The best and most exciting way, to fish this fly is to plop it near and even sometimes in the middle of a group of feeding carp. The greediest of the group will readily snatch the fly in a matter of seconds. You can also lead a cruising fish by several feet and then just let the fly sit. For some reason carp can't resist the bean pods that fall from mesquite trees and this fly should prove to be an excellent producer.

Algae Fly

    Hook: 4-12 Dry Fly Hook

    Thread: Olive

    Underbody: 2mm Olive Foam

    Overbody: Light Green Woodland Scenics Foliage

Tying Instructions:

    1. Tie in a base of thread ending at the bend of the hook.

    2. Tie in a piece of foam in at the end of the hook and wrap forward to the front of the hook to secure it.

    3. Now bend the foam over and wrap to the back of the hook.

    4. Continue this process until you have 3-4 Layers of foam.

    5. Trim any excess foam and wrap your thread to the back of the hook.

    6. Cut a square piece of Foliage (Size depends on hook size) and wrap it around the foam body so it is covered.

    7. Make several wraps forward to secure the Foliage and tie off.

    Tying Notes:

    Woodland Scenics Foliage can be bought at nearly any hobby store or model railroad shop. If you can't get a hold of any you can substitute green dubbing for the overbody.

    Fishing Notes:

    The best way to fish this fly is to lead a feeding fish by about two feet. Fish will not respond aggressively to this fly as they will the mesquite pod fly.

    As you can see creating flies that represent natural vegetation is very simple. I hope these two flies will not only help you catch fish but inspire you to make your own patterns that represent the aquatic vegetation found in lakes where you reside. Whether it be a grass fly made with deer hair or some other concoction, fishing flies that represent natural vegetation should bring you great success. Until we meet again good luck and tight lines. ~ Jason

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