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Yellow CCC
By Andy Simon (Winston)

The Yellow CCC has been my most effective carp fly to date. I was reading one day about the factors needed to make an effective fly for carp. It said that carp like a light colored body, a little weight to get the fly to their level, and some movement to show that the fly was indeed alive.

Carp share a lot of similarities with bass and trout. They eat the same things and often inhabit the same waters. So, what is the most effective fly for trout and bass used around the world and all times of the year? The woolly bugger, perhaps the most popular fly of all time. The bugger works because it gives a good outline and moves like a real bug or minnow. I didn't think that a regular woolly bugger would be the most effective carp fly. Carp are a very spooky fish by nature. A bulky, heavy fly, with so much movement built in, such as a woolly bugger, would probably scare most carp. But, if one was to take an average woolly bugger and change a few parts of it, one could come up with a very effective carp fly. This is how the Yellow CCC was born.

The fly I tied was a combination of the woolly bugger and what I had read about carp flies, but it still wasn't enough. Then I added the triggers that seem to make carp strike and scare them away, and the result was the CCC. The body was skinnier than any woolly bugger I have ever seen, and a pair of thin rubber legs replaced the thick marabou tail. The hackle is tied sparse, so the body can easily be seen in the water. The weight is a pair gold bead-chain eyes that have been soaked in salt water to take away the flash. The body is cream-yellow dubbing, a light color that helps both you and the carp see the fly in the water. I used a brick red thread that wasn't too bright, but seemed to add to the attractiveness of the fly. The rib is a green ultra-wire that gives strength to the hackle. If the hackle breaks; the wire will hold it in place. All the features of this fly combine to make it a killer on the shallow flats where carp abound. When fished side by side with other flies, it has always been the top producer. This color scheme has proven more effective than any other CCC tested.

Materials for the Yellow CCC

    Hook: Size 12-4, 3x long (I like the Mustad 9672)

    Thread: Danville 3/0 Waxed Mono Cord, brick red, but any color should do.

    Eyes: Gold bead chain, flash removed by soaking in salt water, size to match hook.

    Tail: Pumpkin-fleck rubber legs.

    Body: Cream yellow dubbing.

    Rib: Green Wapsi Ultra Wire.

    Hackle: Conranch Badger, neck or saddle.

Instructions for the Yellow CCC:

    Step 1: Attach thread to the hook and cover the shank to provide a firm foundation for the fly. Attach bead chain eyes to the hook, as near the eye of the hook as you can. Secure tightly with wraps of thread. Now tie in the rubber legs, one on each side of the hook, flared out at a 45-degree angle. The legs should be about the length of the shank of the hook.

    Here is a view of the splayed legs.

    Step 2: Tie in about 10 inches of ultra wire and the bend of the hook, make sure it is pointing back the same way the rubber legs are. Now take some dubbing and start applying it to the thread. Make sure that you don't use too much dubbing, or it wouldn't attach itself to the thread very well. Dub a thin rope along the thread that is even in thickness.

    Step 3: Wrap the dubbing up the shank of the hook until it meets the bead chain eyes. Try to make the body have a slight forward taper from the bend to the eyes.

    Step 4: Choose a hackle from the cape making sure it is the appropriate size for the fly you are tying. Badger seems to be the best color, but if you only have brown or grizzly, either will do. If you do have badger, make sure you choose a hackle that has a clear black streak down the middle. This will give the fly a really nice two-tone effect. Prepare the hackle as you would for any other fly. Then tie it in behind the bead chain eyes with the concave side facing the rear of the fly.

    This is what the hackle should look like when it is attached.

    Step 5: As you wrap the hackle back towards the bend, stroke the fibers back so they slant toward the rear of the fly.

    Step 6: As you finish wrapping the hackle, hold it with one hand and secure it with the ultra wire.

    Step 7: Wrap the ultra wire through the body.* Tie off at the eye of the hook, in front of the bead chain eyes. If you try to do it behind the eyes, it can create some problems with the hackle getting in the way or getting tied down.

    *Some people say to do it the opposite way you wrapped the hackle. It seems to be just as durable either way, and it is much easier to wrap it the same way as the hackle.

    Step 8: Whip finish your thread twice, and trim the hackle tip from the rear of the fly. I do not use any type of head cement. Carp can smell very well and I think the head cement smell can detract to the effectiveness of the fly.

How to Fish the Yellow CCC:

I do not even try for carp with blind casting. Instead, it is much easier to spot them and slowly approach. After positioning yourself make your presentation. When you spot a carp with its head in the sand or rocks, and his tail up out of the water or very near it, you can be sure it is feeding. Cast either a bit to the side or a little in front of it, and let the fly sink. If you can cast to the side, you can drag your fly close to the carp. If the fish sees it, it will usually stop its feeding, and tip its head up out of the sand. Once the fish has done this, start striping the fly in 6 inch pulls, very slowly. The carp may start to follow. If it does, slow down the fly to almost a stop. The carp should swim right on top of it and suck it in as a bass would do. Or, your line may become heavy, and the carp will already have the fly in its mouth. When either of these things happen, strip once more. If the weight is there, pull tight and lift your rod. By the time you've realized the fish is on, it will usually be halfway down the flat you are fishing. Your fly line and then your backing will be tearing off your reel at an alarming pace.

Along with many carp, I have also caught smallmouth bass on this fly. I'm sure it would work for trout, but I haven't had the time to try it out yet.

This nice carp was caught while using the Yellow CCC. ~ Andy

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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