Fly Of The Week

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Marabou Cottonwood Seed Carp Fly
By C. Boyd Pfeiffer

Publisher's Note: We don't break our own rules very often, but we are doing it here. Whenever possible we use flies which have photographic step-by-step instructions. This fly does not - but the fly and the use of materials is unusual enough to merit being Fly of the Week. This fly is from a new book, Tying Warmwater Flies which covers essential tools and accessories, tying materials, tying methods (including several methods of doing weed guards), and One Hundred Top Warmwater Fly Patterns. It is an excellent tying resource with very good color photos! Perhaps it will spark some ideas for your own fishery.

Carp in late spring and early summer often cruise the surface, sipping in cottonwood seeds that have blown onto the water and float there as a result of their light fluff.

This fly in any size can imitate cottonwood seedpods that carp relish when these light bits of fluff land on the water surface. This fly can also be tied using CDC feathers or rabbit fur of the marabou, but the marabou will float for a while and makes a simple fly to tie. Since these cottonwood seeds are small, these flies are best tied as small as possible, considering the size wire and hook necessary to handle a big carp. Realize that as a result of the light wire hook, you must play these fish lightly and carefully, even though you might be using a powerful rod that will allow for a tougher fight. [publisher's note: there are trout streams which are shaded by cottonwoods in the west as well. Brown trout also eat cottonwood seeds, big brown trout.]

Materials List Marabou Cottonwood Seed Carp Fly:

    Hook: Standard dry fly, size 14 to 10.

    Thread: White.

    Wing: Short full wing of white marabou.

    Flotation: Tiney cylinder of white foam, tied McMurray style (optional).

Instructions - Marabou Cottonwood Seed Carp Fly:

1. Tie in thread at the midpoint of the hook shank.

2. Tie in a small short bundle of white foam, pinching the foam in the middle with the thread. (Optional - provides additional flotation for longer fishing and use.)

3. Prepare a thick but very short bundle of white marabou. This bundle should be very fluffy and no longer than the length of the hook.

4. Lightly moisten the marabou bundle to handle it, and tie in the butt ends in the middle of the hook, on top of the tie down point for the white foam.

5. Make a few more wraps with the thread and tie off with a whip finish. Clip the excess thread.

6. Seal the wrap with head cement, taking care to avoid getting it on the marabou. ~ C. Boyd Pfeiffer

Credits: From Tying Warmwater Flies, by C. Boyd Pfeiffer, published by Krause Publishing. We appreciate use permission.

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

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