Online Fly Fishing Magazine

Terrestrials: A Return To Earth!

Carp Champions Jamie Sandford reveals the trout patterns he has used to tempt carp from the surface during the summer months.

Following on from a recent article, here on the Today’s FlyFisher website, with regards to using some ‘weird and wonderful’ surface patterns for carp, I wanted to tell you about my recent success this summer with my personal progression within my own fly tying and the patterns I’ve been using.

Foam patterns with fluorescent posts have been successful for Jamie until the summer of 2018.
Foam patterns with fluorescent posts have been successful for Jamie until the summer of 2018.

As I’d written previously, I’ve had great results actively stalking carp and sight-fishing using surface patterns that had all manner of legs, coloured foam posts and fluorescent bodies. However recently having taken my inspiration from classic trout patterns I’ve turned my hand to a more natural theme and this has led me to have some great catches in the summer of 2018.

A switch to more natural looking patterns based around trout flies worked well for surface feeding carp.
A switch to more natural looking patterns based around trout flies worked well for surface feeding carp.

I found over the course of the last summer that my ‘funky beetles’ were being ignored and this was beginning to happen on a more regular basis! Was this due to the mood of the fish on these particular sessions or was it that the attitude of the fish was changing to suit what they were predating on at different times throughout the summer? I’d put it down to a mix of factors: these two potentially playing a big part in my opinion!

Carp food, shucks and terrestrials found in the surface layers in the margins.
Carp food, shucks and terrestrials found in the surface layers in the margins.

These frustrating sessions led me to tie more natural looking ‘flies’ and in turn my catch rate increased. What was once a session filled with finicky boils and lazy swirls is now met with a solid take as the fly line tightens and backing is ripped off once the carp has engulfed the fly…RESULT!

I have only been tying for a couple of years and with a few pointers here and there from friends tying such patterns is a steep learning curve, However this also gives me the flexibility to not have to follow any ‘rules’ or pattern guides. In turn this allows me to experiment with the materials I tie with and how I want the flies to act when I fish with them.

Experimenting with trout patterns for carp has worked well for Jamie. Another foam dry which has caught several fish.
Experimenting with trout patterns for carp has worked well for Jamie. Another foam dry which has caught several fish.

In keeping with floating flies the materials I have used have been of a more natural origin and although I still tie in a small foam back as the bulk body the hackle and fibres are from feathers opposed to silicone silly legs.

The foam and hackle allows me some surface area to add floatant or a small amount of sinkant should I want the fly to sit a little lower in the surface film.

Jamie Sandford

Jamie Sandford has been an avid fisherman all his life taking an interest in a variety of fishing styles both in the U.K. and abroad. Based in Cumbria he combines his love of fishing with being outdoors enjoying all aspects of the countryside. Jamie favourite style of fishing is lure fishing for trout, carp, pike and variety of sea species. He promotes fly fishing for carp through the Facebook page, Carp Champions.

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