The Carpinator is all around a fantastic carp fly and without a doubt my hands down go to fly. Not exactly sure where it came from but I do remember that Brian used to custom tie this for the shop going back 15 years or so. I think he said he learned it from Brad Befus at one point.
There are a few key characteristics I look for when I am either choosing or tying a carp fly. First I want a pattern that can be tied quickly and is very durable. It also needs to tied/designed in such a way that allows the fly to enter the water very quietly but at the same time sink very quickly. I believe this is why I turn to this pattern more than any other in my carp box. It can also be easily tied in a multitude if different colors to either match bottom color or a specific species of crayfish.
Try this fly! I think it will become a top producer in your carp box!
Be sure to check out the tutorial on our You Tube channel which is linked below.
Pat Kelly- April 2018
Hook: Daiichi 1650 #6- Click Here
Thread: Fl. Orange UTC 140- Click Here
Tail: Crawfish Orange Rabbit Fur cut from a Zonker Strip- Click Here
Flash: Rootbeer Krystal Flash- Click Here
Legs: Barred Orange Sili Legs- nymph- Click Here
Body: Crawdub Dubbing- Softshell- Click Here
Rear Eyes: Medium Mono Eyes- black- Click Here
Front Eyes: Medium Bead Chain- black- Click Here
Collar: Hen Back Patch- speckled brown natural- Click Here
1. Secure hook in vise. Lay down base of thread and secure bead chain eyes approximately three hook eye lengths behind the eye of the hook.
2. Cut off piece of rabbit from the hide and tie in directly above the barb and wrap with thread half way down the hook bend and return thread to just above the barb. *When the fly is lying inverted on the river bottom it will give the appearance of a crayfish posturing up in a defensive position.
3. Tie in Krystal flash so that it extends a full tail length beyond the rabbit strip tail. Return thread to tie in point and secure mono eyes with figure eight wraps.
4. Bring thread back to where tail begins and dub your thread and begin to work up the hook shank and around the mono eyes.
5. Once you have dubbed around the mono eyes continue dubbing to about half way between the mono eyes and the bead chain eyes and tie in your Sili Legs.
I like to take one Sili Leg and fold in half and then half again. This will give you four individual legs that will be the perfect length, not so short that the will not wiggle around in the current but at the same time not too long as to foul while casting. Once the legs are secure I like to make a couple wraps with the dubbing behind the legs as to help prop them up. I find this maximizes the action of the legs.
6. Continue dubbing all the way up to right behind the bead chain eyes. At this point you will want to tie in your hen saddle.
I prefer to tie in my saddle by the tip and with the concave portion facing rearward. This achieves two things. By tying in the feather by the tip it allows the shorter more stiff fibers to support the longer softer fibers. Secondly, by tying in the saddle with the concave portion of the feather facing rearward when you begin palmering the feather forward it ensures the natural flow of the feather veils back toward the rest of the fly.
After wrapping the feather in its entire length tie off and advance thread in front of the bead chain eyes. At this point you will finish the fly by building a nice tapered thread head, whip finish and add a little zap or hard as hull.
The Carpinator from the back showing the "defensive crayfish" posture that helps to make it such an effective carp fly.
Watch the Video!
Mad River Outfitters/Midwest Fly Fishing Schools
Fly Shop, Fly Fishing Guides, Hosted Fly Fishing Travel, Schools, Classes and more!
813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214