Primordial Carp Stew Step-by-Step

Primordial Carp Stew Step-by-Step:

Admit it, a catchy name has just as much draw with fly tyers as it does with any other demographic. For every popular fly with a basic descriptive name like Elk Hair Caddis or Hare’s Ear Nymph, there’s a Meat Whistle, Drunk & Disorderly, or Hippie Stomper. The names draw our attention, and, while in no way descriptive, often spur us to take a closer look. Such was the case when I stumbled across a pattern known as Primordial Carp Stew in Jay Zimmerman‘s The Best Carp Flies: How to Tie and Fish Them.

Having recently landed my first common carp on the fly, I had already plunged head first down the rabbit hole of carp fishing when my wife gifted me a copy of Zimmerman’s book this past Christmas. While many of the patterns had become familiar to me through hours spent scouring google, a few were still novel to me. And of those, none had a name with the same draw as Primordial Carp Stew.

Flipping ahead to the chapter in question, I was pleased to see a pattern that matched the name. Though on the small side (something I’ve come to prefer when fishing local carp), it was the very embodiment of its name. A buggy, fluid mass of parts that seemed to check all the boxes on the carp fly must-have list. Book marking the page, I made a point to return to it once I’d located the appropriate hooks.

Gamakatsu SL45 (#8) 70 Denier (Black) Dumbell Eyes (Black; XS)
Materials Sili Legs (Olive Barred)Materials Dubbing mix w/ Rubber Micro LegsMaterials Fox Squirrel Dubbing
Materials Rabbit Strip (Olive Barred)

Primordial Carp Stew Fly Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:

(Mobile Viewers: Click images to enlarge)

Tips and Tricks

  1. Substitutions – While some tyers are adamant that materials should not be substituted when tying patterns, I have absolutely no problem using what I have on hand. In the case of this fly, I made two substitutions from the original material list. First, the tail. While I used the Olive Barred Sili Legs that I had on hand, Zimmerman’s recipe calls for “Sexi-Floss.” Second, the dubbing. Many tying books including Zimmerman’s call for specific dubbing types for each pattern. In this case, Swisher’s Rub-a-Dub. As I currently own more dubbing than I’ll likely ever use, I see no reason to go out and purchase another. Instead, I combined a few dubbing materials on hand to create a similar blend. Even if you don’t have the exact materials you need, experiment. You may find you like your variation better in the end.
  2. Adhesives and Carp Flies – At least among fish, carp have a renowned sense of smell. While that doesn’t stop everyone from using super glue, flex seal or Zap-a-Gap in their fly design, it is enough to give me pause. Personally, I’d rather catch a few fish before my fly falls apart as opposed to not catching any fish due to the smell of my fly. This isn’t to say you can’t use these adhesives and fixing agents on your fly, just keep in mind that they may be the problem if carp keep refusing your offerings.

Proof of Concept

Sadly this pattern is as of yet unproven by this blog’s standards. However, that speaks more to my abilities than to the fly.

On a recent trip to the LSU Lakes, this pattern produced three takes. In all three cases, I was either early or late with my hook set. One took the olive pattern shown. The other two fell, if only briefly, for a black version.

With any luck, winds will calm in the coming weeks, and I’ll once again attempt to prove this fly’s worth. Until then…

Tight Lines!


Species Caught on the Primordial Carp Stew to Date:

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