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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)|
|Rubber Legs (Olive Barred)||Cohen’s Carp Dub or Similar (Olive)||Fox Squirrel Dubbing|
|Rabbit Strip (Olive Barred)|
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Primordial Carp Stew Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:
(Mobile Viewers: Click images to enlarge)
Tips and Tricks
- 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 Rubber Legs that I had on hand, Zimmerman’s recipe calls for Flexi-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.
- 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
It has taken two months since the original date of publication, but this pattern has finally proven itself in the field.
Midway through Day 1 of The Mayfly Project’s 25 on the Fly tournament, I found myself struggling to elicit a strike from the numerous feeding carp I had been actively targeting. My go-to patterns had been refused as had everything else I had thrown at them.
As a last ditch effort, I tied on a black Primordial Carp Stew and flipped it into the path of one of the feeding carp. Though this first attempt was refused, a second attempt at drag and drop was not. Though not a monster, the fish accounted for our fourth species of the day, and played a role in our finishing 4th in a field of 45 teams.
Species Caught on the Primordial Carp Stew to Date:
- Common Carp
- Largemouth Bass