Carp Bitters

Hook: TMC 2312, 200r
Thread: Orange 6/0 head, brown uni 8/0 body
Head: Bead chain eyes and epoxy
Legs: Brown mottled silly rubber
Underwing: Tan antron yarn
Overwing: Natural deer hair

This fly started out as a Craig Mathew's salt water fly, the Bonefish Bitter. After returning from a trip to Mexico eight years ago with a handfull of these flys still unused, I began to fish them locally for carp. They just have that "carpy" look about them, and the carp agree! I have enlongated the hook, played with the legs and wing colors...and to some extent the head. Now it's a Carp Bitter.
This is an easy tie, but the epoxy can be messy the first few times. I mix five minute epoxy with food coloring to achieve a uniform orange. Less is more with these heads. It is very easy to add too much epoxy, so go light. I also have made the heads with hot glue and have seen them made with acrylic fabric paint. Make some "blanks", hooks with the head only, and leave them clear. You can then color them later with permanent markers. I have tied them in many colors for the head (predominatly orange), and many body combinations including woven rubbber. I carry them in sz 12-6, sz 10 being my most fished size. The sink rate with the deer hair is about perfect, but omitting the wing and adding extra rubber silly legs makes a great looking fly too. It is very adaptable!
This fly is awesome for cruising and especially tailing carp. Although I have not fished it for other warmwater species, it has potential for any fish that likes crustaceans.


Species Covered: