The Truth about Crayfish

My carp fishing lecture at Cumberland Transit last night was a success – meaning I actually had an audience! Apparently someone poached the announcement from the Cumberland Transit Website and put it in the Tennessean Newspaper’s outdoor events calendar. So, thanks to whoever did that, thanks to CT for hosting me, and thanks to everyone who showed up. Also, congratulations to Miles, who won a free guided fishing trip.

For those of you who couldn’t make it to the talk, I thought I’d share a little bit of the information that I covered:
When it comes to fly fishing for carp there is a lot of talk about crayfish patterns, but as they say, talk is cheap and the proof is in the pudding. Take a look at the chart I’ve included:

I made this chart from information on the Canadian Carp Registry where people can write in with information about carp they have caught on the fly. The number of caught carp is on the vertical axis, and the types of fly used to fool them is on the horizontal axis. The first thing to notice is that nymphs win. They beat out both crayfish and baitfish patterns by quite a bit. Now take a look at the second column labeled “buggers.” This column includes woolly buggers, crud flies and puke flies. These flies don’t have special names because they are not imitations of specific food items. However, all of these flies are essentially generic nymph imitations. Therefore I argue that the buggers column should be lifted out and placed on top of the nymphs column, in which case nymphs out-fish crayfish about 4 to 1! So next time you find yourself wondering what fly to throw at a hungry carp, reach for a nymph.

One thought on “The Truth about Crayfish

  1. I was one of the participants of the lecture and thouroughly enjoyed the evening. It was well presented and quite informative. Looking forward to try to get some of these fish on the fly.


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