When it comes to learning new fly patterns, techniques and skills for fly fishing I might be a little old school. I am of the generation that still remembers going to the library and requesting books on assorted subjects I was interested in learning about. I even remember getting my first email address and the dial up tone of AOL is forever burned into memories of my youth. So, it should come as no surprise that over the years I have built up a pretty significant library of fly tying guides for all sorts of freshwater and saltwater quarry. One of the newest additions to that library is Jay Zimmerman’s book The Best Carp Flies.
First published last year, Zimmerman’s contribution to the growing pursuit of Carp on the fly is one of the most exhaustively researched and complete fly tying guides for a species of fish that I own. Coming in at almost 250 pages the book is loaded with information that would benefit the veteran and novice carp fly fisherman. Sections like Carp flies by weight, Carp leaders and Carp fly hydrodynamics have proven themselves invaluable references both on the water and on the vise.
One of my favorite sections in the book highlights the use of “lift kit” which is a term Zimmerman coined in trying to explain the optimal weighting of different carp flies and the best ways to achieve those intended effects. Additionally, Zimmerman also includes detailed step by step color photos on over 20 different Carp fly patterns complete with specific instructions and recommendations on how best to fish them and detailed recipes and color photos on variants.
All in all, I found this book to be an invaluable reference for my own Carp fly tying as well as a great catalyst for tying variations of other fly patterns for different fish species. It was definitely no small undertaking to put together but worth every penny.
All material can be found at K&K, including some of the flies if you don't want to tie your own or if you just want a model to tie your flies after.