Fly tying: The Wood Special

Here in eastern Idaho, it's almost carp season. I get that not every Idaho fly fisher marks these first few weeks of spring as "carp season," but for the last 20 years or so, it's become my spring fishing respite. Up high, winter hangs on, and this winter has been a big one. Getting after trout in our famous rivers either needs to be done now, before runoff kicks off, or we'll have to wait until high summer after all the snow melts and runs downstream.  

But, over the course of the next month or so, big carp will start moving out of of the main stem of the Snake River and out of the depths of our lowland lakes and reservoirs, and they'll start getting ready to spawn in the shallows. Chasing carp keeps me busy until the trout streams clear from runoff. And so does tying flies for carp. 

The Wood Special

The Wood Special, a wet fly tied for trout in eastern U.S. streams, is actually one of my favorite carp patterns. The orange chenile and silver tinsel make it a handsome fly, and for some reason, carp really get after it when it's stripped very slowly through the shallows as the big, invasive fish move in to spawn. Where I chase carp, the Wood Special, the Stayner Ducktail and the good old Woolly Bugger could conceivably be the only three flies I'll use—they just work.

But, as Tim Flagler notes in the video above, the Wood Special works pretty well for trout, too.

— Chris Hunt


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