Thursday, November 21, 2013
Thought not known to many newcomers , the Carey Special is a Northwest pattern used in lakes for at least 80 years. It was very popular years ago and has lost some of it's popularity due to the growth of Midge and Chironomid fishing in lakes these past 30 years. This doesn't mean the Carey Special is no longer effective, it just means that a great many of today's Stillwater Flyfishers seem to favor smaller patterns (which is most unfortunate for them).
From what i have read, the Carey Special was originated to imitate the Traveling Sedge Pupa of the Interior lakes of British Columbia. after October Caddis, Traveling Sedges are some of the largest caddis species found in North America. While this may be the truth, most anglers fish the Carey Special as a Dragonfly Nymph imitation. It is in the roll of a Dragon Fly nymph imitation that the Carey really performs.. Even thought it is at best suggestive of a Dragon Fly Nymph, the Carey will work as well, if not better then more exact imitations.
When i first learned of the Carey Special, i found it mentioned in numerous books in the mid to late 70's. All the various Authors claimed it was very effective in Lakes. As the Lakes of the Eastern Sierra and High Sierra were waters I fished often, it made sense that i should tye and fish the Carey. So i tyed up some and carried them with me. I found that they worked well in the various lakes I fished.
Articles I read over the years confirmed the effectiveness of the Carey Special. I even read that it was useful for Bluegill and bass.. so I fished them for the various Sunfish and did find it effective for them as well.
HOOK : any 2xl or 3xl long nymph hook, sizes #6 thru #12
WEIGHT : wraps of lead wire towards the hook eye, the amount is decided by you .
THREAD : Black on the original, but nowadays i match or contrast the color with the body
TAIL : Ringneck Rump Feather Fibers. this is optional, i often never use one, but you can
BODY: Various colors of Chenille, Peacock herl, various dubbings. the sky's the limit on what you
can use for the Body. In chenille Olive, brown, black are common choices. in Dubbing I like
Antron dubbing or Nature Spirit's "Emergence Dubbing".
HACKLE : Ringneck Pheasant Rump Feathers.. size the hackle so the fibers are about 1 /3/4 hook
shank length. you can go longer , but not much shorter. I try to get in 4 wraps of the
Hackle. However i have seen examples where at least two feathers were used and
the resulting collar was very thick. I prefer to keep it less full because you'll get
better action from the individual fibers.
The Carey Special is very easy to tye well and should prove little trouble for most tyers. It is also a very effective pattern and has always performed well... good enough reason to add some to your Flybox...