There is always room in my fly box for versatile flies—patterns that can be dead-drifted or fished on the swing are valuable assets for the fall and winter angler. Maybe no pattern incorporates the versatility that the Carey Special does.
Here, Tim Flagler ties a very basic version of this fly, using coc de leon feathers, brass wire, and some simple dubbing. It’s a simple pattern to tie, ties up quickly and can be deadly for trout both drifted as a nymph attractor or on the swing, where, depending on the materials, it can imitate a damselfly nymph or even a small baitfish.
Here in Idaho, I use Carey Specials to chase carp in the spring on the Snake River. Careys are reasonable imitations of damselfly nymphs and, in bigger sizes, tadpoles. Carp love them.
Again … there’s always room in my fly box for flies that serve multiple purposes.
— Chris Hunt