Green Carey

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by 0012, May 20, 2002.

  1. Does any one have the recipie of the green cary?
    Tight Lines From Alaska
  2. Modified Carey Special

    Hook: Size 12 Mustad 79580 or equivalent
    Thread: Black 8/0
    Underbody: Lead wire if desired or dubbing
    Abdomen: Peacock herl
    Beard: Small mottled feathers from the top
    of a pheasant rump
    Wing: Long brown fibers from the bottom
    of the pheasant rump

    Start the thread near the eye and bring it back to the bend covering the shank along the way
    Now is the time to decide if you want to tie it weighted or not. In the interest of uniformity, I tied all of the swap flies unweighted. Read on if you're not using any weight; if you want a sinker, skip to the next paragraph. Choose any kind of dubbing and dub a smooth underbody that gets thicker in the midsection and tapers back down towards the eye. Wrap the thread back over the dubbing to the bend.
    If you've already completed the last step, skip this one. Using lead (or unleaded wire), wrap a section of wire in the middle of the shank.Tie securely with the thread and coat with Flexament. Build up the thread next to the wire on both sides to make a smooth underbody. Bring the thread back to the bend.
    Tie in six peacock herls, clip the ends, and wind the thread almost to the eye. Spin the herls into a rope (I like to do this three at a time) and wind forward to the thread being sure to completely cover the underbody. Tie off the herl rope and clip the ends.
    Turn the fly upside down and tie in the beard. Be sure to impale your finger repeatedly on the hook during this step. I like to strip (or snip) off some of the fibers and tie them in instead of trying to use a whole feather.
    Turn the fly back right-side-up and tie in the wing. Similar to the beard, I prefer to strip off some of the fibers and tie those in. Secure the wing with some thread wraps and then build a thread head and whip finish.
    Apply the head cement and admire the bug.

    Hook: Number 6.
    Tail: A few fibres from a ringed-neck pheasant’s rump feather.

    Body: Ringed-neck pheasant tail fibers, deer hair or marmot fur.

    Rib: Black linen thread.

    Collar: Ring-necked pheasant rump feathers extending well past hook bend.

    Originator: Colonel Carey.

    A link to step by step instructions.

    Great Canadian Flies,
    West: The Carey Special
    By Sheldon Seale / Glen Hales photos

    There have been many great fly patterns developed in and for the Canadian west. The Carey Special is one of the best known and also one of the most versatile and adaptable. In the literature it is usually referred to as a wet fly or a nymph and occasionally as a steelhead fly (especially the Orange Carey Special). Yet, it isn’t that well known to anglers, except in those regions of western Canada where it is a staple.

    Hook: 3x long nymph or streamer, sizes 2-8.
    Thread: Black 6/0.

    Tail: Pheasant flank feather fibres (optional).

    Rib: Copper wire or similar (optional).

    Body: Peacock herl, dubbing or chenille (optionally weighted).

    Hackle: Pheasant flank feather, tied back.

    The pattern was developed about 1925 by a Dr. Lloyd A. Day of Quesnel, British Columbia. Its original name was The Monkey Faced Louise. However, a Colonel Thomas Carey popularized the pattern and the fly was eventually renamed in his honour. [Author’s note: I have no way to be certain, but I wonder if the timing of the Carey Special’s development is somehow related to the introduction of ringneck pheasant to North America from China. This would explain the use of pheasant flank for the collar rather than grouse or one of the various members of the duck family.]

    Primarily thought of as a lake and pond fly, the Carey Special is at home in many kinds of water. Its adaptability allows it to suggest a wide range of fish foods. These include damselfly and dragonfly nymphs, cased caddis, small fishes and even crayfish. The pattern can be weighted or not and tied in a wide variety of materials.

    The pattern is a straightforward tie as so many truly effective flies are.

    Step 1 - Start your thread back of the hook eye and lay down a bed of thread to the bend. If you wish to weight your fly, wrap some lead wire (approximately the same diameter as the hook wire) over the middle half of the hook shank. Secure the lead in place with some extra wraps of thread. If you’re putting on a tail, strip a dozen fibres from a pheasant flank feather and tie them in. The tail should be equal tothe length of the hook shank. Tie in your ribbing (optional with dubbing or chenille).

    Step 2 - Select 6-8 long strands of peacock herl and tie in. Advance the thread to the original tie-in point. Twist the herl into a rope and wrap forward in touching turns to form the body. Secure with thread and trim excess herl. Wind copper wire forward, in open winds, to form the rib (optional with dubbing or chenille).

    Step 3 - Tie in the pheasant flank feather by the tip. Trim the excess. Fold the fibres towards the rear of the hook and wrap 2 or 3 turns to form a collar. Secure with thread and trim excess hackle. If the hackle doesn’t lay back sufficiently, secure it in place with a couple of thread wraps (see picture). Form a small neat head, tie off, clip the thread, and coat the head with lacquer.

    The variations are endless. You can dub a body using your favourite material or use chenille, wool or floss. You can use different materials for the tail, including some red wool for a brighter fly. I recently came across dyed pheasant flank in small packages, so you can even match the collar to the body or not! All in all, an excellent pattern. A couple of my favourite variations include:

    While the Carey Special is indeed at home in a pond or lake, it is a very useful fly in rivers—especially the slower and deeper portions. In streams and rivers, fish it as any wet fly or strip it in as you would a small streamer. In ponds, a slow, hand twist retrieve on a sinking line can prove deadly!

    Try your own variations of the Carey Special. While most of the colours I have suggested above are intended for trout, I believe some of the brighter colours would be just the ticket for smallmouth bass. I’ll have to give them a try this summer in some of the Haliburton Hills rivers I like to fish. ~ Sheldon Seale
  3. i have been a fan/user of the carey special for 30 years, my favorite colors are peacock herl and black with fine silver tinsel. a great trout fly. pilchuck steelie
  4. IveofIone
    A timely question,0012.I just finished up a batch of red Carey Specials, the most productive fly I have ever fished in lakes. I also tie it in green but it doesn't produce for me as well as the red. The secret to my Red Carey seems to be the red glass bead head. I bought a package of red and green glass beads at a craft store a few years back, a lifetime supply I might add, and the beads have a reflective coating in the through hole that scatters light. Held up to my fly tying light, it is apparent that these heads attract fish from a long way off. My experience with this fly bears this out. I also use a holographic tinsel for the rib, wind the body out of red yarn rather than dubbing and in addition to the pheasant tail use 4 clumps of pheasant on top,bottom and each side. The best retrieve seems to be on an intermediate line using short rapid irregular strips, just dragging it around doesn't do near as well. I have some green ones tied exactly like the red but with peacock herl instead of red yarn. I'll give those a try again today and see how they compare. I have a lot of relatives in Alaska and none of them flyfish-go figure!
  5. just remember, throw 'em back

    i've used the same fly with a yellow chennile body with great success on Sea Run Cutts. Carey Specials are great all around flies that I believe will put fish in the boat/float tube/pontoon/etc. anytime anywhere.

    also, has anyone tried like a chartreuse carey in a larger size for coho or a pink one for humpies? I'd wager that it would work quite well.
  6. I'd say that'd work great for pinks, along with anything else chartruse
    Tight Lines From Alaska
    0012 :THUMBSUP
  7. fly lady

    I have tied hundreds of green carey flies for use in Eastern Washington lakes and they are a very effective fly as a fly to troll small lakes and as a streamer. I tie the carey for use as a wet fly
    on a size 6 standard wet fly hook.
    The tail and hackle are pheasant rump feather. The body of the green carey is large insect green chenille and I use black unithread.
    To assemble: Tie in a small clump from the tip of a long Pheasant rump feather for the tail. Tie in the large chenille and wrap to within 1/8" of the hook eye. Attach a medium size rump feather by the rib and spin it around the hook about two times. Wrap to secure the hackle and finish off with a neat head. The large chenille body of this fly soaks up water and keeps this fly from trying to float to the surface when trolling.
    Some other good carey colors are black, red, fluorescent green and dark green. In the spring you can try this fly with a very small clump of red marabou in place of the pheasant tail.
    You can find carey flies for sale at

Share This Page