Bob Clouser's swimming nymph has arguably got to be one of the pioneer fly patterns of modern fly fishing. This fly is truly a classic; a time proven, highly effective fly pattern. While it was originated for catching smallmouth on the Susquehanna River, there's just something seems to make the carp go ga-ga over it. Whether it is the resemblance to a small crawfish, a hexagenia or large drake mayfly nymph, or a dragonfly nymph, fish seem to love it. I like to tie my versions of this venerable pattern using rabbit fur, as it is more durable than marabou.
While this pattern works, there's no doubt about that, I was looking for something a little more specific to carp. I added beadchain eyes and silicone legs. I've tied versions both with soft hackle legs and without; I don't really think it matters much so tying without the hackle will save time on the tie. I think the silicone legs will steal all of the attention on this fly pattern. I dub thee roughfisher's swimming nymph.
I tried tying this pattern on a Tiemco 2457 2X strong scud hook. I'll have to see if the curved shank helps to improve fish hookups.
This last pattern I tied using hare guard hairs for the tail, and hares ear dubbing for the body.
I managed to get a whole rabbit pelt at the Hobby Lobby for a couple bucks. The quality of the skin was impeccable, and is also great for tying hare's ear nymphs, or making your own natural dubbing blends. The craft store is a haven for cheap fly tying materials, and is a good alternative to items that are often highly marked up at the fly shop. The next time you are dragged to the craft store by your significant other, pop over to the craft section and look for steals on furs, soft hackles, beads and craft foam. You'll be surprised at the bargains you can find.