The evolution of carp flies has been a slow process. We have seen a couple carp specific patterns launched into the commercial market several years ago...and they have remained there, filling the one or two designated "carp" bins of local fly shops. This has usually been enough to appease the majority of fishermen. But now, with the rapid gain in popularity, there has been a serious scramble for reliable and super productive carp flies. I have seen (and fished) many great flies tied by local carpers that would fit the bill...and some of these patterns are FINALLY becoming available commercially. My not-so-humble contribution to this new insurgence of carp flies is the Backstabber. I take a couple hundred fish every year on the leech version alone. I tie mine on a #6 Gamakatsu SL45 with 1/8 inch black Dazl-Eyes tied onto the top of the hook shank to counterbalance the fly...this forces it to ride hook up. I use SLF Hellgramite dubbing on the body, two tufts of black marabou as the wing and dark olive (or brown) soft hackle tied in at the front.
I use this carp fly almost exclusively...with much success! The Backstabber is commercially available in four different flavors: Black Leech, Rust, Wine and Grey Minnow. I prefer to use the darker colors (black and wine) when the water is high and muddy. Most of the carp fishing we do on still water is sight fishing. Not only do you have to see the fish in the water, but you need to see the fly! Later in the summer, once the water levels begin to drop in our local reservoirs, the carp will often act more like temperate bass (wiper, striper) and corral small shad in back coves. This is when a Grey Minnow Backstabber can be deadly! The Rust version is a great crayfish imitation and I use it when the water clears up slightly, or in creeks and rivers.