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The Beauty of Butterfly Koi Fish

The beautiful Butterfly Koi Fish gets its name from the decorative finnage that resembles the delicate wings of a butterfly. Being of a hybrid variety, these fish are not considered by many breeders as a true Koi. Butterfly Koi fish have been bred only since the 1980s, along with Dragon carp and Longfin Koi. The earlier varieties of Koi were distinguished by their coloration, pattern, and scalation. However, new variants like the Butterfly Koi have distinct characteristics with unusually long, flowing fins.

The true origin of Butterfly Koi fish is often debated due to its crossbreeding. Some aquarists are of the opinion that they are a cross between ordinary Koi and Asain carp. Today, most breeders strive to create ornamental and colorful Koi, with butterfly Koi being a popular variety. Traditional Koi shows tend to disregard them because of their hybrid origin. Like traditional Koi, butterfly koi come in different patterns and colors, with white, yellow, and orange in combination being most common.

Apart from long, flowing fins, butterfly koi fish have longer barbells and bigger nares as compared to traditional koi. The smaller varieties are kept in aquariums, while the bigger that reach up to 36 inches are bred in ponds. They don’t require much maintenance as long as they are fed properly and kept in a stable environment. Butterfly koi fish have a peaceful temperament and don’t mind the company of humans at any time.

What is distinctive about butterfly koi fish is that their dorsal, pectoral, ventral, and caudal fins are almost featherlike in appearance. The Japanese call them ‘living jewels’ or also as Dragon Koi because of their colorful appearance. They can also easily be interbred with standard koi. Their entry into the US was through breeder Wyatt Lefever who crossed Asian Koi with metallic colored Koi.

Although butterfly koi fish cannot be judged in competitions according to the rules for standard Koi, many breeders still hold butterfly koi competitions. Their fin to body ratio exceeds that of standard koi by over 500%. Therefore, they cannot receive the same points as standard koi in a competition. Moreover, the patterns and color variations are different. The new version of butterfly koi is slender, which is more noticeable when you look down on the fish. The American Koi Club Association has set new standards to judge these fish.

If you wish to breed butterfly koi, make sure you provide them a pond with at least 1,000 gallons of water. Fill the pond up with sturdy plants since they like to nibble at the roots. However, make sure the base of the plant is protected with large stones. Make sure the pH levels of the water are between 6.8 and 7.2. dH levels must be maintained between 2 and 12. Like carp, butterfly koi are sturdy and can live comfortably in temperatures from 33 to 90° Fahrenheit.

As like all other koi, the gentle nature of butterfly koi make them excellent pond fish. They are tolerant and resistant to disease which makes them a popular choice among breeders all over the world. Taking care of butterfly koi fish is a pleasurable experience that can give you priceless hours of enjoyment and fulfillment. The little bit of effort you put into bringing them up will be worth it in the long run.


Nelson writes koi fish here: http://www.koifishinformationcenter.com/butterfly-koi. He has raised, studied, bred and cared for hundreds of varieties of Koi. His twenty plus years of practical experience and research are available in his latest book,<a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=”<a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=”http://www.koifishinformationcenter.com”>http://www.koifishinformationcenter.com”> Insider’s Secrets To Raising Healthy Koi: The Ultimate Guide</a>.

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How To Fly Fish For Carp

Fly fishing for carp is awesome and frustrating at the same time. Carp have a really uncanny ability to spit out baits they deem suspicious before you have a chance to set your hook.  Although it’s a very exciting thing to see, it can also be heartbreaking to see a large carp disregard your bait and quickly swim away. If you do hook one, however, hold on for deal life and hold on to that trembling, vibrating fishing pole!

Carp regularly come to the surface looking for food and the best baits to lure them there are breads, chic peas, salmon eggs and canned corn. These are all inexpensive baits as well.  These baits must be securely attached to a #4 or #6 hook.  It’s advisable to break your bread into small portions, dampen it, seal it in a sandwich bag, and let it sit in the sun for about an hour or so.  Since different breads have different textures,you’ll have to experiment to know which one will stay firm enough to cast.  Another great bait are the pellets which you can buy ready to use.  These are simply store made versions of classic baits, all rolled into a convenient, and smelly pellet!

Carp tend to scare easily, so when they begin to swim around your bait, be careful not to jerk the bait and scare them away.  The longer they analyze the bait, the more comfortable they’ll become.  This is the fisherman’s best chance for a nice strike.  This tactic can be very useful if using zig rigs.

If a carp takes your bait, quickly rebait your hook and cast back in.  Don’t cast directly on top of the feeding carp or they will surely scatter.  Cast away from the feeding area then slowly reel the bait into position.  Slowly reel your bait into the middle of the feeding carp, and try hard to keep it as close to the surface as possible.  You may want to rig it 6-8 inches unter a float to ensure it sits close to the surface. 

Here are some tips that have been helpful to me:

-Use smaller amounts of bait for carp.  They nibble at the bait, and a big chunk will allow them to nibble for a long time before getting to the hook.  You don’t want them to get their fill without taking your hook.

-Use heavyweight line and a steel leader.  Carp tend to rub their teeth and gums together after they bite, and this can break your line.  I recommend at least thirty pound test line, as carp are voracious fighters.

-Dip a piece of sponge in some fish scent (can be bought at any bait 7 tackle store) and hang the sponge above your hook.  The scent will help the carp find the bait-and your hook.

-Using a float is a good idea because it helps keep your bait close to the surface and it’s easy to find your rig.  You can also tell right away when you get a bite.

-When fly fishing for carp, use a standard five second count after your fly or bait hits the water.  If you don’t get any hits, increase it to ten seconds.  Carp tend to practice restraint if they are unsure of a bait.  Those extra seconds could mean the difference between getting a bite or not. 

In the end, it really isn’t the bait that’s most important but how the bait is fished.  Throwing some bait into the water before fishing, also called “chumming”, can also be an effective technique to draw carp to your fishing area.  This makes the carp think that there is an excessive amount of food for them there and before you know it there will be a large school of them ready to feed.  The number one key to fishing is patience.  If you can wait them out and wait for them to realize there is food available, you’ll definitely catch a big carp.

If you would like to learn more about fishing for carp and read some more fly fishing tips, visit: Fishing Tips For Beginners