Fly-Fishing for Carp: Bend your Rod in Half!
Those Sneaky Beasts: The common carp (Cyprinus Carpio)
Updated for the 2007 season!
Catching a carp on the fly isn't as easy as I thought it would be. On the other hand, I found it a lot easier and more productive than chumming and still-fishing. In fact, fly fishing for carp is now a highlight of every spring! They are one of my favorites, just a blast to catch on the long rod. Look past your prejudices and toward the muddy water ahead... there are bruiser carp just waiting for your fly! (pic) I have no idea how much this one weighed, but I'm guessing over twenty pounds and it's a typical good-sized fish, there are many bigger ones out there. All I know is it didn't fit in the net or the bottom of my jon boat!
Our waters feature more than just the common carp: There are also brightly colored three-pound goldfish and goldfish-carp hybrids in Cayuga that are just as much fun to catch. Sterile grass carp are also around, though the only one I've caught so far was a one-pound baby. I saw an English carp fisherman catch a 34 lb. "mirror carp" (pic) several years back and even just watching that fight got my blood pumping! (Also picture at right.)
There are several articles available online that will tell you how to fly fish for carp, so here are a few reasons why...
If that list doesn't convince you, try the carp challenge! One fine spring or summer day, with the sun shining and the trout eluding your best presentations, take a trip to some nearby warm, slow, flat water. Cast a few streamers for carp, and spend a little while actually trying to catch them. This can be tough depending on their mood, but once your hook a carp, you take the challenge: Is it possible to fight a carp on a fly rod, and not enjoy yourself? I don't think so!
New! Carp flies:
The craythingy, essentially a crayfish colored woolly bugger with lead eyes and rubber legs. Try it in olive, too.
The cottonwood seed, a specialty fly for areas rich in cottonwood trees.
The corn fly, it is what it sounds like, fish this one in heavily chummed areas. Try soaking a few in anise or banana oil as carp are big scent feeders.
Also be sure to check out the recommended flies in the articles below.
Everyone loves carp! My only question is, why were they overlooked before? More good articles:
As I write this it is late March and carp season is nearly here! Early pre-spawn fishing is my favorite, the carp are hungry and love crayfish flies. My favorite technique isn't actually sight-fishing, though that's a lot of fun too, but I love dredging crayfish flies through known "carp holes". The best are deep lies in slack water near structure- one of my favorites is a hole created from a falling tree in a shallow flooded area. In early spring the fish move into the lower, slow moving reaches of streams in search of warmer water and food. Look for quickly rising stream temperatures as this early fishing is very weather dependent. As always, good luck!Top | Fishing Index