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Warmwater Fly Fishing Bass, Bream, Perch, etc...

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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 01-26-2012, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: Grass Carp? Take this to the bank!

"I'd have to say they absolutely do have sporting value. I run a website more or less devoted to Carp fly fishing." and I agree having caught them and having researched and penned and placed one of the first two or three articles found on the web circa 1999 or so, about fly fishing for Carp. Where we might disagree a bit is in their food preferences. Grass Carp as opposed to Common Carp are much more vegetarian and it's likely that when they do take a fly that looks like other than grass, berries, or other vegetation they are mistaking it for their usual food source.

When was the last time you heard of anyone stocking Common Carp for vegetation control! Commons are much more the omnivore.

Another point is what makes a Grass Carp sporting, as I'm not "elitist," at all and training them to eat doughballs and then substituting the doughball fly is just fine and just one of the many ways that the Grassie and the Common Carp are very sporting fish. I do feel however that the primary factors that go toward making them sporting is their size, their spookiness (especially Grass Carp), and their penchant for feeding on a particular food source, ie ficus berries or grass clippings and then matching that hatch. Also the need to be an expert caster factors in and placing that fly exactly where you want it; in not lining the fish (say curve cast); in chosing a fly that doesn't splash, and in gauging the fish and it's travel/feeding pattern. All in all it makes for quite a sporting proposition.

Although I've caught them by matching the hatch my first one was a nice one of around 12 lbs and it sucked in a Turk's Tarantula when fishing for bluegills. I had cast it out, and it was sitting motionless (building that suspense that drives gills and bass crazy) when the Grassie came up and sucked it down! Talk about fun, 12 lb fish and three weight rod but luckily the pond near Albertson's was just a half acre at the most.

Some hot tips: For golf course or drainage ponds wear a light blue shirt, move very slowly and cast gently. Crouch, stealth, sneaky etc--well you get the point!
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 01-26-2012, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Grass Carp? Take this to the bank!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck s View Post
"I'd have to say they absolutely do have sporting value. I run a website more or less devoted to Carp fly fishing." and I agree having caught them and having researched and penned and placed one of the first two or three articles found on the web circa 1999 or so, about fly fishing for Carp. Where we might disagree a bit is in their food preferences. Grass Carp as opposed to Common Carp are much more vegetarian and it's likely that when they do take a fly that looks like other than grass, berries, or other vegetation they are mistaking it for their usual food source.
I think we do disagree somewhat, perhaps not entirely. Of course they are more omnivorous, however, I've seen grass carp shun a floating fly that was twitched in the slightest. And then I've caught many many grass carp on crayfish or small black flies with either lead or bead chain eyes that were being stripped through the water. Seen them literally chase down moving flies. Theres no mistaking vegitation in that, as we both know these fish are not dumb. Part of the key to how I fish for them is certainly the sound of the fly plopping in the water. They do recognize that sound and then they look for what it was...what they find is something moving through the water. Are they mistaking that for grass, berries etc? I personally think not, though i could be wrong...regardless. small flies with bead chain eyes are still my method of choice for several reasons. The fish do not spook or get wise to such a fly if placed appropriately, and you can cast multiple times to the same fish often exciting it more and more with each cast. My Line is taught and the Hook points up for better hook set, with no need to time the strike. However you fish for them, its great fun. I just don't believe that they are all totaly omnivorous, or that floating flies are always best. You can bet that when the mulberries drop, im not fishing a floating fly. Maybe my fish are just a bit different than yours, I've seen grass carp spookier than spooky in certain bodies of water. also, where i fish, (missouri river backwaters) theres not much vegitation except when the river floods, and the water is cloudy. Im sure that all figures in. Just something for you to think about, and or try...if your serious about catching grass carp. IMO
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: Grass Carp?

No doubt the existence of sparce vegetation, might cause them to switch gears and go more omnivore and as I pointed out I was just going on my experience coupled with what science says about the critters. Well that and their use for vegetation control. That really doesn't matter since if you've found something that works for you more power to you and it brings up a great point in that everyone's home waters are different and fish fit into any niche they can occupy. All in all I've caught a couple dozen from Washington state to Florida and out of all that probably 3/4 or greater was while matching weeds, berries, seeds, fluff, etc rather than crayfish, minnows or bugs. To put that in perspective I've caught many many more Common Carp than Grassies and most of them were on a variety of flies from my modified Wooly Worm/crayfish to San Juan Worm, Midges, mayflies and more including Mulberry Flies. I do agree with you on the motionless as they are ultra quick to spook and just moving a fly at times is all it takes to send them off in a rush! By the way I wasn't inferring that floating a fly is the best way but rather that I've caught them on floating flies, motionless as I pointed out. Berries and such usually sink so they are looking for that.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 01-26-2012, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Grass Carp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck s View Post
No doubt the existence of sparce vegetation, might cause them to switch gears and go more omnivore and as I pointed out I was just going on my experience coupled with what science says about the critters. Well that and their use for vegetation control. That really doesn't matter since if you've found something that works for you more power to you and it brings up a great point in that everyone's home waters are different and fish fit into any niche they can occupy. All in all I've caught a couple dozen from Washington state to Florida and out of all that probably 3/4 or greater was while matching weeds, berries, seeds, fluff, etc rather than crayfish, minnows or bugs. To put that in perspective I've caught many many more Common Carp than Grassies and most of them were on a variety of flies from my modified Wooly Worm/crayfish to San Juan Worm, Midges, mayflies and more including Mulberry Flies. I do agree with you on the motionless as they are ultra quick to spook and just moving a fly at times is all it takes to send them off in a rush! By the way I wasn't inferring that floating a fly is the best way but rather that I've caught them on floating flies, motionless as I pointed out. Berries and such usually sink so they are looking for that.
I'm inclined to ask how many people have even tried anything other than floating flies or vegetation flies for these fish. not to be a dik but if a person catches several dozen and all they throw is floaters and veggies that doesn't mean much. I've caught way more than a couple dozen of these guys and Im in no way convinced common knowledge is correct. looks like I will have to travel the country fishing far and wide to find out. or you or any of the other readers could give it a try yourself and get back.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: Grass Carp?

I remember last summer before I started fly fishing I would see pods of 8 carp roaming the shallow drainage creek I fished out of. They spooked incredibly quickly. They looked like they were roaming around for crayfish or what does it mean when carp are roaming in pods disturbing mud and vegetation? I just attributed that to searching for crayfish/ edible things.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:52 AM
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Default Re: Grass Carp?

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Originally Posted by drlaser View Post
I remember last summer before I started fly fishing I would see pods of 8 carp roaming the shallow drainage creek I fished out of. They spooked incredibly quickly. They looked like they were roaming around for crayfish or what does it mean when carp are roaming in pods disturbing mud and vegetation? I just attributed that to searching for crayfish/ edible things.
yeah, they were searching for food, from your description they sound more like common carp than grass carp, but could be either. common carp are more likely to be nose down in the mud or right at the bank nose down...grass carp usually keep an eye to the sky unless there's been some flooding at which time they will tug at available veg usualy at the water surface right at the bank.
...feeding fish of one species or another
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:49 PM
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Smile Re: Grass Carp?

I've not seen Grass Carp feeding in a pronounced head down attitude as I routinely find Common Carp so haven't even given it much thought about fishing for them on the bottom, per se. Of the several flies I've found that work, the grass fly, the ficus berry, and a couple others are slow sinkers and the takes were as they sunk but not necessarily on the bottom. The cottonwood seed fluff fly, floats and like I mentioned the Turk's is a floater. For certain I've never tried cray fish, or other bead headed/weighted flies specifically for Grass Carp so you might be right about conventional wisdom.

I do tie my modified wooly worm in three models, one with no weight so it lands softly and sinks slowly and use that in water a 1.5 ft or less deep. Those tied with green thread, same fly, have one wrap of lead and sinks a bit quicker for intermediate depths, and lastly I have some tied with Red thread that have more wraps and sink quickly to four feet or even deeper.

In truth I'll most generally pass on fishing for Commons in deeper water as I like all of the aspects of salt water flat fishing and the Carp makes a great freshwater substitute. The modification I speak of is tying the wooley bendback style, with two sprigs of orange deer hair slightly off to the sides and extending back past the hook point, as weed/rock guards and tipped with bright blue magic marker to give a bit of crayfish claw effect.

On those roaming in groups, especially if they are right up in the shoreline weeds splashing and thrashing about, they are most likely spawning.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 01-28-2012, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Grass Carp?

Chuck, I might be working up some support on this....
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 01-29-2012, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: Grass Carp?

I have a box cammed full of flies for carp and most of them are similar to Miss. patterns. I tied these for the ole common but if I happen on to some grass carp I will give them a fling. I am not even finding any commons in the small creeks that I fish. I guess I am going to have to expand my fishing locations. I would really like to see a pic of the bugger that Chuck S fishes.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: Grass Carp?

I am digitally camera challenged at the moment but soon~ I'll get er done.
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