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Thread: Carp flies and tactics

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)
    Posts
    2,981

    Default Re: Carp flies and tactics

    I'm not an avid carp chaser, but have fished quite a bit for them in the past. My experience has been much like what fichy posted. I have no clue about the pheromones, but they do seem to have better memories than other fish. There is a place I used to fish for them, backwater areas left flooded near a river. There would be pods of carp in these flooded places & if I spooked them with my approach, they would usually avoid the general area where I was. Several times, I wore camo & crawled to the water, even sitting motionless for long periods watching them before I even attempted fishing. They would move away & if they returned, would make a wide detour around my area, even after 30 minutes or longer. I've had bass move back into places after I had spooked them & would still strike at flies or lures, but not these carp. A few times I was able to get a hook-up, but it appeared not with any that I had previously spooked, but with those that wandered near me from other areas. I'm not saying a spooked carp cannot be caught, just that in these backwaters, which were quite shallow, they seemed to be very cautious, and seemed to remember being spooked. Also speculation on my part. Those times that I have had some success with them, was also with those actively feeding. I don't ever recall having any success with cruising carp, although I have read that others have.
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

  2. Default Re: Carp flies and tactics

    Carp are a great fly rod target, and everyone has posted some excellent information in this thread. Stick with this stuff and you'll be good to go man. I would add my three basic rules of carping:

    1) Know your forage. Carp can and do eat anything. There is no one magic fly that will work for all carp, but there is likely a magic fly that will work for your carp. Learn the forage and you will be good to go.

    2) Don't cast until you can see the fish's head. Detecting the take in MOST waters is the tricky part (again, this comes down to forage. Our here, I am lucky to get a fish to move 6 inches for a fly...in Lake MI I've seen them move 15 feet to SLAM a 2 inch long sculpin pattern). In general, this is a sight fishing game as Nick mentioned, so you better be able to see the head in order to see the take. I can count the number of carp I've "felt" on one hand out of my home waters (this goes up when I fish waters with different forage and more aggressive fish. So far I've caught carp in 8 states). I would rather spook a fish attempting a stalk, then cast when I can't see their head and miss the take.

    3) You gotta make 'em move. Carp are the most efficient feeders in fresh water and can suck a fly in from quite a distance away with little "tell." So my rule...make 'em move. I basically try to create a situation with my presentation where I am forcing the fish to turn its head to the side in order to eat. Then I set the hook when I see the head turn.

    I am sure a lot of people will have a lot better advice, but those are my three rules. When I stick with those, I do ok...but don't for a second assume carp are easy. They can be predators, they can be grazers. They can key on a specific item, or they can be in the mood to eat just about anything. Combine this vastness in HOW they can feed with the fact that they have some of the best senses in the fishing world (let's not get started on their sense of smell or taste) and you have an extremely challenging fish. Then again, sometimes they are easy! Hah...you gotta love 'em.

    For the scientific stuff that Nick mentioned, check out this podcast. Full disclaimer, I'm on the carp pro prostaff...mods, please delete if the link to the podcast is innappropriate.

    Episode IV: CarpPro Flycast

    Feel free to shoot me a message here or on facebook if you have any specific questions. And like Nick said...watch out! This is a slippery slope! I used to be a respectable angler!
    John Montana

    Carp on the Fly

  3. Likes nick k liked this post
  4. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Brookline, MA
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    1,241

    Default Re: Carp flies and tactics

    Great info John. Thanks to everyone here for taking the time to write some pretty lengthy posts. Can't wait to get out there and catch my first carp.

  5. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Tehachapi, CA
    Posts
    380

    Default Re: Carp flies and tactics

    I would also add a Thanks to you guys who do this. I have wanted to try Carp on the fly but haven't as yet. Got an invit from a guy who works at a large fly shop in So. Calif. last sunday to go Carp fishing in the LA River of all places! Hey it is a slippery slope when guys who know the fly biz are willing to do the LA River!

    Craig

  6. #15

    Default Re: Carp flies and tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by shimloom View Post
    I would also add a Thanks to you guys who do this. I have wanted to try Carp on the fly but haven't as yet. Got an invit from a guy who works at a large fly shop in So. Calif. last sunday to go Carp fishing in the LA River of all places! Hey it is a slippery slope when guys who know the fly biz are willing to do the LA River!

    Craig

    I actually spent some time checking out the LA river my last trip out there. There are definitely some fantastic fish in there when you can find them and a place to access it.

    I parked in one place near a dog park and when I got back to my car, I was in there browsing my GPS looking for more possible access points when another car parked in front of me after driving past more than once.

    I thought nothing of it until the guy got out and stood between the front of my car and his car when it dawned on me....

    He too was looking to drown a worm. We were just on different pages when it came to the type of worm.



    Just something to look out for when you are scoping out the LA river if you aren't in to that sorta thing
    Less likey, more green dots
    BrookFieldAngler.com

  7. Default Re: Carp flies and tactics

    I forgot to add this one:

    4) To catch more carp, cast at less carp. Not every carp is going to eat, so ignore sunning fish and focus on tailing fish or slow cruisers (my personal favorite target). Unlike a lot of freshwater fish, "talking" a carp into eating is tough!
    John Montana

    Carp on the Fly

  8. #17

    Default Re: Carp flies and tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by john montana View Post
    Carp are a great fly rod target, and everyone has posted some excellent information in this thread. Stick with this stuff and you'll be good to go man. I would add my three basic rules of carping:

    1) Know your forage. Carp can and do eat anything. There is no one magic fly that will work for all carp, but there is likely a magic fly that will work for your carp. Learn the forage and you will be good to go.
    This one is a real outside the box situation too... some will only think inside the box of bait fish and bugs but from listening to Brad Befus speak before... He had mentioned how even flies that have been tied to mimic popcorn and bread for lakes that often attract duck feeders... As carp sometimes are likely to key in on these items because they are common "forage"... He even made mention of a cigarette butt fly he made once to catch carp in urban setting lakes...

  9. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Pennsylvania by God
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Carp flies and tactics

    Fantastic advise, now someone come over here and help me put the "ain't skeert" t-shirts on these carp that I fish for.
    There is nothing like Wild Trout ,Timber Rattlers and Cowboy coffee.

  10. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    1,844

    Default Re: Carp flies and tactics

    They are definitly follow the leader in my little creek/stormdrain. its irritating. But they usually will calm down pretty quickly if I dont move.

    I like my 8wt for them, but then again I fish in areas where 10lbs+ is a very common and real possiblility of being caught.
    "When you do things right, people wont be sure you've done anything at all."

    Storm Drain Bonefisher

  11. #20

    Default Re: Carp flies and tactics

    ive definetley decided this is the ear for me to give the carp a solid go. with gas getting higher every day i have a small river close to home with lots of 3-8 or maybe 10 pound carp. im gonna take the six weight and try to get after them this year. best part is nobody else fishes for them. ill be keeping an eye on this thread.

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