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  1. #1

    Default Carp Plan of Attack

    Ok I have never fly fished for carp before and here is the situation. Near my work there is a small canal. It is no more than 4-5 feet wide and probably only 1-1 1/2 feet deep and has a lot of vegetation in it. There is a slow current to the canal and the water is pretty silty so visibility is not the best.

    I have recently noticed that there is carp in this canal and I have watched them the last several days deciding how to best go about catching one of them. They seem to be feeding on something along the bottom and they spend a lot of time rooting around the base of the vegetation clumps. Not sure if they are after nymphs, damsel flies or some other under water crustation. I am thinking of trying a san juan worm variation.

    Any tips or advise of catching one of these fish. I am excited to try for them. Carp on a fly is has been one of my goals for a while.


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  3. #2

    Default Re: Carp Plan of Attack

    I would try to pick up some vegetation from the canal and see what insects are present. Try small worms in brown,olive/green,black and reds whatever you see in the stream vegetation. If you don't see any bugs in the plants jump in the canal and scoop out some mud find out what's crawling on the bottom that's what they are eating. Pick out patterns that look like your sample or tie close representations.

    So I wouldn't cast anywhere close to these fish they will most likely spook. I would see if they are swimming in direction find out the route if any they are feeding in when they are swimming away cast when they can't see your fly landing.So if they just stay in the same spot feeding I would cast a ways away from them letting your fly reach the bottom. Wait till a fish cruises in your flys direction when the fish is 3-4 feet away give one half inch strip to get his attention too much movement of your fly might be unnatural most likely. You will need to be real stealthy and cast when the fish aren't around. I would use a strong tippet they aren't leader shy. Good luck don't kiss them before release!

  4. Default Re: Carp Plan of Attack

    Rule #1 is know your forage. Great advice to dig around and figure that out. When in doubt a generic nymph will probably work. If you find them tailing and rooting you want to place the fly as close as possible to the feeding fish without spooking that fish. I use a drag and drop presentation because in my water, a stripped fly on the bottom spooks the carp, but a fly falling through the water column often entices an eat. As a carp roots, nymphs escape and they are used to the sudden appearance mid column of a food least that is how it works on the big c.

    The drag and drop is great. Mi cast 5-8 feet past the fish, and lift my rod tip to drag the fly just under the surface until it is 4-8 inches from the feeding carp. Then i drop the rod tip and let the fly sink.

    Rule #3 for me is you gotta make em move. The carp in my water only move a few inches to eat (primary forage is clams and clams don't run) so by move I mean turn their heads. When dragging and dropping I try to always out the fly slightly to the side of the tailing fish. When the fish turns its head...I set the hook.

    Good luck man!
    John Montana

    Carp on the Fly

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Carp Plan of Attack

    Well it almost came together for me today. Two carped hooked but zero landed. I ended using a damsel fly imitation as there as been a lot of adults flying around. The first feeding fish my only option was to cast upstream to him as he was feeding below some bulrushes. I cast to the side of him and then let the current swing the fly towards him. On my 5th or 6th fly he turned and inhaled the fly as it went by him about 4 inches away. I was so shocked that I gingerly set the hook. He started thrashing around and headed up stream to the bull rushes. I applied to much pressure and the poorly set nymph popped out of his mouth.

    I cast and spooked a few other fish and then found one I could get upstream from. I kept placing the fly in front of him and he finally took it. I set good this time but my next problem was trying to land the thing. There were some steep banks and as I was in my office clothing for work I couldn't get down in the water with him. I got as close as I could and grabbed the leader about a foot above him to try and drag him up so I could get a hand on him. Bad idea my tippet snapped right at the fly.

    So close and yet so far. Next week I am determined to land one of these things!

    Thanks for the tips!


  7. #5

    Default Re: Carp Plan of Attack

    Good job sticking with it and figuring out how to do it!

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  8. #6

    Default Re: Carp Plan of Attack


    Took this picture last week. Will have to try this weekend with one of these

    There flying all over the pond.
    Good Luck
    Last edited by kayo; 07-11-2014 at 10:38 PM.

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  10. Default Re: Carp Plan of Attack

    That break off at the end of a fight always sucks. I had one a couple weeks ago just spool me and then head down river. Totally bummed about loosing that pig.
    I have caught several on Bead Head Prince, Haresear, and Elk Hair Caddis as well as rubber legged woolly worms. But, I always catch something on Rainy's Popcorn Ball or a yellow glowbug. I also fish it as a dropper off a Gartside Gurgler, and more recent and recommended on this forum, the Dog Biscuit.
    Neither match any hatch, but they flat out work.

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  12. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Lancaster, PA

    Default Re: Carp Plan of Attack


    Real nice job! Hooking up with two carp on your first try is no small feat. Stick with it ...... You will certainly land one and your confidence will soar. For your situation, a long handled net may just be the ticket to close the deal for you. When you have one tired out and they start skating on the surface they generally are fairly easy to net. One other tip ..... Don't continue to fish over the same fish day after day, they get smart real quick. Be sure to give them a rest and scout for some other fish to target as well. Carpin' is a blast. Good luck!

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  14. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Sparks, NV, USA

    Default Re: Carp Plan of Attack

    DC410 gave good advice, IMO. I've only caught carp on spinning tackle personally, but I know that some folks in northern NV, USA, catch them by matching "hatches" that have nothing to do with insects.

    Apparently, carp eat the fluff that comes off cottonwood trees carrying their seeds in the Spring, if any accumulates on their home waters. They will also eat berries if the bush/tree is positioned to allow the fruit to fall into the water. Locals tie flies to match those food items, and they catch big carp from Reno-Sparks out to Lahontan Reservoir that I've heard of.

    Hope that helps you out!
    If you know who Curtis Loew was, we could probably be friends

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  16. #10

    Default Re: Carp Plan of Attack

    Bummer news, some bow fishermen have been hitting this canal and have the fish scattered and spooked. I will have to find a new spot or wait a couple weeks for the fish to move back in.

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