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Thread: Carp

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Marthasville Mo.
    Blog Entries

    Default Carp

    Do any members have recommendations for fly fishing books on how to fish for carp, Looking for any fly patterns, habitat, heck, any info at all. What about Asian carp?


  2. Default Re: Carp

    I fly fish for carp quite a bit, but I don't know of any books on the topic. I'm sure they're out there.

    Carp are very skittish. More so than any trout in my opinion. This makes stealth the top priority. All of my experience is for common carp. These fish are extremely cautious, and when one spooks it will release a chemical into the water that tells the rest of the pod to bolt too.

    I prefer to fish for carp in streams, but you can find them pretty much anywhere from City parks to urban drainages to large rivers pristine freestone streams.

    A stout 6 weight rod is my favorite rod for these fish, because you need delicacy with some power. But for the biggest carp in my area I use a 7 weight. On bigger rivers you can get away with an 8. No matter what rod you use, you need a strong tippet and plenty of backing. I use 10-20lb flouro. They can't see as well as trout, so they don't get tippet shy, but the splash of a fly line or the shadow of a leader floating over them will send the whole pod bolting.

    To be successful carp fishing, you have to target the actively feeding fish. These fish ate either cruising the banks, or better yet rooting around the bottom stirring up mud. Mudding fish are your best bet.

    Treat it like turkey hunting. Be stealthy, put in the work to get the one shot that counts. Get any large nymph or small streamer (size 8-10 buggers are fine) in front of the mudding fish with as few false casts as possible and be ready for a firm hookset. Strip sets work best for me, but you have to be quick.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Portland and Maupin, Oregon

    Default Re: Carp

    Google John Montana. He has a good carp blog.

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Carp

    Tie on a hybrid carp fly, walk the bank, either spot them or the tell tale mud trail, make your cast and give a very slight jig/shake action, hardly moving the fly.
    I just use my trout set up, a 5wt with 8lb flouro as tippet.
    Asian carp are a totally different story. "Asian" is a common slang, so it depends on what exact species, but most under that group eat plankton and plankton only, I would be fairly surprised if you could get them reliably on the fly. Everyone I know strictly bowfishes those.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

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  7. Default Re: Carp

    I have these 3 books, and they're all great. Fraiser's book is probably the best, price-wise, and not too many pages. He writes about theory and technique, and has a number of a patterns but no instructions. Zimmerman's book is loaded with detail, and step-by-step tying instructions. Deeter's book is more of a history/technique book, without any patterns.

    Dan Fraiser's book

    Jay Zimmerman's Book.

    Kirk Deeter's book.

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Marthasville Mo.
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Carp

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I am trying to branch out from Trout fishing only and carp seem to be a real challenge.


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  11. Default Re: Carp

    Quote Originally Posted by brownbass View Post
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I am trying to branch out from Trout fishing only and carp seem to be a real challenge.

    It took me a solid 6 months from my first cast at a carp to finally hooking one. Don't get discouraged, there's a reason why they're called "redneck/poorman's bonefish." There are some other online sources/blogs by some carp pros that are good. Trevor Tanner's Fly-Carpin and John "Montana" Bartlett's Carp on the Fly. They haven't been updated in awhile, but still a wealth of knowledge. Also check out the Orvis Podcast, which interview Dan Fraiser a few times. "The ToFlyFish" podcast also has a good interview with John Bartlett.

    Carp are amazing fish, down to the molecular level. The same reasons why they're so amazing lead to the reasons why they're so hated. They are one of the few animals in the world that have an extra form of myglobin in their brains, so their neurons can live in low oxygen environments, which is why they can survive in filthy waste waters. They have special cells on their skin called "alarm substance cells (ASCs)" that release chemicals in the water when their skin is rubbed too hard; chemicals that warn other carp to stop feeding. The carp don't spook off, they just become uninterested in any type of forage. Carp also have tastebuds on the outside of their head, and even on their pectoral fins. Try to keep your flies clean of oils, sunscreen, etc.

    One of the main things I learned from the podcasts and books is that you MUST know what the local forage is in order to be successful. Carp can virtually eat anything, from baitfish, to crawfish, to nymphs, to urban scum floating (another reason why they're so widespread throughout the world), but they will hone in on a specific forage to that particular body of water. Bartlett invented the "hybrid" fly to imitate clams in the Columbia River in Oregon, but uses gobie patterns when he's fishing in Lake Michigan. They are obviously presented in completely different ways... more detail in the ToFlyFish podcast.

    My last bit of advice is to just observe the fish next time you come up on one. I know how anxious it can be to be face to face with a fish and NOT try to catch it, but you wait and observe for a good moment, you might pick up on something you didn't notice before that could be the difference maker.

  12. #8

    Default Re: Carp

    I would be fairly surprised if you could get them reliably on the fly.
    Bigheads will probably hit chironomids. Buffalo fish will, and they are direct for competitors.

    There are people here in Kansas who say they hit clousers, of all things"

    Free State Fly Fishers - A Kansas FFF Fly Fishing Club in Lawrence, KS

    >> Fly Fishing Trips

    Scroll down to "The Ultimate Rough Fish"

    Edit: Here's another article on flyfishing and using spin tackle for them for them from Field and Stream:

    How to Catch Asian Carp on Fly and Spinning Gear | Field & Stream

    High Plains FlyFisher: Wakarusa River - 2/15/11 "Flyfishing on the Dark Side"
    This guy has a couple on the bank.

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