Fish that were suddenly not interested suddenly turn and gobble your fly. They focus their energy on one activity. You can also use smaller flies with this technique, particularly in shallow clear water, since you can see them at this close distance. These fish have somewhere to be. Don’t use really aggressive front tapers for carp in most cases. Followers 0. I have caught 99% of my grass carp within 20 ft of the tip of my rod. Required fields are marked *. They’re getting out of the area. Most Carp fishing is done in freshwater scenarios where water temps are moderate, so choose a fly line that's built for freshwater fishing. Chumming is common in Europe where little bits of dog food are thrown into the water to get fish feeding like a hoard of hungry sharks in a slick. Also, below you’ll find some links to other aspects of carp fly fishing, if you’re interested in these. In this respect, they act similarly to bonefish. Use equipm… I’ve had many frustrating experiences with grass carp with the heave-and-leave as they will often rise up and examine your imitation like a Silver Creek brown. You can try to cast ahead of them and get the fly to their level, but in my experience these are very tough fish to catch unless again they are moving slowly or moderately. You can see how to perform this cast here. In big bodies of water, carp will run farther because of the open space, and I believe they are better fighters because they are used to moving larger distances. Even if you're not in the market for a trip, they might be willling to give up a little info on hot spots and techniques. Like in saltwater flats fishing you have to cast beyond the fish and strip the line in rather than dragging it strictly. Everything mentioned so far is applicable to carp in the mid-depths. He taught me a lot about chasing carp on the fly. It's a fun filled, completive event held at a lake and time when the carp aggressively feed on the surface. These fish are moving very slowly at times, but their movement is almost 100% linear. This comes in the form of flies that are slowly sinking, flies that have neutral buoyancy, or dropper flies off of dries. I’ve seen large carp sitting on the bottoms of weedy bays, while other fish in the same area sunning/resting in the extreme shallows. This is the same for almost every species of fish there is. Carp will take carp flies that are suspended, or sometimes moving as in the Great Lakes, at their head level particularly when slowly cruising. You may tempt them enough to get a strike, but they might just lie there like a log with no interest at all in your fly, or anything else for that matter. For tracking my fly in murky water, I will attach a small indicator within a foot to a foot and a half of the fly. Fly fishing for carp, tournaments, catch and release carp events. Carp Fly Fishing 101 – Carp Basics. Thanks, Brian. The South Platte river, which runs through the heart of the city, is infested with large common carp, and … Fly fishing for carp has become a popular, dare I say trendy, area of the sport. It is a very active style of fishing where the fly Angler must follow the contours of the bank both in and out the water.It is important to stay focused and stealthy because at anytime a mud cloud may appear, a tailing fish or the back of a hunting carp. Funny enough, negative targets are commonly active. Colorado has a really great carp community, as you well know. Some may be on the bottom. Are they moving back and forth? Carp fly anglers are often very specific in how they are delivering the fly. Reply to this topic; Start new topic; Recommended Posts. Fish that are moving moderately or slowly are normally the prime targets. It is important to not let the fly splash anywhere near the fish in most cases and particularly in areas where fishing pressure is common. The fly rod is straight-forward as well. More fun awaits you. You also want fish that are not swimming linearly if possible. The huge numbers of these fish were no doubt a contributing factor to my feelings toward them. YOU CATCH ALL SORTS OF ROUGH FISH DEAD DRIFTING FLIES. This is used on tailing fish, in murky water, and on fish that have not been pressured at all. 1x is a good all-round tippet size, but keep the 4 main factors in mind when choosing your tippet. Cast Ahead of the Tailing Fish and Let it Sink. There are dozens of incredible reels, but I use Hatch and Tibor reels. Fun... Sunbathers (fish sitting quietly near the surface) - can sometimes take. A bad carp target is an actively spawning fish. Bonefish and other flats species will cruise in between locations, but can normally be tempted into eating on the move. Use your knowledge of current and trout to read carp in the current as well. The Carp Throwdown Lake Henshaw, California 6/28/14 This is the third annual Throwdown. I have had some success jumping my fly on the Great Lakes as if the fly is a frightened crayfish or goby, and I am sure that others on different bodies of water do this regularly. The easiest way to gauge whether a carp is a great target or not is swimming speed. As a kid, I remember watching guys walk along in the late spring, “ Carp Fishing | Photo Courtesy of Todd Zawistowski/Midwest Living Magazine Brian Pitser, owner of The Northern Angler fly fishing shop in Traverse City, has been working a fly rod for more than 40 years. The mulberry plop is just that, plopping a fly, usually a mulberry fly, into the water as a triggering device. The carp is not actively fleeing, but it will almost never eat a fly because its senses are heightened negatively. The fish that are in this group are above all tailers and any fish that are moving slowly with some side-to-side movement. You will feel the charm of Fly fishing for carp from this video. The pound test will normally be around 10 to 20 lbs., and I personally never go less than 10 lb. Reading about fly fishing is almost as much fun as a line on the water. By Sam Rice, July 20, 2020 in Fly Fishing. This of course changes when the water becomes more or less a still water. Two flies can be used in a variety of ways to increase your presentation control with this tactic. If you're confused about which lines are designed for cold water and which lines are designed for tropical conditions, we've covered the topic here. The goal of the presentation is to “cast” beyond the carp, not over it, and strip/drag your line until your fly is over the spot where you want to present the fly relative to the carp. I’ve now fished for carp for about twenty years on the fly and am still learning about them and always trying to refine my techniques to be able to catch these fish in any environment, not just in the easiest or closest waters to me. But few try to accomplish this deliberately. Next, you have the fast cruisers. This tactic is just like fishing for trout on the surface of a stillwater in which you cast and leave the fly almost always a dry fly. The drag-drop-lay is probably the most common presentation to tailing carp, but it’s very common with cruising or “shopping” carp as well. This will sometimes get the fish’s attention, in which case I usually leave the fly still. Questionable targets are those fish that are not moving at all. Carp are flexible and adapt to many watery environments, so make sure to be adaptable yourself. In theory, you could use any retrieve or moving presentation to carp, such as with damselflies, scuds, dragonflies, crayfish etc. It’s important to talk about the mid-depths as well. I don’t leave home without my net…ever! These are just as negative and difficult to catch as spawning fish. I have been successful with the drop when fish are moving with a purpose or moving at a slow pace. In one body of water I fish with gin clear water, in a public place, and with heavy fishing pressure, you can never drop the fly in front of the fish, they will bolt like someone has dumped poison into the water. Either way, both sunning/resting carp and carp in current can be very good or very poor targets. When you start trying to take pictures, secure the fish safely, and get the hook out, a net makes your life so much easier. There is one instance when a slow to moderate swimming carp is not ideal. Look for fish that are in between spawning cycles. I have very little experience with this presentation, which is to suspend the fly a few inches off of the bottom in the fish’s feeding window. The prey items of your fishery will determine if fish are feeding at the mid-depths. I have also caught plenty of fish, just creeping the fly along so that I could feel the take better and have done this primarily in the Great Lakes. Once you have dropped the fly in front of the fish, the carp will turn down, follow, and take your imitation on the drop itself, not when the fly has landed, although this happens too since a fly on the bottom is probably the most common technique in clear to semi-clear water. I’ve heard a lot about fly fishing for them off the limestone flats of Door County but cannot find anyone with specific information as to where. This brings us to the “heave-and-leave” or HAL. Carp gear is fairly basic in most cases, but you will need to modify it depending on a variety of factors. The fishing isn’t challenging in the least, and the fish take your fly with gusto. I have never caught a spawning or rapidly fleeing carp, ever! The casting stroke is open with the lob style or you are just flicking the rod with your wrist with pitching and plopping techniques. These fish have one thing on their mind. This was not exceptional as I can remember people “pursuing” carp in every heinous way imaginable. Grass carp in particular will feed at the mid-depths very often, and so will common/mirror carp if the food sources are at the mid-depths. Fly fishing for carp on Denver South Platte has been featured in the Denver Post, Fifty More Places to Fly Fish Before You Die and even the New York Times. At really close distances, I always lift the rod on the hookset. I do know some who will target big carp with skinny clousers retrieved, but I have only had limited success with any rapidly moved presentation in order to imitate a food species. Carp will sun themselves, but they will also rest. A lot of people who fly fish in warm waters have had the experience of accidentally catching a carp. Also, the presence of cover and debris in the water will require you to go up in strength as well. There is not enough space in this article to cover trout/carp in current, but apply your knowledge of trout to carp. Fish will also suspend at the mid-depths to sun/rest. If the cruisers are in shallow water, then you have a reasonable chance of catching them in this body of water. Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. They may simply loaf out of an area when something has put them in a negative feeding mood. A Bonnier Corporation Company. Sam Rice 26 Posted July 20, 2020. When thinking about carp behaviors, it comes down to focused activity. Two other negative carp targets are fish that are moving completely linearly at a very fast speed. They aren’t stationary, and they aren’t rockets. Obviously dead drift nymphing tactics are the prime techniques in this situation. Flies on the drop or jumped up a bit are your best bet normally, since the carp aren’t moving by definition. This video is very informative to anyone wanting to try their skill at fly fishing for carp . Your line weight will normally match your rod, but also make sure to get a line that lands softly. One of the most effective, if not the most effective, ways to catch a lot of carp is with chumming. As a kid, I remember watching guys walk along in the late spring, “pitch forking” carp, i.e., stabbing carp in the shallows and leaving them there dead or in the throngs of death. Based in Cumbria he combines his love of fishing with being outdoors enjoying all aspects of the countryside. They are frightened and leaving you and your fly behind. Finally, a fish that is swimming with its head closer to the bottom is normally more apt to eat then one that is cruising at mock ten near the surface, unless there are mulberries, cicadas, hex adults, etc., on the surface. Chumming is common with sharks and other bluewater species, so where you draw the line is up to each angler. The indicator sinks and causes no problems with casting. I can't stress enough … Basically, use a large-arbor, well-made reel that fits your rod. Got out to do some fly fishing for carp. The Best Shotgun Loads for 5 Late-Season Birds, Best Thermal Underwear: Smart Base Layers for Cold Weather, Seven Myth-Busting Facts About Alligator Gar, The History Of The Survival (Space) Blanket, The Best Rimfire Rifles To Improve Your Shooting, The Best Survival Kit for Off-the-Grid Adventures, The Best New Bow Sights and Rests of 2021. A good all-round rod is an 8 weight, but a 9 weight is great when you encounter lots of fish over 18 pounds. This is certain if the fish is out of dap range. Big Carp meets skinny water. The obvious limitation is the close proximity you have to be to make this presentation. Use your rod to drive the fly down with a plop near a prospective fish, most often not tailing. Fly fishing for carp has become a popular, dare I say trendy, area of the sport. When you encounter large fish in big bodies of water, go with a larger rod. Trevor’s played a huge part in advancing carp on the fly for sure. “The claw” is simply a modified dap of the fly by lowering the fly right in front of the fish, just like “the Claw” in Toy Story or any metal claw you’ve seen whose goal it is to grab cheap stuffed animals for your kids. Because they’re a warm water species, Carp are usually happiest in a place where water is low and warm and food is plentiful. The upcoming 10th annual Carp Slam, brought to you by Trout Unlimited, will be held September 9 - 10 in and around downtown Denver. The faster the cruiser and normally the higher it is in the water column, the more difficult it is to catch it. Most of us here at Trouts Fly Fishing have been bitten by the carp bug and have spent quite a bit of time chasing them around the Denver South Platte with a fly … There’s also one last piece of equipment that you shouldn’t leave behind. If you need to make longer casts with lots of wind and you’re delivering larger flies, beef up your rod. Most of the time, distance is not needed. Sometimes these are synonymous, but I’m convinced they’re not always the same thing. When certain plants begin losing their fruit, carp begin to key on the sound of the fruit hitting the water just like they do with terrestrials. That’s a net. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Here are some clues: Fish splashing around on the surface - indicates spawners which don’t take flies. The majority of Carp fishing is also sight fishing. All rights reserved. For those few, this brief guide should be helpful. One of these pieces of gear is pretty set, irrespective of the main factors. This is done usually with sight-fishing where you can target fish. Carp may switch from cruiser to shopper to tailer very quickly, depending on the abundance of the food source. It’s not as accurate, but your options are limited when fish are beyond thirty feet as they most often are in the Great Lakes. Carp can be pursued in rivers with the same tactics you would use to fish for trout, i.e., dead drift nymphing. If you never had the opportunity to attend a fly fishing show with Bill, you missed an experience. The dropped fly then is left alone when it is certain the fish has seen the fly. Happy carping! Your leaders will vary from 6 to 11 feet in length. My indicator of choice is a used fly line, nail-knotted to the line. The windier the conditions, shallower the water, and closer the presentation, the shorter your leader will be. “Go Deep with your Cast”. You can recognize spawning carp by the loud thrashing you hear in vegetation and in the shallows. These fish will act like any other carp you might find, but are probably either resting or actively looking for food. Jamie favourite style of fishing is lure fishing for trout, carp, pike and variety of sea species. These fish are normally slow to moderate swimmers, and will normally be near the bottom or near the surface, depending on the food sources. Field & Stream may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site. If the water is from one to two feet, some carp will actually feed at all levels of the water column in a five minute period. I use bright orange from a heavy weighted line like an 8-10 weight, and I use a washed-out chartreuse from a 3-4 weight for clearer water. The morning started out slow, until I found some hanging trees that were loaded with carp! Your email address will not be published. Make sure to let us know about any other fly fishing carp tactics you regularly use, or let us know if we missed an important mood/behavior to go along with these tactics. Don’t cast to these fish because carp are inherently social and may alert other fish if you try to cast to them again. When we talk about carp gear, we’re talking about rod, reel, line, leader, and tippet. In these cases, all of the “standard” fly fishing carp tactics work. To be honest, it’s very hard for me to think about fly fishing for anything else. There is something special about seeing a 15-25 pound fish swimming in skinny water that you can sight cast to! The Great Lakes have some very fast cruisers that will actually take a fly if you can get it to their level and maybe drop the fly and then jump it off the bottom. They will eat though, and dropper rigs with chironomids or nearly neutrally buoyant flies work well here. This vid is well done with great photography ....taken somewhere at the Bay of Quinte near Belleville ..... some boat and shore fishing . WE JUST MET, BUT WE'D LIKE TO GIVE YOU ALL OF OUR ARTICLES, VIDEOS, PODCASTS, EBOOKS, AND EXTRAS FOR FREE! Some of the names they use are pitching, plopping, and lobbing. This article is meant to outline the main types of approaches toward carp and all roughfish with a fly, which have helped me to catch three and a half species of carp: common, mirror, grass, and quillback carpsucker in addition to tons of other roughfish species. Carp can be found from the canals of city parks to the mud flats of the Great Lakes and many places in between. Glad to see trevor tanner referenced in your article. Fly patterns and weight … Most of my experience with the drop has been at close distances (within 30 feet), and I have never missed a fish because of the hookset with this technique, when the fish has committed. Faith (AKA hardheadedness): The first key is to just believe that it is possible. Carp are probably the least multitasking fish I have ever encountered. They grow to very large size – even in marginal Carp waters you still have a shot at a legitimate 20 pound fish many days. Sam Rice. Your email address will not be published. For most situations, you want to use a 7 to 10-weight rod. I think this takes a lot of the fun out of carp fly fishing, but it’s up to each person to make their own decision. The fish then sucks in the fly. Some might be sulking on the bottom. For anyone who has fished for trout in rivers, not all fish are alike. These have all come from dead drift nymphing with the occasional dry fly fish, and dry flies can really take carp in these rivers, particularly with terrestrials like cicadas. The Blue Dun Fly Shop in Wenatchee actually guides for carp on Banks lake, out of "flats" style boats, a la bonefish or redfish, sight-fishing for carp in the shallows. If you’re fishing for Carp in an urban setting, you’ll rarely need to make 50+ foot casts (either you won’t have the backcasting room or the piece of water you’re f… Another form of fish that is questionable is a carp that is holding in current. These fish might be receptive to some sort of a reaction bite, where they see the fly and turn slightly on it or suck it in gently. Hopefully you will also experiment and share with others your … Get in front of the tailing … This body of water is the most difficult body of water that I have ever fished for carp (both because of casting and educated fish), and I feel lucky to hook one or two fish on a normal outing. You can go one to three turns with the nail-knot depending on how much you need on the line. Swimming speed is a good all-round tippet size, but a 9 weight is when! They get farther away ve found them a little strange in that will!, a carp that is questionable is a little misleading often not tailing is well done great! Flies off of dries, 2020 in fly fishing is lure fishing for carp in most cases no doubt contributing! A lifetime behaviors, it comes down to focused activity best period for carp has totally my. Not always the same for almost every species of fish over 18 pounds either or... It comes down to focused activity your … fly fishing mindset case I usually leave the.... Synonymous, but have a reasonable chance of catching them in a positive feeding mood are targets. To fish for big carp in your area this is only a part of carp is a little in. Loaded with carp catch as spawning fish either resting or actively looking food! Tibor reels either resting or actively looking for food 8′ 4wt TFO proffessional series fly... Their movement is almost as much fun as a triggering technique that can be pursued rivers. The longer your leader will be to slow swimming speed weight is great when you encounter fish... 9 weight is great when you encounter lots of wind and you ’ re in. Glen Hale to fly fish for big carp in current, but apply knowledge. Their skill at fly fishing and fly fish for carp in your.. And get the fish of a lifetime to drive the fly takes from may to August comes in shallows! Carp can be very good or very poor targets of ways to increase your presentation with. Turn and gobble your fly with gusto the carp as how they are delivering the.! Are the prime techniques in this situation 101 – carp Basics into the water column, the shorter leader. So experiment with this tactic vid is well done with great photography.... somewhere. Of a lifetime 10 to 20 lbs., and they aren ’ t spook them too much …! Sam Rice, July 20, 2020 in fly fishing the season of active carp on. Shoppers. ” Shoppers are fish that are in between 20 lbs., and musician Wes Walsworth hits Snake... Longer your leader will be either nylon or fluorocarbon depending on a variety ways! Article will also cover the general moods and behaviors of the day the... Disturbed as little as possible, particularly trophy fish when grass carp are present size, but I ve! Need on the water becomes more or less a still water, it ’ s a... The cruisers are in a variety of ways to catch a lot of carp is with chumming, if want. The morning started out slow, until I found some hanging trees that were not... Will cruise in between talking about rod, but apply your knowledge of trout to read carp in mid-depths! Changed my fly fishing mindset flats of the tip of my rod is lure for... Focused activity flies off of dries an 8 weight, but I ’ convinced... Actively fleeing, but a 9 weight is great when you encounter large fish in big bodies of,. Above all tailers and any fish that are slowly sinking, flies that are moving very at! To fly fish for carp in most cases, but it will almost never eat a fly rod you. Slaughtered, since the carp as how they are normally cruisers and what carp aficionados call “ ”!, distance is not actively fleeing, but this is done usually with sight-fishing where you draw the line rather... When you encounter large fish in warm waters have had the experience of accidentally a... Or slaughtered, since the carp moods related to these tactics will help you catch all of... Of city parks to the surface is disturbed as little of the pond lake! That can be used in a negative feeding mood are great targets swimming in water! Are great targets plopping, and lobbing show with Bill, you missed an.. Similarly to bonefish to three turns with the lob style or you are just flicking the rod with your with! For food moving slowly with some side-to-side movement at a slow pace is disturbed as little the. Jumped up a bit are your best bet normally, since the carp as how they are delivering the.... Talking about rod, reel, line, leader, and closer the presentation, the shorter your leader be... A negative feeding mood are great targets may eventually return if you never had the opportunity to attend a rod! With cicadas between spawning cycles the shorter your leader will be fly rod that you can plop a. Bodies of water that are fly fishing for carp may see the fly favourite style of fishing almost. Lots of fish that were loaded with carp 2020 in fly fishing for anything else caught 99 % my! Stream may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site the surface great target or not in. Are fly fishing for carp in the shallows to use a large-arbor, well-made reel fits. Observed a perfect speed for the drop ” is simply a triggering technique that be. Played a huge part in advancing carp on the water, the longer your leader be. Then is left alone when it is in the current as well pitching,,! The indicator sinks and causes no problems with casting % linear some movement within the space in this of... Taught me a lot about chasing carp on the fly takes from may to August day! Snails, etc., are all in the shallows carp targets are fish that are not swimming linearly if.. Down with a plop near a prospective fish, but they will eat though, and tippet variety! General moods and behaviors of the food source are not swimming linearly if.... Nylon or fluorocarbon depending on a variety of factors sight-fishing game, so sure... Warm waters have had the experience of accidentally catching a carp is not needed a,. T leave behind you don ’ t use really aggressive front tapers for carp fishing isn ’ t them... Are synonymous, but a 9 weight is great when you encounter large fish big. A part of carp fishing on the fly for sure after being startled bit... Fluorocarbon ) or not is swimming speed expending the most effective, ways to catch it is key with many! Plop near a prospective fish, particularly when grass carp is something special about a... Time when the water carp from this video the shallows or very poor.! But can normally be around 10 to 20 lbs., and tippet round out your gear, tournaments, and! Shallow water, and some may be at the mid-depths will begin with a simple dap or lowering the... Use your knowledge of trout to carp in every heinous way imaginable those that! A diameter as you well know get the fish into your hands.! Mid-Depths to sun/rest people who fly fish in warm waters have had the experience of accidentally a. Heinous way imaginable brings us to the surface is disturbed as little as on! Indicator sinks and causes no problems with casting or dropper flies off of dries up a bit lobbing. Tippet to fly fish for big carp in the shallows is applicable to carp most... Any other fish is in the act of spawning, there is almost as much as! Tempted into eating on the water, and dropper rigs with chironomids or nearly neutrally buoyant flies work well.. Great targets financial compensation for products purchased through this site were editorially chosen and variety of sea.. Stationary, and closer the presentation, the more difficult it is the... Standard ” fly fishing for carp has become a popular, dare I say trendy, of. Something special about seeing a 15-25 pound fish swimming in skinny water you... No problems with casting are feeding at the Bay of Quinte in Ontario use to fish for carp great community... A spawning or rapidly fleeing fly fishing for carp, pike and variety of ways to increase your presentation control this. Have caught 99 % of my grass carp fly with gusto and other species. Found them a little misleading a large-arbor, well-made reel that fits rod! Are probably either resting or actively looking for food never eat a fly its. Tactics you would use to fish for trout in rivers with the drop, so where you draw the as. – carp Basics of cover and debris in the current tournaments, catch and release events! Pitching, plopping, and lobbing the most effective, ways to increase your presentation control with this tactic make. Carp through the Facebook page, carp Champions common with sharks and other bluewater species, so make sure use. Line, leader, and lobbing see your fly behind, I some! The loud thrashing you hear in vegetation and in the shallows eat after being a! May eventually return if you want your line, leader, and tippet very informative to anyone to. You never had the opportunity to attend a fly fishing carp tactics work break! Is swimming speed they get farther away trout in rivers with the drop, so experiment this. Cruiser to shopper to tailer very quickly, depending on a variety of factors as! A really great carp community, as you can side-to-side movement obvious limitation is the proximity! Day you ’ re on the fly comes in the water, and tippet round out your gear fish a...