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New to carp fly fishing
Post 25 Jun 2020, 04:18 • #1 
Guide
Joined: 11/18/18
Posts: 299
Location: US-TX

I set out to do some carp fly fishing, it was frustrating, to hook up with my first carp only for it to get off. That was the case for almost all the fish I hooked into. I did manage to catch a nice Guadalupe bass.
https://youtu.be/JLxGIgiTWfA


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Post 25 Jun 2020, 13:37 • #2 
Sport
Joined: 06/20/19
Posts: 82
Location: US-SW PA
Carp fishing with a fly rod is, I find, insanely difficult. When they are willing, it works. Otherwise.....very tough. Extremely spooky technical fishing. Which I love for trout.....but get my fill of when it comes to carp


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Post 25 Jun 2020, 15:10 • #3 
Sport
Joined: 07/21/17
Posts: 46
Location: TX
Tricky fish for sure!

I feel I’ve hooked more blind casting that I have sight fishing.


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Post 25 Jun 2020, 22:40 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 03/30/09
Posts: 1331
Location: Hamilton,Ontario,Canada
Any time I hooked up on carp it has usually been by accident or when fishing for trout with a strike indicator.They will take any fly that a trout will.Of course it is usually with a 5 wt. which just wont land a really big carp.


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Post 26 Jun 2020, 03:14 • #5 
Sport
Joined: 05/20/18
Posts: 37
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Hi Flybuddy!

Welcome to the carp club. I moved back to Australia from New York last year, and since then, have been chasing carp exclusively with pretty good success. I tie my own flies, and to be honest, my most successful pattern is a size 10, sparsely tied, light-olive Woolly Bugger with a bit of sparkle and just the 5/32 brass head on.

I sight fish for them exclusively using my Steffen 8' 3/4. The largest fish I have landed on this rod was 28 inches, but most of them in my waters are 16-20. They won't move much to chase down your fly so your presentation has to be spot on. I usually find that they respond to a dead drift better or a couple of very small twitches in my waters rather than the active retrieve that you seem to be using.

I think the pattern used depends on the amount of forage available. Is the main forage in your waters more insects or crayfish? Then select your fly pattern and size depending on that.

By far, the most valuable resources I have found for me have been the following two videos. Be warned that you will need to pause frequently as the author goes through it pretty quickly. I've found that casting beyond the fish, then dragging and dropping in its field of view has been the most successful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeGAJN0EQCc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLljab4vOr4

Oh, and strip set ;).

Good luck! Once you land one, you'll never go back.


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Post 26 Jun 2020, 22:02 • #6 
Sport
Joined: 09/10/18
Posts: 52
Location: US-NE
I agree with kevinng. I catch carp pretty regularly in Nebraska creeks. A hell of a lot of fun. I also mainly dead drift, or lead them a bit and then twitch the fly as they are almost right over top of it. You can even catch carp on dries in the right situation. A San Juan worm has probably been my most successful carp fly, though anything woolly bugger-ish also works pretty well.


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Post 26 Jun 2020, 23:07 • #7 
New Member
Joined: 06/09/20
Posts: 2
I know a thing or two about carp! Hah...basically all I fish for anymore unless I am traveling and chasing black drum in Louisiana. I just got back from a week on Lake MI chasing carp, but my home water is the Columbia River. My rules.

1). Know your forage. Carp eat all kinds of stuff so you need a general idea of what they eat so you can imitate the forage on your water. On the Columbia, they eat clams so I fish small nymphs and my hybrid fly. On lake M they eat mainly gobies. Try to figure that out so you can imitate accordingly.

2). Don’t cast until you can see their head. It is a sight fishing game so use some stealth to get close enough to see their head. That distance varies depending on light and water clarity, but by keeping this in mind I force a better stalk on the target and catch more fish.

3). You gotta make them move. Carp can eat a fly from about 1/3 of their body length, so detecting the take can be tough. I try to put the flies to the side of the fish at a 45 degree angle, then key on the slight head turn when they turn to eat. Or, if forage is prey, I want the fish to pursue the fly so I can detect the take.

4). To catch more carp cast at less. Pick your targets. Find feeding or shopping fish, skip poor targets like sunning fish etc. casting at bad targets just risks spooking unseen good ones.

One thing I have found for carp that are not chasing prey is you are better off not moving your fly much if at all. My home water carp won’t move for a fly, so we drag and drop the fly close and just let them find it. I rarely strip or move the fly at all. Also, I trout set 90% of the time. Most carp are not chasing streamers, so a trout set is effective. If you are lucky enough to be after streamer eaters (Like my lake mi trips) strip set is the way to go.

Carp are ridiculous fun on a fly rod. Good luck!



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Post 27 Jun 2020, 02:15 • #8 
Sport
Joined: 05/20/18
Posts: 37
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Nice fish John!!! >.<


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Post 27 Jun 2020, 23:02 • #9 
Guide
Joined: 11/18/18
Posts: 299
Location: US-TX
Nice one


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Post 01 Jul 2020, 16:15 • #10 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/11/14
Posts: 1207
Location: US-CO
just to add, John is kind of a legend in the carp fly-fishing world.. take his advice ;-)

for a graduate course in carp on the fly, http://www.flycarpin.com/p/how-to.html

each year the water warms, I start fishing carp, and it's always harder than I remember, every time..



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Post 02 Jul 2020, 07:26 • #11 
Sport
Joined: 12/15/16
Posts: 40
Location: US-PA
As a several year addicted carp fly nut I ditto everything John says above. The only advice I can add is 1) dont get discouraged and keep trying. Catching carp on the fly is a tough nut to crack, it's definitely a numbers game of putting a fly in front of enough of the "right" fish....and even then the "right" fish will still often spook 2) make sure you use a good disc drag reel. Even the "small" carp fight 4x as much as an equivalent trout/bass. Once you start hooking fish you will be seeing fly line backing on a regular basis and a good drag reel imo is indispensible.

It goes without saying glass rods are tailor made for carp, tough as nails and able to take the abuse the golden bones can dish out. My personal favorite carp glass rod is a DAM Quick fenwick rod 8 1/2 ft 7/8. Keep trying and good luck!


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Post 10 Jul 2020, 21:17 • #12 
Guide
Joined: 11/18/18
Posts: 299
Location: US-TX
Thanks everyone


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