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Fly fishing for carp

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Stopped in to cabela's tonight to pick up my new fly rod and happened to notice a book on fly fishing for carp. I was already spending plenty for the rod so I didn't feel like spending another $17 for the book, but am rather curious to know if anyone has done this. Panfishing with a fly rod is blast so I can't imagine what a carp would be like. Any ideas on what types of flies you guys use and presentation would be appreciated. Any thought's???

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Flyfishing for Carp is really a lot of fun. However, it's not easy and I don't reccomend it for the easily discouraged. We all know that carp can be found almost everywhere in our area. To catch them on a fly, you need to find them in approachable situations. This means rather shallow water, usually no deeper than 5 feet. River backwaters and shallow flats are prime spots. Canals can also be good areas.

Sight-fishing is really the only way to go in my opinion. Carp are extremely spooky critters, so first and foremost don't let them see you. Wear drab clothing and stay out of the water if possible to avoid making ripples. Sit still and watch the carp, and try to read their attitude to see if they will take a fly. Fast-cruising fish and "sunning"(motionless) fish are nearly impossible to tempt. Often carp will cruise by slowly in pods of 3 to 6 or as singles, and I have found these fish to be very catchable. Lay a cast well ahead of them and let your lightly weighted fly sink to their depth before twitching it across their vision. Try to watch your fly if possible. If you can't see your fly, watch the fish. A carp will hesitate and turn its' head to take the fly, or turn down if your fly is under him. Strike lightly when the fish sucks in your offering. Sometimes you will encounter "tailing" carp, similar to bonefish behavior. Simply sneak up behind these fish and present a flashier fly like a bead-head right on the bottom where they are grubbing. It's a lot harder to know when a carp has taken your fly in these tailing situations.

For fly patterns I would suggest caddis pupa, small wooly buggers and damsel nymphs. A pattern that you can see and track in the water is very useful to beginners, so I would reccomend adding neon tails to some standard nymph ties, or trying a white nymph.

Above all else, don't rush yourself or you'll spook every carp in a half-mile radius. Take pains to set yourself up for a perfect presentation to a receptive fish, and you should be rewarded by seeing your backing flying off your reel. ~hogsucker

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I couldn't have asked for any more than that. Thanks much for the info!!! Sounds alot like trout fishing, just much more fun and better looking fish
. Thanks again for the info......

What he didn't tell you is that he uses a 4-weight for carp. Bring plenty of backing ...

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Has anyone tried other species of 'rough' fish with fly gear? I fish a gravel pit that not only has carp, but also buffalo, sheepshead, and suckers - I'd have a blast catchin any of them. And if they don't bite I'll be forced to zap them with the bow! grin.gif

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Any and all species of fish can be taken with a fly. It just takes some observation on the water, creativity at the vise, and endless experimentation. You can't go buy a DVD that will show you exactly how to catch Bigmouth Buffalo or Drum on the fly(yet), so you'll have to figure it out for yourself. It is a difficult task, yet once you figure it out and have some success the sense of satisfaction is well worth the effort. This is the new frontier of angling in America.

I have had limited success with Bigmouth Buffalo on the fly. However, after countless hours of fishing for them with various tactics, I believe sight-fishing them with flies is the best overall method of catching them. They are one tough species to fool, and when you finally get a 40-pounder to take your fly good luck landing them on anything less than Tarpon gear.

Freshwater Drum(sheephead) will take flies readily at times. Use walleye or smallmouth bass tactics, slowly hopping crayfish, nymph or minnow imitations across the bottom.

The Suckers will all take flies, some species better than others. We have something like 18 species of Suckers living in Minnesota waters, each one utilizing different water types and foods, so your tactics and fly patterns will vary greatly. If by Sucker you mean the White Sucker, which are very common and are the species you buy at bait shops as juveniles, they can be caught with trout nymphing tactics. Use #10-18 nymphs like hare's ears or pheasant tails, or my personal favorite the pink squirrel.

Hope this helps, and maybe encourages you to get out and enjoy some of the truly challenging and exciting fishing that so-called "roughfish" can offer. ~hogsucker

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The past two summers I've watched a fisherman on a local river impoundment fly fish for carp. I've watched him from a distance and it looked like he was having a blast. I talked to him at the access and he told me he uses weighted flys and has caught a variety of rough fish. I'm not a fly fisherman but watching him and talking to him have left me itching to give it a try.

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I have had luck on cotton wood seed, popcorn, and corn fly imitations.

Try a popcorn or bread fly in areas where people often feed ducks, etc... They are conditioned to come up and take these. parks, fishing piers, etc...

Pre spawn in the spring (may and june) and after the spawn late july-sept try looking for cruising or grubbing carp in the shallows. I have found during the spawn when they are jumping, rolling, etc... it is tough to get them to take a fly as they are preoccupied.

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I've caught carp, suckers, bullheads using a fly. I've also caught channel cats and a 28" walleye and lots of other "non-roughfish", too. For carp I prefer fishing them in the spring, right around the time they are up in the shallows and the cottonwood seeds are dropping. They will sip them from the surface, so try using light colored dry flies, or even yarn flies used for steelies.

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