Fly Fishing for Carp
- 04 Feb, 2022
Fishing for carp has become increasingly popular in recent years among fly fisherman. Carp are abundant around the country, and it gives anglers a chance to catch some large and hard fighting fish when other species like trout may not in the anglers' local waters.
The Freshwater Bonefish
While catching carp on conventional tackle with a gob of nightcrawlers or canned corn is very easy, catching them on a fly rod is a different story entirely.
Carp are actually very skittish and spook easily, and this is more pronounced when you consider that fly fishing for them is typically done in very shallow water of only a few feet.
They can also be very particular in the way a fly is presented, just like a trout, and these factors combined make the carp a respected adversary among the fly anglers who pursue them.
The best fly rod to use depends on the water you fish. If the average size of the carp in your local water is on the small side, with 10 pound fishing being a good fish, you can easily get away with a 6 weight fly rod.
If your local waters are like mine, with 20 pound fish not being uncommon, you're going to want something bigger, like 7 weight.
In my case I use a 8 weight, and although I haven't caught one yet, I have shot countless carp well over twenty, and one close to 35 pounds while bow fishing, and it's only a matter of time before I wrangle one of that caliber on a fly rod.
In years past, there actually wasn't any carp specific flies on the market, and instead the few fly anglers who did pursue carp used modified trout and bass flies, or even bonefish flies.
Today there is a wide variety of flies that are specifically made for carp fishing.
Small crayfish imitations and buggy looking flies really shine for carp, and you can find flies such as the carp Charlie, Barry's carp bitter, the carp-n-crunch, as well as others that are perfectly suited for the task.
Where Are The Carp?
Most of the fishing done on the fly for carp will be in very shallow water like mud flats, shorelines, sandbars, and canals.
Small shallow rivers are an excellent place to chase carp, because you can wade and cover a ton of water on foot.
If you have a boat or kayak, fishing bodies of water with shallow weedy bays, lily pad beds, or just by cruising along the shoreline quietly and sight fishing are your best bets.
Many anglers write off carp as a garbage fish, and to be honest, they are when you take into consideration their invasive nature and the damage they cause to the native ecosystems, but that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of their presence to have some fun, and man is it fun when you hook into these hogs of the lake.
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