Carp Stalker Scores! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Carp Stalker Scores!

07-14-2003, 09:58 PM
I didn't have any success with carp this season until last weekend when I caught several small carp in the "easy" part of the Housatonic River. That was a blast, but I still hadn't hooked any big ones yet this year. This Sunday I finally got my first (and second, sort of) decent carp despite the adverse sight fishing conditions and ongoing bass tournament. I saw loads of fish, had several opportunities and made a few decent casts and still didn't hook up until a few hours into the trip. An 8-10 lb carp finally took pity on me and ate my brown woolly bugger and proceeded to tow me up the shoreline past a couple of boat docks. There were three tournament boats and a couple of people in a canoe nearby to witness my antics as I rowed with one hand while trying to pull the carp from under a dock with my 7 wt :chuckle: . I managed to get that one to boatside but lost a larger one after it swam into the milfoil and came off the hook when I tried to pull it out of the weeds :razz: . Both fish were cruising along the bottom stopping to feed every couple of feet and I managed to get the fly down into their path without spooking them. The first one grabbed the fly off the bottom -- I saw it turn its head towards the place where I thought the fly was so I "guessed" and set the hook successfully -- but the second one actually turned and chased the fly for a couple of feet before inhaling it :cool: .


07-15-2003, 08:17 AM
Carp are a harder species of fish to fly fish for than what people give them credit for. I've yet to get hooked up with one this year despite several attempts.

07-16-2003, 04:30 PM
Ok Carp Stalker-:)- I have found a new spot for carping at lunch where I think I can get to the fish more reasonably. The fish I have been going after were down deep in Cayuga lake- about 5-6 feet down - and spooky. The new location is fishable from shore and not as deep. A brown wooly bugger eh?

Congrats on your continued carp stalking success though.


07-16-2003, 09:32 PM
Thanks Geoff!

I use the brown woolly bugger when fishing for larger carp in lakes and ponds. I have better success using a "berry" fly when I fish for the small carp in the river.

Good luck with your lunch time forays. Post your results!


07-16-2003, 09:40 PM
Great stuff Q.

I'm hoping that water levels on the lower Housie down in the Kent area will make sight fishing a possibility this w/e - so far so good.

07-17-2003, 08:53 AM
I think I'm going to give this a try today on a small lake around here. What size wooly are you using and how are you fishing it (i.e., what retrieve)?

07-17-2003, 01:04 PM
sjs --

I tie mine on a #6 or #8 streamer hook and I make the tails a little shorter than one hook length. The only weight that I add is the 24 guage copper ribbing, although I have considered using some lead to get them down to the bottom faster. I want the fly to make a soft landing so I'm hesitant to add too much weight.

I look for carp that are actively feeding and try to put the fly into the fish's path far enough ahead of the fish so that the fly reaches the bottom before the fish reaches the fly (easier said than done!). If the fish is really rooting around in one spot and isn't moving then I try to put the fly just in front of the fish's nose. The retrieve really depends on the situation. If possible I let the fly sit on the bottom and see if the fish responds (watch for the carp to flare its lips or turn quickly in the direction of the fly). If there is no response then I move the fly about an inch and see if that triggers a strike. If not, then I slowly retrieve the fly a few feet and cast again. Sometimes the fish will turn and follow. If that happens, let the fly sink again. If I'm fishing from a drifting boat then it's difficult to leave the fly motionless. I try to get the fly down ahead of the fish and move it as slowly as possible AWAY from the fish. Moving the fly too quickly, moving it toward the fish, hitting the fish with the line, recasting too soon, pulling the fly upwards so that the fish sees you, and numerous other things will spook the fish you are trying for and possibly set off a chain reaction that spooks the whole school.

Hope this helps. Good luck!


07-17-2003, 04:41 PM
Thanks for the info. I just got back and didn't do too well (other than being off work and out on the water fishing on a beautiful day). I hadn't been to this lake for several years but it used to have some flats where I would ocasionally see carp tailing.

No flats this year. We have had a great deal of rain this year and the water levels are very high. I was fishing a #10 black Woolly Bugger and caught about a dozen very small bluegills. This lake used to have rainbow, largemouth, crappie, walleye, carp and bluegill. Saw no sign of anything large. Not sure it's a good sign to see so many bluegill that are so small, I wonder if there are enough larger predators to keep them in check, but it was a pleasant day. Thanks again for the info.

07-17-2003, 09:16 PM
Whatever may have happened to the lake, I'd be willing to bet that the carp are still there! Even if there are no flats you can probably find them around the shoreline in shallow enough water to sight fish for them.