Carp down south [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Carp down south

09-11-2007, 01:02 PM
Anyone have any hot tips for carp fishing in AL? I've caught a couple on a cricket imitation fly, but haven't had any luck with any of the nymphs I've tried.
Thanks in advance.


09-12-2007, 08:06 PM
Welcome to the forum James. Always good to have another carp fisherman on board!

If you do a search for carp in this forum you will find loads of great information and several fly recipes. I'm not sure how much info is specific to the south, but I would think that a lot of the info could be applied to carp fishing in any part of the world.

One thing I have noticed that seems to differ among the various members is their preferred flies for carp fishing. It may be a regional thing and probably depends a lot on the fishing conditions as well (e.g., top vs shallow vs deep, still water vs moving water, clear vs muddy, carp keying on specific food, etc.), but I suspect it's also a confidence thing. If you keep switching flies and finally get a carp to hit one, you will probably have increased confidence in that fly and continue to use it. Meanwhile, you will be refining your approach and presentation, which are probably much more important than the particular fly you are casting, and you will begin to catch even more fish on that fly, further increasing your confidence in that fly.

Stealth is key, and carp seem to have an unusually keen awareness of their surroundings. I think that they have sort of a "home territory" and seem to recognize when something is out of place in the area that they frequent -- like an angler standing on the shore where there is usually nothing there. I've had times when I've approached a feeding carp and had it stop feeding, then swim right towards me as if to say, "I know you're there and I'm not falling for that trick again," and then go on about its business while completely ignoring everything that I throw at it :razz: .

Good luck! And let us know how you do!


10-11-2007, 03:45 PM
I didn't even know carp would hit a fly, but I can see where that would be a great battle. We have some huge carp on this lake, really big and the only time I see them is in Spring when they get in the shallows.

If I was to go after them just what would be your suggestions please as it sound like a ball!



10-11-2007, 10:07 PM
Well, it's pretty much a sight-fishing game. Find a few spots where the carp hang out where you can see them and start dropping flies in front of them until you find something that they like. I've had good success with brown woolly buggers, but anything that looks like a bug or crayfish would probably work. I've also caught fish on "berry" flies made by forming ~ 1/2" pom-pom of purple and orange yarn on the hook. Look for carp that are actively feeding. I haven't had much success casting at fish that are cruising or chasing each other or basking on top. Sometimes you can locate feeding fish by scanning the surface for the bubbles that float up from the bottom where the fish are grubbing around for food. Look for a patch of bubbles that is stationary or slowly moving. If you see a sudden, long streak of bubbles and roiled mud then it's too late -- you just spooked one! :chuckle: .

As for gear, I use my 5wt or 7wt rod with floating line and a 6-8' 20#fluorocarbon leader. If the fish keep veering away from the fly and leader I'll switch to 12# fluoro, but I prefer to use 20#, especially if I'm fishing from shore.


10-12-2007, 08:20 AM
Thanks for the tips and the bubbles is something I have been seeing lately near shore in fairly shallow water.

Thanks again and sound like fun,


10-29-2007, 06:21 PM
just to keep you updated...

I found a spot here in Wetumpka on the coosa where I have an expansive mud/sand/gravel flat to wade. 1-3 feet for an area easily bigger than a football field. It is almost exactly like bonefishing, and in fact, my bonefish flies have been what have paid off for me the most. I would see fish schooling that I thought were carp, and went through my flybox tossing everything at them I could. I finally got to my pink puff bone flies, and caught 3 fish within 30 minutes! Two were smallmouth buffalo, and there was one drum mixed in there with them. So at the place I've been trying to target carp, they are actually not carp. Fun anyway. The last fish, the second buff broke my new 8' 5wt in 2 places. He made one last run into my backing and I pulled him in on the 4 foot butt of the rod that was left. By the way, anyone have any tips, seen any posts, for buff flies? Here are pics of the buffs:

10-29-2007, 09:28 PM
Nice! Glad you finally got them to hit! Too bad about the rod though.

So how do you distinguish between a smallmouth buffalo and a carp? The fish in your pics look just like carp to me :confused:


10-30-2007, 02:48 PM
Buffs have eyes that look like black marbles. They're body sape is slightly different, a little more like that of a black drum. As you can see in the picture they also have a very prominent lateral line. Lastly, they have no barbels like carp do, because they are not actually members of the carp family, they are a type of sucker fish.

On the other hand, they behave alot like carp. Long hard runs when you hook up, so first priority is to clear your line!!

11-01-2007, 09:37 PM
Thanks for the ID info :cool: . I did notice the eyes and distinct lateral line but when I looked at some of my carp photos they still looked very similar. Couldn't tell for sure if the fish in your pics had barbels but I did wonder if that was another way to distinguish them from carp.


11-16-2007, 07:19 AM
Never heard of a smallmouth buffalo before. If I didn't have the context behind it I don't know whether I'd think it was a new species of buffalo or a smallmouth with an attitude.