Carp on the Fly [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Carp on the Fly


wvfly
03-21-2011, 10:52 AM
Is there a certain time of year that is best to catch carp?

wvfly
03-24-2011, 02:35 PM
Is there no one here to answer this question?

Dble Haul
03-24-2011, 03:12 PM
Patience, grasshopper.

Sping is when they can be most accessible, but they often don't have food on the mind, if you know what I mean. I find them easiest to catch in summer, when water levels are lower and their numbers are more concentrated. Add to that the higher water temperatures causing a rise in their metabolism, and they need to eat more often. Some local rivers are wadable and huge fish can be seen in individual pools...ponds can be good too.

wvfly
03-24-2011, 03:51 PM
thanks for the info. I just started getting interested in catching carp on a fly rod & I really don't know too much about it. I am assuming spring is when they are tailing in the waters and that is what you are talking about being accessible?

Dble Haul
03-24-2011, 09:39 PM
Spring is when they are spawning, very accessible in shallow water but with more important things on their minds than feeding. When carp feed, tailing/feeding fish will get more bites than cruising fish. And for their size, carp can be quite spooky.

Gseries69
03-31-2011, 11:36 AM
I'm dying to try for carp on the fly. Seems like it would be great sight fishing practice e.g. stealth, presentation, etc. to hone skills for other fishy pursuits in more exotic locations.

JonC
04-01-2011, 08:32 AM
Joe,
Todd and I have talked a little about trying some carp fishing, we have to figure out where they are.
Jon

Gseries69
04-06-2011, 03:59 PM
Jon,

I would be willing to do some recon work and share it with the gang. Missed you at the last lunch.

Possumpoint
05-01-2011, 07:18 AM
I live near a county park with a fishing pond. Was fly fishing yesterday with my 4wt system. Saw a number of large fish I took to be carp cruising just below the surface. They were quite skittish and spooked when a fly was presented in front of them. Not sure I would want to hook fish that big with that light weight system but I had to try. Had to settle for small blue gill and a small large mouth bass.

If I choose to get serious about trying, I'd use my 8wt system. I'm curious as to what method of presentation works best.

Quentin
05-03-2011, 10:36 PM
I've spent many hours fishing for carp with the fly rod and have had plenty of success and have also been skunked more times than I care to mention. If you do a search for carp in this forum you will find lots of info. I've pretty much posted all of my findings during the past few years, but here is some info that is relevant to what has been posted in this thread:

Is there a certain time of year that is best to catch carp?

I've caught them from March through November in my area. My first fish of the season for the past few years has been a carp. I've seen them feeding right on the edge of the receding ice in backwater areas in the spring (actually picking something off the edge of the ice) and I've caught them in November when there was still a layer of skim ice on the water from the overnight low when I launched the boat. You could probably catch them in the winter if you really wanted to.

Spring is when they are spawning, very accessible in shallow water but with more important things on their minds than feeding. When carp feed, tailing/feeding fish will get more bites than cruising fish. And for their size, carp can be quite spooky.

They are tough to catch while they are chasing each other around with more important things on their minds than eating, but even when most of them are in the mood for love you might still find some that are feeding.

They are extremely spooky, although there are times when they seem oblivious to you until you get right on top of them. If there are too many around then it's tough to get close to one without spooking another and setting off a chain reaction that will leave you staring at a swath of churned up mud and bubbles. They also seem to be very much aware of their surroundings. I've had many occasions when I've had fish swim right up to me and then go on about their business while completely ignoring my offerings. It's as if they see me and know I don't belong there.

I'm dying to try for carp on the fly. Seems like it would be great sight fishing practice e.g. stealth, presentation, etc. to hone skills for other fishy pursuits in more exotic locations.

Yes -- it's pretty much a sight fishing game. You can catch them while blind casting into an area where you know there are fish, but it's much better when you can see the fish, place the fly correctly and watch the fish hit. And, of course, stealth is extremely important. However, they aren't just great for practice -- they are great to fish for anyway! I'm happy to fish for just about anything, but if I'm in the mood to catch something that pulls really hard and I can't take a trip to the ocean then I'll probably go for carp.

Todd and I have talked a little about trying some carp fishing, we have to figure out where they are.

In general, most river systems and lakes or ponds connected to rivers probably have carp in them. Once you find a place where you know there are carp, then it's just a matter of looking for them. They like dark bottomed shallow areas near lily pads. They love milfoil, although it's tough to fish for them in the weeds. They like rocky areas and sandy areas and downed trees. Focus on shallow areas because you have to be able to see the fish and drop the fly right in front of them. Fish when you have good visibility: bright sun with blue skies is perfect. An even layer of gray clouds is ok too. Wind is bad -- even a slight ripple can make the fish invisible. Reflections of white clouds or bright foliage will also obscure the view. Crouch down and look for bubbles rising up in one area or moving along slowly. When the carp are grubbing along the bottom they release bubbles trapped in the mud. Move in slowly and be ready to cast. Sometimes they are virtually invisible until you get right up to them, then they suddenly appear. I've had times when I knew a fish was there and I still couldn't see it until it was too late.

Most of the time I am fishing for carp that are on the bottom, however, I've been out on the river a few times when the cottonwood seeds were all over the surface and the carp were cruising along in a zig-zag pattern slurping seeds off the top, or feeding next to boulders or logs where the seeds were piled up, or staging just downstream of a boulder or log where the current concentrated the seeds. In this situation I've had success catching carp on the surface using floating white flies. My fly selection was somewhat limited on one occasion but I managed to catch a few on a white deer hair bass bug with the tail cut off!

If I choose to get serious about trying, I'd use my 8wt system. I'm curious as to what method of presentation works best.

I have a 5wt and a 7wt for freshwater fishing and both have worked just fine on fish up to about 20 lbs, although the 5wt is one of those cheap fiberglass rods that seems virtually unbreakable. Not sure if I'd want to try a 4 or 5wt high modulus graphite rod on them. Whatever you use, just don't high stick them and be careful when landing them or when you get them near the boat. As for presentation, I like to drop the fly right on their nose if they are grubbing on the bottom in one spot. If they are cruising slowly along the bottom I prefer to have the fly sink a couple feet ahead of them so it is already on the bottom before they get to it. Sometimes you can get them to hit by moving the fly a little when they get to it, but sometimes that will just spook them.

Good luck, have fun, and let us know how you do!

Q