Carp [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Carp

John Desjardins
01-12-2002, 11:43 PM
I was looking through a January 2002 copy of InFisherman today when I saw some thing that really made me pause. The magazine looked at the results for carp during the years 1990-2000 in it's annual contest for largest fish. The best place in the country to catch a large carp according to their records was the Connecticut river in Massachussetts. To my fellow Massachussetts anglers I have to ask are we missing an opportunity here?

01-13-2002, 06:50 AM
No. Blehhk!:D

01-13-2002, 08:53 AM
Carp are great fighters, caught some big ones on fly rod. Lake Michigan has some big ones around all of the river mouths, they are not fished, and are huge. Caught a close to 30 pounder once fishing for skaminia steelhead at the river mouth once. Thought it was a big iron head but turned out to be a carp.

Wouldn't mind going for them again, need to see what flies are useful though for them.

Anybody got any hot carp patterns, besides dough ball or corn imitations. Actually a small yarn egg fly may work, for them.

01-13-2002, 09:47 AM
I hooked one which I could hardly lift in the Hudson at Croton Point March last year. Chartreuse/White clouser. I was looking for early season stripers. It didn't fight much until it got close, but then went ballistic. The water was pretty cold, probably in the low 40s.

A couple of spin fishermen came over for a look bad sadly none of us had a camera.

01-13-2002, 10:27 AM
Yeah I have to gear up and go after these guys again. There is a local pond I run by on my normal jogging route which is filled with them. The town drained, dredged and restocked the pond two years ago. The local kids which fish it don't know how to catch the carp, they are after the sunfish, catfish, and carp.

Although I might look odd with my $ 500 graphite fly rod next to them with their Snoopy Rods. But as we have seen in recent posts the Snoopy Rods are not to be joked at, they can be a leathal tool in the correct fishing hands.

Got some big gold fish in it also I suppose people have emptied their home fish tanks into on the QT. I think this would be good sport on a 5 or 6 weight rod. Would also get my arms in shape for Michigan steelhead and salmon, perhaps could be considered training camp, etc...

I know in UK carp are a prized sport fish and managed. I will not be eating them though, thats for sure.

:hehe: :hehe:

Dble Haul
01-13-2002, 05:13 PM
Carp are the Rodney Dangerfields of flyfishing.....they get no respect. Many people scoff at them, but I've heard that they are one of the most difficult fish to catch on a fly. Small nymphs, berry patterns, and even small imitations of cotton seeds are used for these fish.

Any time that I've caught a carp has been totally incidental while nymphing for another species. I've tried to sight fish for them, but they always thumb their noses at me. I lived at an apartment complex in Nashua, NH about three years ago that had a pond of a couple acres that was full of sunfish and carp. I made hundreds of casts to dozens of five pound carp, and never drew a strike. I've also tried to hook some brutes on the Housatonic at the base of Stevenson Dam with similar results. I have to say that if I were to see one again, I'd try for it again. Must be the constant rejection, like when I kept asking out that girl who always turned me down.....:rolleyes:

01-13-2002, 05:28 PM
Agree, I think they are respected in Europe though.

Need to check out their fly fishing techniques for them.

Launch a world wide web search for the techniques and apply them here. Will put that on the to do list.

01-13-2002, 05:46 PM
They reveared in the UK. Some locations even have names for specimen carp which have been caught many times.

Interest in specimen carp fishing in the UK really took off when the late Dick Walker's British record common carp 'Clarissa', was caught in September 1952 at the previously undreamt of weight of 44lbs.

John Desjardins
01-14-2002, 12:01 PM
Boy I didn't think I'd get this many posts on carp. My own interest in them is that I think they could provide a different outlet for those days when I have 1/2 hour on the way home to fish. I do know a couple of ponds where they live, but like Doublehaul so far my offerings have been spurned. Maybe its time to tie up some egg patterns in white to atack with a pantone marker of the appropriate berry color.

I do have to agree with Adrian that there is much more interest in carp in the UK & Europe. Most of the articles have been with spinning rods, and I haven't seen many articles on flyfishing for them coming from Europe though. They may call it coarse fishing, but from where I see it their methods are fairly sophisticated.

01-14-2002, 12:14 PM
John, coarse fishing relates to the pursuit of any non salmonid freshwater fish in the UK and Eire. The majority of techniques are oriented around bait for various types. When it comes to Carp it gets very sophisticated with all manner of secret formulas based on dog biscuits, spam, sausage, maggots etc.

Interestingly, coarse fishing has always been predominantly catch and release - most of them taste like boiled newspaper and pins when cooked! When practiced on small lakes, the resident fish get pretty smart once they've been released a few times. Fly fishing is pretty rare, although some people stalk big Carp when cruising just subsurface during the high summer with floating patterns which resemble bread cubes and dog biscuits etc.

Dble Haul
01-14-2002, 12:22 PM
For anybody who's interested in more info about carp on a fly, check out this book by Barry Reynolds:

It's pretty thorough. This is the same guy who wrote "Pike on the Fly", which I am currently reading. He's clear and to the point, and I'm looking forward to applying some of his insights this year.

01-14-2002, 04:27 PM
Enjoyed the mental coffee break reading the attached pages of text from the book. Does do this kind of thing often? Great way to get someone to drop the dime; akin to the movie trailers on rented VCR movies.

01-14-2002, 06:20 PM
Fred, yes Amazon does the sample pages now for a number of their books. Nice way to get a flavor for the book. Read a number of their book sample pages but have not bought yet.

I guess it does not work on me, must be a hard sell I guess.

I think there are a lot of untapped Carp fly fishing opportunities in the US. Caught a number of them in slow sections of trout streams over the years, each time I thought I had my dream brown monster trout for a while only to be disappointed.

Great fight though they are.

01-14-2002, 06:48 PM
Dave Whitlock has written an excellant article on this subject and there is a video out there with Bill Marts flyfishing for these strong....very strong fish! I think the video is distributed by Watts and Bennett, but not sure.

John Desjardins
01-15-2002, 08:33 AM
Thanks everybody. Adrian I'm sorry if I misused the term coarse fishing, it was an unintentional error on my part.

02-01-2002, 11:43 AM
Good topic. Even a small carp will put a good stretch in your line, and I've seen some real monsters. They are definitely worth fishing for!

I've fished for carp several times but always used bait. I did, however, hook a big one on a Rapala once, so they would certainly take small baitfish imitations in addition to the other types of flies mentioned. You can use chum to bring them to you or just sight fish for them from shore or boat, although most of the carp I see are around thick weeds and/or lily pads which would make it difficult to cast to them.

Here's my carp story: I was fishing in shallow water at Saratoga Lake, NY, casting a 5cm floating silver/black Rapala for bass and panfish. I saw a nice carp swimming along the shoreline and, for some insane reason, I casted my lure at it. The lure landed a couple of feet beyond and ahead of the fish, and I started reeling to get the lure past the fish so I wouldn't foul-hook it. You should have seen my jaw drop when the fish turned, chased and inhaled the Rapala. I fought it for a few minutes and managed to turn it sideways close to the boat once before it took off and snapped my line. It looked like one of those big redfish that they catch on the fishing shows! I'm not sure exactly how big it was, but it was much larger than any carp I've ever landed, either before or since then, and I've caught them up to 15 or 20#.


02-21-2002, 09:44 PM
Well...PM Flyfisher, you should definitely get about it! I'm in Grand Haven, and you'll find good carp fishing in the flats around any Great Lakes river mouth. I fish 'em hard once the water hits about 60F+, and through the summer. I fish a 6wt with a WF floater and 9' leader, usually 2x fluorocarbon. Best pattern so far has been a size 6 Near 'Nuff Sculpin. I suspect it's taken as a crayfish, but either way it's bottom focused, which is key. Sometimes a slow, crawling retrieve is best, and sometimes longer (1') strips a little faster. The catfish and smallies like it a little faster. Let's see...the Whitlock article is right on. I've done well with nymphs when the sculpins are off. I haven't tried any bait imitations because I've never found it necessary (or sporting to me) to chum. I have had numerous occasions with dedicated carp fishers going fishless using bait, while I land numerous fish on flies not too far away. I hope you get into some soon.