CarpPro ISSUE 1
North America's premier magazine dedicated to catch & release carp and rough fish angling.
+ TACKLE ON TEST RIG CLINIC REVIEWS FLY TIES BARRY REYNOLDS Foreword by > > > > Be Stealthy & Stalk The Take Carp in the Column Small Fish, Big Attitude JOHN “MONTANA” JAY ZIMMERMAN TREVOR “McTAGE” TIM CREASY ADAM HOPE MARK ERDOSY JP LIPTON CHRIS VARGO TY GOODWIN JIM “MrP” PANKIEWICZ LATE SEASON CARP on the GREAT LAKES with KEVIN MORLOCK Carp On The Fly SPECIAL ¡Viva la Revolución! Team Editorial DAN Frasier - Editor Raised in South Dakota, Dan was introduced to ﬂy ﬁshing on a family trip to Breckenridge Co. Coming home to South Dakota, he knew he wanted to ﬂy ﬁsh but the only obvious species was carp. Dan taught himself to ﬂy ﬁsh on those carp over the course of a decade. In the process he began to blog about his exploits and became friends with some of the most inﬂuential ﬂy ﬁshermen for carp in the game. Dan found the CarpPro.net forum and quickly became integrated as part of the team. When CarpPro began looking for an editor speciﬁcally geared for the Fly Fishing niche, Dan was brought in to ﬁll that role. TONY Cartlidge - Feature Editor Tony Cartlidge is a writer, editor, journalist, blogger and marketing specialist who started ﬁshing as a kid in the city parks of Liverpool, England. He caught his ﬁrst carp at age 12 and has been hooked since. Having lived in the US for almost two decades, Tony moved to Texas in 2008 and now targets smallmouth buffalo just as much as carp DAVID Smith - Layout & Design After founding USCARPPROmagazine David soon realized that ﬂy ﬁshermen were targeting carp. He made every effort to connect with this branch of the sport through regular articles, even making the long trek to MI from his home in California to meet David McCool and wade the freezing cold ﬂats of an early spring Traverse City. A bait angler for over 30 years he understands the rise of the sport and the passion carp anglers develop for their quarry. For 4 years, CarpPro magazine has written about ﬂy-ﬁshing for carp as a legitimate sports ﬁshing opportunity in North America and in that time we've witnessed a surge in popularity in the sport. CarpPro is the home of carp on the ﬂy addicts and now they are coming out of the shadows, standing tall and leading the rough ﬁsh revolution! Fly ﬁshermen are leading the way in legitimizing carp as a valid and worthy quarry and American ﬂy ﬁsherman are pioneering this branch of the sport, ahead of the traditional carp-ﬁshing powerhouses of Europe and South Africa. The carp is not a dirty little secret, but a challenging and accessible sports-ﬁshing target. Pound-for-pound, the carp is one of the strongest ﬁghters of all ﬁsh, freshwater or salt, wary, canny, and worthy of respect. The carp succumbs only to anglers at the very top of their game. In addition to the magazine, the CarpPro website provides news and reviews, technical articles and tackle reviews, lifestyle features, multimedia channels and podcast programs, and all the tips, techniques and tactics necessary to make the most of the carp revolution. The CarpPro shop is where ﬂy-carpers can ﬁnd the tools of the carp trade and, in our active and engaged forum, readers, prostaff and ﬂyﬁshing luminaries can mingle and exchange ideas and advice, talk products, discuss ﬁshing access, swap ﬂy patterns, show pictures and tell tales...and spread a little rebellion as they concoct a carpy coup d'état ! Mission OUR A HOME TACTICS & TACKLE MEDIA NEWS EASY ACCESS STYLE REVIEW ¡Viva la Revolución! BUY! Contents 2 | Meet the Editor - Dan Frasier 10 | Carp Now and Then - Barry Reynolds 14 | Be Stealthy and Stalk - Adam Hope 20 | Shock and Awe - JP Lipton 28 | Red Carp - Tuck Scott 34 | Carping the Column - Mark Erdosy 42 | Choices - John “Montana” Bartlett 50 | Sweating the Small Stuff - Ty Goodwin 58 | Two Reasons - Kirk Deeter 66 | Reservoir Dogs - Jay Zimmerman 76 | Tackling the Carp Next Door - Nolan Majcher 84 | Flies - Christopher Vargo 96 | Do You Smart Phone Fish? - Tim Creasy 102 | Late Summer Carp in the Great Lakes - Kevin Morlock 108 | Who Gets It? - Trevor “McTage” Tanner 118 | Detecting the Take - Jim “MrP” Pankiewicz 124 | My Golden Boneﬁsh Addiction - Pete Hodgman Cover: Tim Creasy, GA, demonstrates both the humor and determination required to be a successful carper from the deck of his freshwater ﬂats boat! Dan Frasier ✎Introducing☕your✍Editor✁ M y mind whirrs at night. It runs circles with the various tasks of the coming day, or with the unﬁnished tasks of the previous. It follows logical possible outcomes to impossibly negative extremes and it spends immeasurable hours churning on permutations of life over which it has no control. I realize I'm not the only American who faces this. It is just that rather than turn to Xanax and "Real Housewives" to distract myself, I have ﬂyﬁshing. Flyﬁshing is my meditation. When my mind runs away with itself and all focus is lost, I can always bring it back into High Deﬁnition with a ﬂy rod or a vise. Standing by a stream, planning an approach upon a tailing carp, no part of my brain can be occupied with anything other than the task at hand. The mind must snap to focus and the world must fade away, because anything less than your everything will not be enough. Flyﬁshing does not let you live in the moment...life lets you live in the moment. Flyﬁshing demands you live in the moment. It is no gentleman, it forces itself upon you. I came to this sport through the back door. A trip with family to Breckenridge, Colorado involved a ﬂyﬁshing lesson and a day on the water. I can't say that I recognized it at the time, but this small exposure to ﬂyﬁshing must have met some deep unknown need because I immediately knew that I wanted more. Back home, in South Eastern South Dakota, I took up a cheap ﬂy rod and began my pursuit of the only quarry available; carp. See, we don't have cold water here. I chased carp and failed and chased them again. Slowly I sank into the carp on the ﬂy world; a sub-culture of people willing to test themselves and their preconceived notions against the most diﬃcult game ﬁsh in North America. Flyﬁsherman are a special breed, Carp on the Fly ﬁsherman are a whole diﬀerent species. I looked online and in books for help. Barry Reynolds' "Carp on the Fly" was an invaluable resource, but I needed all the help I could get and I wasn't ﬁnding much. I found plenty of "Yeah, I secretly ﬁsh for carp" articles and some "carp are a real ﬂyﬁshing target" articles, but very little in the way of information that was going to help me catch more of them. This edition of the magazine aims to ﬁll that gap. We have enlisted the help of the best ﬂyﬁsherman for carp in the US and asked them to share their knowledge. We've asked for, and received, speciﬁc instructions from talented ﬁsherman on how to catch carp on the ﬂy. In that, we believe this magazine is unique. I've been a ﬂyﬁsherman for a decade and, at ﬁrst, it was a hobby. Eventually it evolved to become something more. Some fundamental part of who I am. Something required in order to appropriately deﬁne me. Eventually it reached the plane upon which it currently stands. It's not only a part of me, it is the part of me that maintains my sanity. A fair picture of my life can never again be drawn that does not show me with a rod and reel in my hand. Like many of you, the phrase "I'm a ﬂyﬁsherman" says far more about me than simply indicating one of my past times. It says something about who I am. Flyﬁshing is who I am and that is why this edition of our magazine means so much to me. I can immediately connect with those for whom ﬂyﬁshing is also an integral part of their being. We are a brother- and sisterhood with connections deeper than can be expressed by my poor writing skills. We wanted to give you something special, something that made you a better ﬂyﬁsherman, and something that facilitated access to that deeper connection which we all feel to this hobby, this sport, this lifestyle. I hope you enjoy it. ☕✎✍✌✃ CARPING Then and Now ➜ 2012 | Barry Reynolds | CarpPro Back in the late 70s and early 80s when I ﬁrst began to tinker with carp on the ﬂy there was virtually no place to turn for help. There were no books, no articles and no chat forums where someone could ﬁnd information. Instead it was a case of learn while you go and adapt as you learn. The early years were both frustrating and rewarding at the same time. Frustrating because there were no short cuts to success but rewarding because I had the rivers, lakes and ponds to myself, meaning I had more shots at tailing, feeding unpressured carp to learn from. Fast forward 30-plus years and today there are books, magazine articles, web sites, forums, podcasts, TV shows, videos and DVDs all ﬁlled with a wealth of information. We even have CarpPro prostaﬀ ﬂy anglers all writing blogs and creating instructional videos. Those new to the sport can quickly become more successful without many of the frustrations experienced by those of us who pursued carp with a ﬂy in the early years. Carp are much more widely accepted today both as a sport ﬁsh and legitimate ﬂy rod opportunity and it seems the rest of the angling world is beginning to warm up to the idea. The ﬁrst time I gave a seminar and ﬁrst mentioned the possibilities presented by ﬁshing for carp on the ﬂy brings back memories as well. It was an overwhelming ﬂop. While people hung around to hear me talk about ﬂy ﬁshing for pike, bass and other more notable species, the ﬁrst mention of carp sent people scurrying for the door. They an overnight success thirty years in the making.... a foreword by Barry Reynolds literally could not get out of the room fast enough. I heard comments that ranged from “absurd” to “trash ﬁsh” and so on. You get the picture. Trying to convince people that carp were a worthy ﬂy rod target was almost as frustrating as trying to learn how to catch them. Some twenty years after my ﬁrst attempt boneﬁsh or redﬁsh. No longer do I need to try and sell them on accessibility and that carp are close and convenient. The carp itself is doing the selling for me. Once you hook your ﬁrst carp on the ﬂy you are hooked yourself. It seems the carp only needed to be introduced to ﬂy I’ve heard “absurd” to “trash ﬁsh” and so on..... to introduce anglers to carp on the ﬂy, I gave a presentation that saw more than 300 people cramming into a convention center meeting room to learn more. Times have changed and minds have opened up to the abundant opportunities the carp represents. No longer do I have to use cheap sales tricks and try to convince ﬂy ﬁshers by describing carp as the freshwater anglers and it could handle all the convincing from there. What is not to love and admire about a ﬁsh that is readily available, grows to large sizes, will eat a ﬂy, can make ﬂy line disappear from a reel at an alarming rate, requires stealth, presentation and careful ﬂy selection, and can be sight ﬁshed in skinny water? Carp can sell themselves just ﬁne. ➜ 2012 | Barry Reynolds | CarpPro It seems, after 30 or so years, the carp has ﬁnally arrived. Still don’t believe me? Consider the facts; ﬁshing for carp is one the fastest growing facets of freshwater ﬂy ﬁshing and my once tranquil and unﬁshed carp waters now ﬁnd ﬂy anglers in nearly every good hole throughout the year. Barry Reynolds. The Godfather of ﬂyﬁshing for carp, Barry Reynolds has written numerous highly acclaimed books including the groundbreaking "Carp on the Fly" and "Pike on the Fly". For years Barry has engaged in writing and speaking to promote the acceptance of less utilized species as respectable ﬂyﬁshing quarries. Carp ﬂies are now readily found and sold at most shops and even ﬂy lines have been manufactured speciﬁcally for targeting carp. And yes, it is now even possible to hire a guide for a carp-onthe-ﬂy outing and to even travel to speciﬁc destinations to pursue the mighty carp. Yes indeed the carp has arrived and I for one knew someday the carp would reach the masses! Adam Hope was born and raised in Pennsylvania. Graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Organismal Biology & Ecology from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and spends the majority of his time ﬂy ﬁshing and designing ﬂies. Adam also contributes to the This River is Wild blog. TACTICS It’s 5 AM and I just began my morning ritual. I traded my headlamp for polarized glasses and began creeping down the canal path. A faint bubble trail caught my eye, moving in for a closer look I wondered if it had been from a duck or what I was actually looking for. I stood motionless squinting through the morning fog trying to make heads or tails of the situation. It became evident that a carp had been feeding in the area. I was staring into a residual mud plume that had recently been abandoned. As I crept further down the path I became ﬁxated on the water looking for the ﬁsh and a few seconds later I stepped on a twig snapping it in half. Instantly the water along the shoreline ten feet down the path erupted into a frothy boil. I had just blown my only chance of the day. It’s no secret that carp have excellent senses, they can smell/taste, hear, and see extremely well. To be a successful angler one needs to take all into consideration while on the water. ﬂy before engulﬁng it. This gives the ﬁsh time to recognize any unnatural odors on the ﬂy. The more nose-to-nose refusals you get, the more you’ll think about what went wrong. Most anglers will overanalyze their technique, when in reality it was the cigarette they just smoked that blew their chances. One of the easiest Be Stealthy & Stalk with Adam Hope ways to render your ﬂy odorless to the ﬁsh is to rub mud on it, really working it into the material of the ﬂy. The best mud to use is from the benthos of body of water you’re ﬁshing. Use a handful straight from the bottom, detritus and all. The carp are used to this scent because they root through the exact same mud while searching for food. Throughout a Let’s ﬁrst look at their sense of smell/ taste. As ﬂy anglers it’s easy to overlook the idea of masking our scent, but it really does help when dealing with nonaggressive ﬁsh. A non-aggressive ﬁsh will slowly come nose to nose with the day of ﬁshing I will do this multiple times. Their ability to hear is the next sense one should consider while ﬁshing. Carp are classiﬁed as otophysans. They have structures called Weberian ossicles attaching their swim bladder to their inner ear. This apparatus allows the carp to hear an array of sounds at frequencies that other ﬁsh cannot hear. The angler must consider this especially when ﬁshing at close range. A stealthy approach is a must. One must move slowly while keeping an eye out for any sticks or loose substrate that if stepped on could alert any nearby ﬁsh. Your footwear is something else to think about when trying to be stealthy. A prime example is if you wear waders. Make sure you wear boots without studs, especially if you need to navigate rocky terrain. I’ve found the best shoes to wear are those with smooth soles rather than deep treads. The smooth soles allow for quicker detection of objects under your feet. In general, try to eliminate all sounds while ﬁshing. If you ﬁsh with others this means talking as well. My friends and I use a form of carp sign language while stalking the shoreline, nothing fancy--just enough to get the point across at a TACTICS distance. The third sense the angler should consider is their vision. This sense is probably the most controversial and happens to be what I focus on the most. Since carp can inhabit all types of waterways, may it be a pristine spring creek or a stagnant retention pond, their vision is dependent on water clarity. My favorite spot to ﬁsh is a crystal clear deep water canal. The way I ﬁsh this spot is quite diﬀerent from most conventional carping techniques that call for weighted ﬂies ﬁshed along the bottom to actively feeding ﬁsh. I ﬁsh unweighted ﬂies to cruising or “prowling” ﬁsh within the water column at very close range. For a detailed description of this technique refer to the article “Carping the Column” by my best mate Mark Erdosy. Mark and I have been ﬁshing this spot together for several years now and in the process have caught many ﬁsh and spooked even more due to their keen peripheral vision while on the move. The shoreline is densely vegetated with a woody backdrop. Since carp can see colors quite well and we have to present the ﬂy at such close range, I began to experiment with my wardrobe. Some days I would wear solid bright colors, other days I would wear solid neutral colors. I began having more hookups wearing neutral colors and this sparked my interest even more to the point of obsession. Soon after I began I began to experiment with my wardrobe to wear camouﬂage shirts and I quickly realized that over the years the ﬁsh had learned to keep an eye out for the human silhouette on the bank while prowling for food. It also seemed to me break up my silhouette. This greatly increases my chances of success. As I fell further down the rabbit hole my obsession got the best of me and I that ﬁsh inhabiting smaller lakes and ponds become conditioned to their environment, not only their aquatic environment but to the adjacent terrestrial environment as well. They are able to notice objects that are out of place along the bank. When possible I use cover such as trees and bushes to purchased a ghillie suit. As you could imagine, I got dirty looks and smart comments from other anglers, but little did they know what I was wearing actually had a purpose and worked extremely well. I’ve been wearing a ghillie suit for the past year now and wouldn’t think of leaving the house TACTICS without it. It’s become an essential part of my carping arsenal, its light weight and straps easily onto my pack when not in use. The suit really does buy an extra few seconds to present your ﬂy but not be long before you own your ﬁrst ghillie suit. Overall your success as a carp angler depends on many factors other than ﬂy the rest is up to the ﬁsh. There are areas where the suit would be pointless, such as if you were ﬁshing a golf course pond lacking shoreline vegetation and a woody backdrop. But if your favorite carping spot has pressured ﬁsh, clear water and dense shoreline vegetation try wearing matching camouﬂage. It might presentation. Once you take their senses into consideration and become stealthier, your success rate will increase astronomically. Mine sure has. Image credits: Mark Erdosy & Adam Hope @ www.theriveriswild.com Shock Awe with JP Lipton AKA RoughямБsher & ♒ | 2012 | CarpPro | Tactics “The key to catching big fish is fishing big flies”. I bet you may have heard some insanely oversimpliﬁed exhortation, similar to the aforementioned, on how to catch big ﬁsh, selective ﬁsh, over-pressured ﬁsh, etc. Frankly, it doesn’t really matter what ﬁsh size. This is especially the case for omnivores like the common carp, whose feeding habits tend to be opportunistic. Of course, exceptions can be made when a ﬁsh is feeding, resulting in occasional deviations from the feeding habits of nearby ﬁsh in the pod/school. The simple rules of survival still apply: expend less energy than you take in. So any aberration in diet during a selective angle the speaker is taking, as it is typically some contrived diatribe based partly in ﬁction, folklore, or superstition, like stating that the ﬁsh aren’t biting because they “lost” their teeth, or that bringing aboard a banana on a boat during a ﬁshing trip causes bad luck. Yes, big ﬁsh can be caught on big ﬂies, but so can small ﬁsh too. Effective ﬂy size is typically more of a function of forage size and availability rather than feeding episode is strictly due to the fact that the morsel was an easy meal. Furthermore, the size structure of the school of ﬁsh is irrelevant to the size of forage being selected. Once the most abundant and easily obtainable forage is depleted, the school will key in on the next easiest and abundant forage. What does this all mean to the angler? Simply put, if you want to catch big ﬁsh using big ﬂies, go where the forage is big. ♒ | 2012 | CarpPro | Tactics The Great Lakes have proven to be a dynamic environment producing large, mammoth ﬁsh, especially carp. The productivity common in the Lower Great Lakes, coupled with an inﬂux of foreign invaders via seafaring freight vessels, untreated ballast water, and the lock and dam system, has provided for an unchecked ecosystem of alien ﬁsh. A prime example of this can be found in Lake Michigan, where introduced carp become some of the largest wild carp found in North American waters, typically in excess of thirty pounds, with specimens over ﬁfty pounds not uncommon. Normally ranging from 3” to 6” (up to 10”) in length, round gobies look similar to displaced native sculpins, however they possess suction cup-like abilities with their single fused pectoral ﬁn, enabling ❝ The Great Lakes have proven to be a dynamic environment producing large, mammoth fish, especially carp ❞ are preying on non-native round gobies, which are feeding on over highly invasive zebra and quagga mussel beds. The carp is the apex predator in this system, with no true predators during the adult stage of their life cycle. Since all ﬁsh are capable of indeterminate growth, carp will keep growing throughout their entire life cycle. Feeding on the most widely abundant forage, round gobies, Great Lakes carp rapidly grow to them to stay tight to the bottom in areas of current. Round gobies are also aggressive ﬁsh, voracious feeders, and have the ability to survive in degraded and impaired waters, an ability they share with the carp. The round goby is the perfect candidate to base a big, meaty streamer pattern on for sumosized Great Lakes carp. Landing Strip Hook Mustad 34007, Size 2 or 1/0 Thread UNI 6/0, Red Butt Krystal Flash, Olive, Peacock, UV Pearl Tail Rabbit Zonker, Olive Abdomen Olive Dub Thorax Olive Dub Hackle Ruffed Grouse neck ruff or equivalent, Black Legs Olive Centipede Legs, Medium Head Olive Dub Eyes Wapsi Dumbbell Eye Painted, Large, Red ♒ | 2012 | CarpPro | Tactics Wade any of the ﬂats off of Grand Traverse Bay, Door County, or the Beaver Island archipelago, and it is evident that the round goby has established a strong foothold in Lake Michigan. Within an hour of my ﬁrst outing on Beaver Island I witnessed a northern water snake take an eight inch round goby from within the rocky crevices of the rocky shoreline, all the while my ﬂats boots crunched as I crushed the brittle shells of spent zebra and quagga mussels with every step I made. I felt like I was in an alien world; none of the ﬁsh and forage assemblages made sense to me as the majority of them were comprised of nonnative invasive species. The crystal clear water and emerald blue and green hues of the seemingly endless ﬂats played tricks with my mind as I wondered if I had somehow gotten lost and ended up near the Caribbean or in Hawaii. It was only upon closer inspection of the tree lines that I identiﬁed ﬂora consisting of tamarac, pine, and white birch, not coconut palm, kiden, or mangrove, realizing that I was indeed in Northern Michigan and not the tropics. Centrally located in the continent, Lake Michigan is a trophy carp destination accessible to most Americans and Canadians, and a paradise in its own right. The size of the ﬂies used to take Great Lakes carp can astound you; these are not your typical carp ﬂies. Hell, these aren’t your typical ﬂies period. Most folks think small and buggy when it comes to ﬂy ﬁshing for carp. I’d say that this approach works ninety-nine percent of the time. Not on Lake Michigan though. Think of your carp at an all you can eat buffet where everything is super sized, a meal ﬁt for Paul Bunyan. I’m talking big streamers, three, four, ﬁve, six inches plus long, tied with plenty of fur, hackle, ﬂash, rubber legs, and heavy dumbbell eyes or tungsten laced heads. Like half chickens you might toss at pike or muskie but with enough weight to cut through a stiff wind or get down fast to the bottom, especially when ﬁshing in water knee high or deeper. This isn’t chuck and duck style ﬁshing; while these carp are more aggressive than most I’ve seen across the country, you still need to get the ﬂy in the hot zone. The only difference between Great Lakes carp and most others is that once a ﬂy is spotted, these ﬁsh may actually chase it down. Aggressively! Eat or be eaten, these ﬁsh don’t mess around. I have developed a couple of different patterns for Great Lakes carp during my stays in Beaver Island and Traverse City, including the Mustache Ride and Landing Strip. These ﬂies were speciﬁcally developed for the freshwater ﬂats and tributary mouths of Lake Michigan and their large predatory carp and smallmouth. Lake Michigan carp and smallmouth typically feed on round gobies up to 6 inches long. Larger than most commercially available carp ﬂies, the Landing Strip measures out at around 4 inches in length (6 inches if you tie in a longer tail), maintaining a large proﬁle and movement in the water with it’s long hackle ﬁbers, rubber legs, and zonker strip tail, a key component to catching a carp’s attention. The Mustache Ride is a scaled down variation of the Landing Strip, substituting a marabou tail and, at 2 inches in length, this pattern mimics smaller sized round gobies. Tied in dark rust, light rust, tan, brown, black, or olive, these color variations are a great substitute for sculpin, bait ﬁsh, and crawﬁsh imitations, even juvenile smallmouth, especially on waters outside of the Great Lakes. These patterns are also excellent ﬂy choices when targeting largemouth bass, walleye, northern pike, and muskie. Tie one up and tie one on. And get ready for a little shock and awe! follow JP @www.roughﬁsher.com ♒ | 2012 | CarpPro | Tactics Hook Mustad 34007, Size 2 or 1/0 Thread UNI 6/0, Red Butt Krystal Flash, Brown, Root Beer, UV Tan Tail Marabou, Black Abdomen Dark Rust Squirrel Dub Thorax Dark Rust Squirrel Dub Hackle Ruffed Grouse neck ruff or equivalent, Black Legs Brown Centipede Legs, Medium Head Dark Rust Squirrel Dub Eyes Wapsi Dumbbell Eye Painted, Large, Red Mustache Ride Red Carp Bridging the Salt/Fresh Gap Capt. Tuck Scott |CarpPro|2012|OPINION I n the past, the separation of salt and fresh was a clear divide in my mind. I would head to some place like the Henrys Fork in Idaho, or the Pigeon in North Carolina, and feel a sense of peace and serenity that I just don’t get often times when in the salt. Mix sightcasting, hard-ﬁghting ﬁsh, momentary shots, and the fact that ﬂy ﬁshing in the Low Country is a constant focus, and it is pretty easy to understand why serenity wouldn’t be the word I would choose to describe ﬁshing in the salt. In no way is this a discredit to freshwater ﬂy ﬁshing; in fact, most of this view came from a lack of my own knowledge of ﬁshing trout streams and rivers. It brings to mind Einstein’s quote, “He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.” To my fortune, about 4 years ago a few boards were laid in the bridge of my divide between fresh and salt, when I was ﬁshing the South Holston, Tennessee, during an Orvis Guide Rendezvous. While there I got to ﬁsh with a retired local guide, Tim Landis. Watching him ﬁsh was like watching a heron. He wasted no cast, only moving his rod to sight cast, and hardly made a cast that didn’t get a positive reaction from a trout. It was an amazing thing to watch and be part of for me. Truthfully, I had no idea that both sight casting and diligent focus had the same place in freshwater trout streams as it does in the salt. The majority of that bridge was built two summers ago when I accepted an invitation to ﬁsh for carp in South Dakota from from friend and client, Dan Frasier. We wasted little time before the ﬁshing began; get oﬀ plane, get lunch, drop oﬀ |CarpPro|2012|OPINION bags at apartment, and drive to river. We waded across the ﬁrst section that we were going to ﬁsh and before getting to the other side I saw the ﬁrst “tailing” ﬁsh I had ever seen in freshwater; it blew my mind. What I didn’t know was that this ﬁsh wasn’t going to do much of the work for me like a redﬁsh would. Place a crab or shrimp pattern in front of a tailing redﬁsh and, 95% of the time, is going to close the gap on it. It is only left up to you to execute a good cast and proper strip. These carp proved that not only do you need that good cast, but you’d better also ﬁgure out a way to move the ﬂy slightly enough that it stays in that strike zone for what seems like forever. So the salt vs fresh comparisons began, and I found that similarities were more frequent than any freshwater ﬁsh I had encountered before, especially when comparing these carp to our redﬁsh. We wade to tailing redﬁsh often, and the same care must be taken on both “He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.” species; a wake pushed up from clumsy steps will often put both species down at best and bolt at worst. Both ﬁsh feed with a posterior mouth on the bottom, with reds feeding on shrimp and ﬁddlers while carp are feeding on crayﬁsh and mussels. Both ﬁsh give you visuals through mudding, tailing, pushing, crawling and ﬂashing. I was most surprised by the ﬁght of a carp; the same bulldogging that a redﬁsh will do as well as a pull that is capable of running a tight drag out into the backing. That’s not to say there aren’t diﬀerences, there are, but they are minor and certainly don’t take away from the fact that ﬁshing for one will make you a more eﬀective angler for the other. Reds can school to make huge shoals of ﬁsh depending on the tide and season, where carp are more often like our solitary tailers that we ﬁnd on high tide. The strike zone for a carp is much smaller because they are unlikely to charge a ﬂy like a red will. A red, zoned in and coming to get the ﬂy, often makes for some of the best visuals in all of ﬂy |CarpPro|2012|OPINION ﬁshing, while the precise nature and patience of leaving a ﬂy on the dinner plate of a carp should be one of the most respected skills in ﬂy ﬁshing. The most recent connection I have made to these carp in relation to redﬁsh is an example of how carp anglers are prepped for the job of hunting redﬁsh. When Frasier was on my boat the last time I was amazed by how well he could see ﬁsh. I thought back to other carp anglers and realized they had better eyes than most. I feel the most useful skill that a ﬂy caster on the front of my boat can have, assuming there is at least some casting ability, is the ability to see ﬁsh quickly. They don’t need to be the ﬁrst one to see them, I should, but if I give them a direction of “eleven o’clock, sixty feet,” their hookup ratio goes up tenfold if they can spot that ﬁsh in a short window of time. The argument could be made that sight-casting to any species in any water would make you a better angler on redﬁsh, but the carp oﬀers enough extra similarities, down to the dark color of their backs, which might prove extremely beneﬁcial to prepping you for your next redﬁsh trip. Contact Tuck @ baystreetoutfitters.com Carping the Column Part One with Mark Erdosy TACTICS Mark Erdosy Born and raised in Pennsylvania, currently residing in Delaware where he works as a history teacher. Spends his free time ďŹ‚y ďŹ shing throughout the MidAtlantic region and runs the This River is Wild blog T ired and defeated, I turned around on the canal path and began my hike back to the truck. After nearly two miles of walking I hadn’t seen a single sign of cyprinus carpio but during my hasty retreat I almost missed the only ﬁsh of the session, a large common that was slowly cruising in the middle of the water column. I led the ﬁsh signiﬁcantly, landing my damselﬂy in its path. As the carp approached, its predatory instincts took over as it keyed in on the easy meal. A short while later, I released the twenty-pounder back into its deepwater lair. It was yet another cruising carp that fell victim to a mid-column presentation on ﬂy. Most conventional carping techniques call for weighted ﬂies that are presented along the bottom to actively feeding carp. The water I frequent is too deep or ﬁlled with snags, mud, and weeds that make ﬁshing the bottom almost impossible. On top of that, the ﬁsh are too spooky to be properly presented with any weighted ﬂy. In order to achieve any success, my friends and I had to develop new ﬂies and presentations to fool these golden ghosts. Un-weighted ﬂies such as damsel and dragonﬂy nymphs became standard issue on the still waters in our area. We quickly discovered that carp actively feed not only on the bottom, but also on aquatic invertebrates throughout the water column. In order to successfully carp in the column, one needs to understand the behavioral characteristics of carp that will take a ﬂy. Certain carp that are on the move need to be avoided. Depending on light conditions, barometric pressure, moon phase, and weather, carp will actively move from one feeding area to another. These ﬁsh move with a purpose and will not go out of their way to take a ﬂy. On the other side of the coin are laid-up ﬁsh. These ﬁsh are stationary, near the surface, and often near some form of structure. Despite their laziness, these ﬁsh will take a properly presented ﬂy...but that is a topic for later discussion. The Hoist The best behaviors for success come from actively feeding carp. These ﬁsh are “mudding” by rooting amongst the bottom for their food, creating a visible mud or bubble trail. After each nosedive, they will ascend in the water column to move to another area. This is when they are most susceptible to a ﬂy angler and when they often reveal themselves in deeper water. However, ﬁsh don’t have to be “mudding” in order to be on the feed. Fish that are slowly meandering throughout the water column will eat a ﬂy presented in the middle of the column. These “prowlers” are actively using their senses to ﬁnd food and this behavior is common in carp inhabiting deeper waters. These two behavioral TACTICS characteristics are perfect for midcolumn presentations on ﬂy. The most important part about ﬁshing the water column for carp is the presentation of the ﬂy. First, you will need to be at a correct angle that will allow you to present in front of the ﬁsh. The angle should be such that if you need to move your ﬂy it will always be you nail the presentation, the only task remaining is to feed the ﬁsh. Damsel and dragon nymphs exhibit a short darting motion when frightened. Depending on the clarity of the water, carp will be able to see your ﬂy move in the water column up to 10 ft. away. When carp approach the ﬂy, I like to impart a short darting motion, which ❝Impart a short darting motion ❞ also sends minuscule vibrations in order to make the ﬂy’s presence known. After that, I let the ﬂy free fall to intercept the ﬁsh. When the ﬁsh is near the ﬂy, I prefer to keep my eye on the ﬂy and watch it get eaten. When the water clarity is low and it is diﬃcult to track the ﬂy, I like to watch the carp’s lips. When they feed, their mouths will protrude to suck in their food. This is easily seen because the lighter colored ﬂesh of their upper lip is exposed in the act of vacuuming. Keep moving away from the ﬁsh. The same rule applies to all predatory ﬁsh. The goal here is to serve up the ﬂy on a platter. The ﬂy will have to intercept the carp at the same water depth. The importance of this is paramount and the leading distance is determined by the depth and speed of the carp. In these situations, it is always better to overshoot your intended target area because you can always drag the ﬂy into place and drop it in the zone. If your cast falls short, you cannot correct your mistake and you will have to recast. If TACTICS in mind that larger carp can suck in prey from longer distances. This moment can often be the most exhilarating aspect of ﬂy-ﬁshing for carp. When it happens, hold on tight and enjoy the ride. I See You! Carping the column is not easy and you will gradually learn from your experiences to become a better angler. Not all carp water is equal and the spring creek-fueled ponds and deep canals of my home waters might present entirely diﬀerent variables than your carping hot spot. Armed with this new knowledge, it might open up new water to be ﬁshed and add another important weapon to your growing arsenal. Column Forage Image credits: Mark Erdosy & Adam Hope @ www.theriveriswild.com MARK MELNYK HOST/PRODUCER OF WFN’S GUIDED WITH MARK MELNYK “ A FULL DAY OUTSIDE WITH ZERO EYE FATIGUE SEPARATES SUNDOG MELA-LENS™ FROM EVERY OTHER BRAND I’VE WORN. THREE GREAT STYLES THREE GREAT LENS OPTIONS CUSTOM “CHAMBER” HARD CASE INCLUDED ” PHANTOM 22 DEGREES HALO ALL FRAMES AVAILABLE IN: MELA-LENS™ POLARIZED • MELA-LENS™ POLARIZED PHOTOCHROMIC • MELA-LENS™ POLARIZED PHOTOCHROMIC WITH CLARI-COAT (OIL AND WATER REPELLANT LENS COATING) • ENHANCED POLARIZED DEFINITION • MAXIMUM VISUAL CLARITY • PROTECTION FROM UVA, UVB, UVC AND “BLUE LIGHT” • SUPERIOR GLARE REDUCTION • SOOTHING VISUAL COMFORT OLEO / HYDRO / ABRASION RESISTANT LAYER LENS - POLYCARBONATE MELANIN TECHNOLOGY POLARIZED FILM LENS - POLYCARBONATE PHOTOCHROMIC TECHNOLOGY AIR SILVER MIRROR OLEO / HYDRO / ABRASION RESISTANT LAYER Melanin is produced by the human body and is a natural defense against the negative impact of the ultraviolet and more importantly, the blue light portions of the spectrum. Melanin-based technology is the foundation for Sundog’s Mela-Lens™ which features synthesized melanin. In addition to protecting you from UVA, UVB and UVC rays, Mela-Lens™ ﬁlters 98% of dangerous High Energy Visible Light (HEVL). Commonly called “Blue Light,” it creates “veiled glare” in the eye, causing fatigue and negatively impacting performance. By ﬁltering this dangerous “Blue Light”, Sundog Mela-Lens™ effectively reduces veiled glare impact to provide “soothing” visual protection and superior visual clarity. WWW.SUNDOGEYEWEAR.COM ⁈ | CarpPro | 2012 | Review Get the Edge with Sundog! If you can't see 'em, you can't catch 'em and that just about sums ﬂy carping up. Sunglasses are the most important piece of ancillary gear any ﬂyﬁsherman for carp can own. Very clear, polarized lenses with good contrast and the ability to see colors are an absolute must. Stalking ﬁsh and getting in close is the key to successful carp on the ﬂy angling and if you can't see the ﬁsh you can't stalk them. More importantly, being able to detect a take of the ﬂy can be extremely diﬃcult. Good glasses are necessary because the carp often won't telegraph the take to you. Watching the ﬁsh and seeing when he takes a ﬂy is the backbone of successful carp angling. CarpPro pro-staﬀ recently received and reviewed Sundog sunglasses from the Mark Melnyk signature series, with MelaLens™ technology. While it was too late in the season for extensive ﬁeld testing, the initial trials are very promising. Says pro-staﬀer John Montana, "Sunglasses are the most important gear in ﬂyﬁshing for carp. Being able to spot ﬁsh and see the details down to the take is critical to success. These sundog shades have a new Mela-Lens that I was excited to try. The clarity is excellent and colors stood out as well. I can't wait to use these in the low light of spring or on cloudy days. These may well turn out to be my go to shades in lowlight conditions." John wasn't the only one that got a short shot at some preliminary testing. Trevor Tanner had a chance for a little ﬁshing on the South Platte and reports, "The edge the photochromatic behavior on the Sundogs gives in low-light conditions is deﬁnitely noticeable. While I still rely on my old glasses in the early mornings and late evenings of very bright days, I go straight to my Sundogs if I anticipate ﬁshing mid-day, to carp hiding in shade and under bridges or on over-cast days." Dave McCool, CarpPro pro-staﬀer and owner/guide for Golden Boneﬁsh told us, “My Sundogs cut glare better than any glasses I've used while hunting carp on the Great Lakes.” Early results are encouraging and indicate that there is something to this new technology that Sundog employs to adjust to the brightness of the light. CarpPro will continue to report as reviews come back in so keep an eye on the website and podcast for reports. If you want to try them for yourself, of if you are shopping for some last minute gifts for the angler in your life, Sundog is oﬀering CarpPro readers a 15% discount! Just go to www.carppro.net, click the Sundog link, and use code 15carppro to save 15% oﬀ the price of the Mark Melnyk signature series glasses! | 2012 | CarpPro | Tactics Choices with John “Montana” Bartlett A ny parent with children understands that the key to dealing with a picky eater is giving your child choices. Rather than arguing or forcing them to eat what you want them to eat, give them a few options and let them choose. The power in having that choice is important, and often leads to peaceful mealtimes rather than battles of will and frustration. simple and meaty, making ﬂy selection less of a guessing game, and more of a sure thing. On those days, when the carp are chasing meat and hunting down your ﬂy like a predator, we should all be thankful that we choose to pursue such an interesting and eﬀective gameﬁsh. But, what about the rest of your time on the water? Strange parallel here, but this same philosophy can help when carp ﬁshing. I’ve said it a million times, read it nearly as many, and heard it in spades wherever I go, but a good carp angler is well aware that the key to a successful outing is knowing the forage in the water you choose. Sometimes, the forage is Time spent in areas where the carp have a multitude of options for forage and can pick and choose their meal at leisure with no need to hunt and kill actual prey, when ﬁsh are feeding at a slow and steady pace, can result in considerable frustration for a carp angler armed with only an artiﬁcial ﬂy. | 2012 | CarpPro | Tactics When I face those days (which for my home water is basically every day on the water) I fall back on presenting the carp choices. Put simply, I ﬁsh a two ﬂy rig. I ﬁnd three main advantages on my occasional small crayﬁsh. To complicate matters even further, the carp tend to zone in on speciﬁc forages in speciﬁc types of water. My mantra is and always has been to cover water, so the two ﬂy rig allows me to have a ﬂy speciﬁc to a This Or That home water in ﬁshing two ﬂies at the same time. First, you can present two diﬀerent types of “forage” to the same ﬁsh. On my water, the main forage is freshwater clams, but the carp also eat a ton of aquatic worms, nymphs, and the softer bottom (usually a worm pattern of some sort) as well as a ﬂy speciﬁc to gravel/rocky areas (some type of soft hackle nymph). As I walk along the river, I don’t need to continually change my ﬂies with each new water type I cross, and can instead present the ﬂies with conﬁdence to every ﬁsh I see. My standard technique is to put one ﬂy on either side of the feeding carp, giving the ﬁsh not one choice, but two. Let’s face it, we all know how picky carp can be, so giving them two options is a sureﬁre way to increase the odds that a speciﬁc ﬁsh will eat. The second advantage with a two ﬂy rig is in detecting the take. Not all of us are lucky enough to ﬁsh for meat eaters often. I’ve seen carp move 15 feet on a rush to eat a big, 2 inch long rabbit strip monstrosity, but 95% of my carp ﬁshing is done with the ﬂy merely inches from the business end of the carp. Knowing when to strike, knowing when that ﬁsh has eaten your ﬂy rather than a natural is the secret art to carp ﬁshing with a ﬂy rod. Detecting the take separates the men from the boys in my neck of the woods. Watching the ﬁsh is key, looking for gill ﬂares, tails speeding up, changes | 2012 | CarpPro | Tactics Drag and Drop in body posture, etc., but something we often overlook is using our presentation to force these visual cues. With a two ﬂy rig, accomplishing that forced reaction (however small) is remarkably easy. All you do is present one ﬂy on either side of the carp’s head. In order to eat, the ﬁsh will have to turn its head to one direction, or to the other. When you correctly present a two ﬂy rig to a feeding carp, you just watch for the head turn. The third advantage of ﬁshing two ﬂies is mostly situational for me. Most carpers I know (including myself) prefer a shot where you are perpendicular to the ﬁsh. You can easily present the ﬂies without spooking or lining the ﬁsh that way. Unfortunately, the carp don’t usually cooperate. Without a doubt, the toughest shot is when you are directly behind a tailing carp. It can be extremely diﬃcult to get the ﬂy around the carp’s body without either lining the ﬁsh, or getting the line close enough for the sensitive lateral lines to tip them oﬀ that something isn’t right. Using a two ﬂy rig, and a standard “drag and drop” presentation, you can easily and cleanly present both ﬂies to a carp that is facing directly away from you. The key is the drag and drop. I cast past the ﬁsh, and quickly drag the ﬂies along the surface into position by lifting my rod tip. As the ﬂies near optimal position you use the surface tension of the back ﬂy to anchor that ﬂy into position and can ﬂip the front ﬂy across the nose of the ﬁsh, allowing both ﬂies to sink perpendicular to the feeding ﬁsh, and simultaneously pulling your leader and ﬂy line out and away from the carp’s body. While this sounds a little complicated, it is unbelievably easy and I have caught countless carp using this drag, anchor and drop method. Once the ﬂies are in position, you have not only avoided spooking the carp with your line, but you are right back onto keying on a simple head turn to detect the take. | 2012 | CarpPro | Tactics As for rigging, I tie my back ﬂy about 20 inches away from the front ﬂy oﬀ of the eye of the front ﬂy. If I plan on ﬁshing ﬂies with a lot of movement, I will tie the back ﬂy oﬀ of the hook bend, but most of my ﬁshing is done with little to no movement on the ﬂy, and I ﬁnd the front ﬂy sinks and rises better when the back ﬂy is tied oﬀ of the eye rather than the hook bend. As a general rule, I use one size smaller tippet to connect the two ﬂies and, again, I match the variety of ﬂies to the variety of forage. Pick your two main forage types, and run them both at the same time. There certainly is no magic bullet when pursuing carp on the ﬂy, but using a two ﬂy rig can help with some areas that are frequently a challenge. You give the carp multiple options for forage, allowing for your picky eater of a target to choose, rather than trying to force the ﬁsh to eat what you want it to eat. You get a clear vision of when the ﬁsh has made that choice by watching the head move to the left or right. Anything that simpliﬁes detecting the take is a plus in my book. Lastly, you get a presentation advantage that can often mean the diﬀerence between spooking a feeding (but diﬃcult) target and catching that ﬁsh. By giving the carp choices, you can hopefully avoid an argument at the table, and increase your odds in an already diﬃcult game. Tight Lines! John "Montana" Bartlett Author of the hugely popular "Carp on the Fly" blog. Widely regarded as one of the most accomplished Carp Flyﬁsherman in the U.S. John has earned himself the nickname "The Carpfather" among the leaders in the carp on the ﬂy community. follow John @ http://carpontheﬂy.blogspot.com Ty Goodwin of the massively popular ﬁnewater.blogspot.com has been ﬂyﬁshing for 15 years. A Federation of Fly Fishers Certiﬁed casting instructor, Ty has taught classes for both LL Bean and Orvis and continues to teach for Orvis sponsored events. He has ﬁshed carp to the exclusion of all else for more than 3 years. Sweating ➽ The ➽ Small ➽ Stuff ➽ 2012 | Ty Goodwin | CarpPro | Tactics ➽ ➽ ➽ ➽ Big is good. We like big. Let’s be honest and say that this is one of the reasons, maybe the reason, we come to this carp ﬁshing deal – big ﬁsh. The recent dispatches coming out of places like the Columbia River in Oregon and Beaver Island in Michigan are graphic evidence of this. A casual observer could easily get the impression that ﬂy ﬁshing for carp is all 20 pounders and 8 weight rods, an extra 100 yards of backing on the spool and a ﬂy box stuﬀed with thick, meaty oﬀerings. While that is often the case, there are exceptions. Sometimes “big” simply isn’t in play, even in carp ﬁshing. The reservoir where I do much of my ﬁshing is a good example. Carp cruising the mud ﬂats here average a little better than 3 lbs. They typically won’t eat or even tolerate a large ﬂy, often spooking the instant it hits the water. And though game enough, they are easily overmatched by a big rod like an 8 or 9 weight. “Big” just isn’t part of scenario here. So you adjust. You step back and change everything from your expectations to your gear. You get the trout ﬂy box out and grab a handful of nymphs. You string up a 4 or 5 weight (or, if you’re really brave, a 3 weight). Then you go have some fun. They are fun by the way, these smaller ﬁsh, because it’s all the same really. Three pounds or 30 pounds, carp are tough to take on a ﬂy. A small carp can, and will, refuse your ﬂy just as deﬁnitively as a big one. Your heart may break a little less with the smaller ﬁsh, but not much. And by using lighter tackle, you’ll ﬁnd yourself with a ﬁstful of trouble on every hook-up. The playing ﬁeld is leveled and the carp will more than hold their own. There will still be runs into the backing and nip-andtuck battles all the way to the net. Ever try to turn even a small carp from a brush-pile with a 4 weight? Maybe you have a similar ﬁshery near you. A place where the carp are plentiful but not quite the beasts you see on more fertile waters. A place where the carp will run from a #6 woolly bugger but readily move to eat a #12 Prince nymph. The kind of water where you feel a little silly carrying that 8 weight thunderstick around. If you do know of such a place, and I suspect most of us do, here are a few things to consider to make your carp ﬁshing there fun and successful: ➽ ➽ ➽ 2012 | Ty Goodwin | CarpPro | Tactics 2012 | Ty Goodwin | CarpPro | Tactics Gear – Carp in the 3 to 5 lb range were absolutely made for 4 and 5 weight rods. These rods are light enough to let these smaller ﬁsh show off a bit, but they have the backbone to handle hogs if needed. My “go to” rod for the reservoir I mentioned earlier is a 7’ 9” four weight. As for reels, I deﬁnitely recommend sticking with a good disc drag. It’s tempting to go with a click and pawl with these ﬁsh, but I’ve found that even a small carp can make a sudden hard burst and over run a click/pawl before you have a chance to react. Fly selection – Carp are typically not selective. They’ll readily eat most nymph patterns – pheasant-tails, hare’s ears, soft hackles. Presentation and size are the most important considerations. In my experience ﬂy sizes in the 10-12 range are about right, although I frequently catch them on much smaller ﬂies like #20 midge patterns. If the ﬁsh are refusing and/or outright spooking on #10-12 ﬂies, I have no problem dropping down to the really tiny stuff. Like I said earlier, this is all about adjusting. Leaders – 2X and 3X tapered leaders work well for me here. I will occasionally go down to 4X or even 5X when using extremely small ﬂies. If you’re thinking that carp ﬁshing with a 5X tippet is a sketchy business, well, you’re right. But it can be managed with 3 – 5 lb ﬁsh if you’re careful. When using a light tippet like this, I’ll loosen the drag a bit and take a little pop out of the hooksets. When a carp breaks the 5x tippet, it’s usually with that initial explosion and burst when it feels the hook sink home. If you can weather that bit of chaos at the hook-up, you’ll be able to use the rod to protect the tippet. Usually. ➽ ➽ ➽ ➽ ⚛ | CarpPro | 2012 | Commentary Two Reasons By Kirk Deeter W hen I suggested in an online story for Field & Stream magazine that Michigan might oﬀer “the best ﬂats ﬁshing experience in America,” I did so for a simple reason: I meant it. Sure, part of the online writing challenge these days is to drive comments (and “page views”) through stirring up controversy. It can be muckraking of the highest order. Yet the thing is, I’ve honestly, genuinely, grown fascinated by the ﬁsh we often ﬁnd swimming in the real muck—the common carp. It wasn’t always that way. I cut my ﬂyﬁshing teeth on the Baldwin River in Michigan, where the ﬁrst brown trout was planted in the United States. I was taught to be a trout purist, and I still live for the moments when wily browns, rainbows, brookies and cutts sip mayﬂies that magically appear on a river’s surface. By good fortune, I was able to ignite a writing career by chasing those trout throughout the country (and later the world) to tell stories about all that. But something funny happened along the way. The more I travelled to meet and ﬁsh with various trout “gurus,” the more I learned that many of them shared a closet passion for chasing common carp on the ﬂy. The guides who would whack out long days in fabled trout more diligence than their favorite dry-ﬂy honey holes. I met Barry Reynolds and Brad Befus. meccas like the Bighorn River, Snake River, Colorado River, or Delaware River, would spend sacred days-oﬀ chasing carp in backwaters, reservoirs and spillway spots that they guarded with Bought their book. And learned that their “carp thing” ran much, much deeper than a novelty. And I also realized it wasn’t just the trout guides who felt this way. My buddy ⚛ | CarpPro | 2012 | Commentary Conway Bowman, who earned his reputation by chasing mako sharks with ﬂies oﬀ San Diego, is now an unabashed carp junkie. My mentor, Charlie Meyers, the late, great outdoors editor of the Denver Post, would eagerly jump at opportunities to chase “ol’ rubberlips” (as he called them), even if that meant ﬁshing a golf course pond. Why is that? It all boils down to two reasons. Good anglers understand these reasons, and the rest are seemingly relegated to excuses and rationalizations that usually involve the words “trash ﬁsh.” Which means, however, in a carp-ﬁshing scenario, the angler has all senses working against him or her. If a carp sees you (or your shadow) before it sees the ﬂy, it’s going to leave. If the carp hears or feels you grinding your feet on the rocks or splashing in the water, it’s going to leave. If the carp smells something it doesn’t like, it’s going to leave. And if the carp tastes something it doesn’t like (and research suggests that carp can remember the “bad taste” of a ﬂy or a metal hook, which is why they are hard to hook repeatedly), you guessed it… it’s going to leave. Reason Number One is the simplest and most important: Carp are usually (but not always) harder to catch than almost any species of ﬁsh you can chase with a ﬂy rod. I’ll spare you the detailed biology lesson, but many of you already know that carp use all their senses. They feed by smell. They feed by taste. They see things. They hear things. And they feel things. Now, at its essence, ﬂy ﬁshing is a onesense trick. You show a ﬁsh a ﬂy. Make that ﬂy behave just so. And if the ﬁsh reacts favorably to what it sees, it eats the ﬂy. That’s it. Simple deal. ⚛ | CarpPro | 2012 | Commentary And not only is that carp going to leave, because they secrete pheromones to communicate with other carp, when that carp leaves, it’s also going to bring all its buddies along the escape route. So in terms of honing ﬂy angling skills like stealthy stalking, spotting ﬁsh, making long delicate casts, and realistic ﬂy presentations, carp ﬁshing is top of the game. On top of that, it’s almost impossible to “pattern” carp. In the trout world, for example, we know that if we grab onto certain factors, we can almost expect success. “I know the trout likes to live in this seam behind that rock. I know that when ‘Bug X’ falls from the sky, I should use this ﬂy pattern. Therefore, if I put this ﬂy pattern behind that rock, and make it ﬂoat without much drag, there’s a really good chance I’m going to get bit.” The same is basically true with boneﬁsh. “I know that boneﬁsh will move in this direction across that certain ﬂat when the tide is falling. I know they’re grubbing for small shrimp in the sand. If I make the cast that puts this shrimp pattern in the proximity of that boneﬁsh cruising the ﬂat, and twitch it just so, there’s a really good chance I’m going to get bit.” I don’t know if there are any “really good chances” in any carp scenario. Only hunches. And on some days, the hunches all pay oﬀ, and on others, they don’t work at all. A smart angler embraces that. It hones the game. And if you hone your game to the point where you can catch carp with even slight consistency, there will be no trout rivers or boneﬁsh ﬂats that should ever intimidate you. Reason Number Two is all about accessibility. Carp are everywhere, from urban rivers to mountain reservoirs. Odds are, as you read this, if the common carp isn’t the ﬁsh swimming closest to you right now, it’s pretty darn close. Because carp have been able to thrive and multiply in places where other ﬁsh couldn’t, they’re often considered “nuisance species.” I certainly wouldn’t argue that there aren’t places where we might be better oﬀ with fewer carp. But I can’t knock carp for being resilient. And I’m glad that any ﬂy angler in America can go ﬁnd them with ease. In fact, in this day and age, when trout anglers are so worried about things like access, and pressure on their rivers, I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to say that the common carp may be an ally of the trout. If carp become “gateway” ﬁsh that lead newbie ﬂy anglers to trout rivers and saltwater ﬂats, and in doing so, help foster an appreciation for ﬂy ﬁshing and conservation of all species, that’s great. If carp help diﬀuse some angling “Carp eat you up like crack, and what’s dangerous is a dealer always lives close to home.” — Joe Cermele, Fishing Editor, Field & Stream magazine From the upcoming release by Kirk Deeter, Editor for Angling Trade and TROUT Magazine: “The ‘why’ of carp ﬁshing boils down to two things: because carp are virtually everywhere, and because carp can make you a good ﬂy angler. This is a ‘how’ book designed to help anglers who already get at least one of the two reasons ‘why.’ I think the more trial, error, and ultimately, success you experience with carp, the more apt you’ll be to consider them ‘golden gods’ rather than ‘trash ﬁsh.’ In other words, all the pieces come together, and the rest takes care of itself.” Coming Spring 2013! Like us at Facebook/Stoneﬂy Press to enter a drawing for a free 1st edition, author-signed copy of Fly Fishing for Carp stoneﬂypress.com ⚛ | CarpPro | 2012 | Commentary pressures in the process, that’s also a good thing. And if carp can be the catalyst to make certain ﬁsheries more exciting, relevant and interesting… so much the better. Which leads me back to Michigan— Beaver Island in particular. When an angler can stand in knee-deep, gin-clear water, and cast at cruising ﬁsh… and with a little skill and a lot of luck, sightcast to, hook, and land over 100 pounds of hard-ﬁghting ﬁsh in a day… and do so in almost total solitude… well, I’d call that a ﬂats-ﬁshing experience for the ages. With all due respect to my friends in the Florida Keys, or Louisiana’s redﬁsh marshes, or the striped bass rips and shoals of New England (and I hope you won’t disinvite me for saying this), I’d say carp ﬁshing in Michigan is right up there with the best any place has to oﬀer. So ﬂy ﬁshing for carp isn’t a fad. And it isn’t a novelty. It’s been around for decades. It may never be “mainstream” and there will always be detractors. But the savvy angler won’t care, because there are plenty of us who understand its charms, if only for two simple reasons. Kirk Deeter is the editor of TROUT, the publication of Trout Unlimited, the editor of Angling Trade, which covers the business of ﬂy ﬁshing, and an editor-atlarge for Field & Stream magazine. Jay currently works as a guide, instructor, writer and fly designer. You can add that to his resume which includes: archaeologist, Infantry paratrooper, commercial Halibut fisherman, Alaskan hunting guide, carpenter and contract fly designer for Umpqua. he published the book â€œIn Neck Deep: Stories for a Fishermanâ€? in 2004. Oh and he catches carp....lots of carp Starring Jay Zimmerman Taking carp on the ﬂy is not a new thing, or a fad here on the Front Range of Colorado. We are the birthplace for this angle of the sport. It has only recently become common practice amongst a larger portion of ﬂy anglers across the country, however. And, from where I stand, it has been fun to witness and be a part of the rapid evolution of the culture that can only happen once voices and minds from across the country join in. With any new culture comes new languages, new styles and new techniques. As this tradition grows it becomes stronger, more accepted and more diverse. Take trout ﬁshing, for example; as the bedrock species of our overall sport, it has had the time and opportunity to become inﬁnitely diverse. We have dry ﬂy purists, nymph fanatics, streamer junkies, lake experts and smallstream gurus. What I see happening on the carp scene is a three-way branching in personalities of carp ﬁshermen, based almost entirely on a regional or “home water” inﬂuence. I see River Carpers, Reservoir Carpers and Great Lakes Carpers and each faction has their own heroes, ﬂies and secrets…and each one is rich and getting richer. I am a reservoir dog here in Colorado and proud. I live within an hour of the South Platte in Denver (maybe the most well-known carp river in the West), but my home waters, and where my heart lies, are the mud ﬂats of the countless man-made lakes on the Front Range. These waters are numerous, everchanging, and each with a slight diﬀerence in personality to keep a carp angler interested, on their toes…and humble. In this article I have condensed most of what I have learned from years of reservoir carping techniques and equipment. I like a lightweight, yet powerful 9 foot 6 weight ﬂy rod with a soft tip. I want a good mix of accuracy and muscle. On any given carp ﬂat you will be expected to make multiple precise casts from pointblank range to 80 foot bombs oﬀ the top of a dam. Although I will often drop down to a 5 weight when the light is bad or the water is too oﬀ color to see into the water far enough to make long casts necessary. I will, however, never take out a rod heavier than a 6 weight. In fact, some modern 6 weights are too stiﬀ to make practical carp rods. You are much more likely to be faced with nothing but very short shots that need to be very quick, accurate and delicate. You just can’t do that with a heavy rod. I use only one type of ﬂy line: a weight forward ﬂoating line. But there are a ton of makes and models of ﬂy line ﬁtting this description hanging from pegs at your local ﬂy shop. I have cast almost all of them. The biggest problem with most of them is over-weighting. It might read “6 weight” on the bottom corner of the cardboard box, but in many cases it is really more like a 6 ½ weight. I think too many ﬂy line companies are making aggressively weighted ﬂy lines because too many rookie ﬂy ﬁshermen are buying high end rods that are too fast for their level of casting skills. Overly weighted lines will help load a stiﬀ rod, or dampen it, so that a hack caster can still get a ﬂy out from under their boot. The problem is these overweighed lines land sloppy and hard on still water. I use what amounts to a 9 ½ foot 3x leader. I start with a 9 foot 2x tapered leader, trim oﬀ a foot of the tippet and then add a foot and a half of 3x ﬂuorocarbon tippet. I add the ﬂuorocarbon because it is so much more abrasion resistant than nylon or mono. Even the tiniest nick or abrasion will spell doom with a heavy carp and a hard strip hook set. The best still-water carp ﬂies are sparse, simply tied and usually about 1 inch to 1¾ inches long. Most are weighted, but only slightly (they need to sink, but land in the water quietly). I prefer to use lighter weight ﬂies when sight casting to carp on shallow ﬂats in reservoirs; one weighing from .2 grams up to .5 grams. Many of the best carp ﬂies are tied so that the hook point rides up to help it resist snagging in shallow water. The most eﬀective colors are black, dark olive, brown or rusty brown. Few carp ﬂies are obvious mimics of something in nature, but are very suggestive once they are ﬁshed. They can look like a damselﬂy nymph, crayﬁsh, leech, or anything else a carp might fancy. The brilliance of these suggestive ﬂy patterns is not in the absence of painstaking detail, but in the liveliness, or animation once it is wet. These ﬂies work because they take advantage of a very intelligent ﬁsh’s imagination. The two ﬂies I use most are the Carp Bitter and the Backstabber. Taking Shots at Feeding or Cruising Fish This is the most diﬃcult. There are two options in presentation for ﬁsh moving away from a ﬂy caster. The ﬁrst is a curve cast (side arm it and check the cast at the last minute) and either twitch the ﬂy as soon as it sinks to the eye level of the carp, or let it sink and stall the ﬂy and hope the ﬁsh notices it. The second option is to make a straight cast alongside the retreating ﬁsh and hope the ﬁsh turns into the ﬂy in the natural course of its meandering. When faced with a broadside shot lead the moving carp with your cast much like wing shooting a high ﬂying waterfowl. Make the cast and either twitch the ﬂy aggressively past the carp’s face or slow play the ﬂy by letting the ﬂy sink and then giving it subtle, suggestive movements. The behavior of the carp will dictate which retrieve you use. Spooky, nonaggressive ﬁsh will call for the subtle approach. Hungry, highly aggressive ﬁsh can be a lot of fun. Try to bounce Guest Starring Erin “Miss Red” Block the ﬂy oﬀ the nose of the carp during the retrieve! If the carp is cruising by too close, use a side arm cast that mimics a facing shot. This is the ideal turns to eat it. Always keep in mind that carp are more likely to speed up to take a ﬂy than change their direction of travel. Often you will ﬁnd carp with their heads down, tails up, situation. In this scenario cast your ﬂy past the carp on the opposite side of your casting arm. This lets you to draw the ﬂy alongside the ﬁsh and then just out in front, allowing the carp to intercept the ﬂy. If the carp are acting spooky, lay the ﬂy on the same side as your casting arm and hope the ﬁsh turns that way naturally, or notices the ﬂy and rooting around in the mud for food. In deep water the only tell-tale sign may be air bubbles breaking on the surface (gasses on the bottom disturbed by the feeding activity). Cast well past the bubbles, let your ﬂy sink to the bottom and slowly drag the ﬂy into the area you believe the carp to be. In shallow water you must be more careful. Stop and observe awhile—long enough to decipher what direction the ﬁsh is facing. Look for the shape of the large, upturned caudal ﬁn, or a gradual migration of the mud ball. Above all, you don’t want your leader to brush against the ﬁsh during your retrieve (that will often result in a spooked carp) although, if you are on a high bank or in a boat and directly above the mud ball, touching the carp with your ﬂy will sometimes get its attention. The ﬁsh may believe your ﬂy is a crayﬁsh spooked up from the bottom. When carp are exceptionally hungry they will move into very shallow water to get at the foodrich shoreline. It is not rare to ﬁnd a solitary, aggressively feeding ﬁsh along the banks of a reservoir in water so shallow its back is out of the water! (This activity should not be confused with group spawn behavior.) This can be a very exciting situation, because you have found the hungriest, most vulnerable carp in the area and it will eat almost anything, so long as it isn’t spooked by a clumsy cast. You have two choices. The easy cast is to the deeper water immediately behind the carp and hope it either does an immediate about face or turns toward you, allowing you to draw the ﬂy alongside the ﬁsh. The harder cast is to thread your leader between the carp and the shore, then swim your ﬂy into the kill zone. The take can be spectacular! This cast forces the carp to charge into only a few inches of water to take your ﬂy, and once you set the hook the startled carp will more than likely launch into the air like a baby tarpon! follow Jay @ www.coloradoﬂyﬁshingreports.blogspot.com follow Erin @ www.mysteriesinternal.blogspot.com ⁇ | CarpPro | 2012 | Review ❝ Over the last month, I've had the opportunity to test the RIO Carp Line. Living in Texas, the weather has held long enough to get some carp ﬂyﬁshing in, although only on a limited basis. Thus far I am impressed with the results. They shooting head of the line is heavy enough that it loads the rod and shoots well, even with a limited amount of line out of the tip of the rod. It’s also heavy enough to cast into and across a signiﬁcant amount of wind but still lands gently enough to delicately present the ﬂy. The loop it throws turns over and straightens the leader very well, making presentation of a carp ﬂy easier. As a novice ﬂy angler, I still ﬁnd that I get my timing wrong, letting my wrist loose and trying to overcorrect part way through the cast. The RIO Carp Line seems to handle my mistakes beautifully. This truly is a ﬂoating line and picks up quickly on the roll cast and, as an added bonus, the drab olive color of the line is perfectly masked in turbid waters yet not so dull I can’t see it. I believe it makes me a better carp on the ﬂy angler but the real proof will be when I can put it through its paces some more in the Spring Tony Cartlidge - CarpPro Editor ❞ | 2012 | CarpPro | Commentary Tackling the Carp Next Door with Nolan Majcher If you are a diehard trout ﬁshing purist who gags when they hear the words "carp" and "ﬂy ﬁshing" in the same sentence, this article is not for you. Now, if you have an open mind and catching ten-pound ﬁsh a few miles from your house sounds good, keep reading. Don't get me wrong, trout ﬁshing is great. However, most of us don't live in Missoula or the Catskill Mountains. We have to travel hours for a shot at decent trout ﬁshing. What if I told you you could grab your gear, walk to that creek that you pass everyday on your way to work, and have a good chance of hooking a ﬁsh that will pull you into backing? You'd have to be crazy not to. So you're interested, but you only have trout gear and are not about to drop a grand on a new rod and reel set up. Not a problem. Most trout ﬁshermen have at least a 9ft 5wt and probably a heavier streamer/nymph rod. Either of these will work ﬁne. I like lighter rods simply for the softer presentation. Your trout reel will work ﬁne and ﬂoating weight forward line is all you need. As for leaders, a basic 9ft leader tapered to 3x is perfect. So your gear's good, but what about ﬂies? Carp only eat dough balls and duck turds, right? Actually, a carp will eat just about anything that will ﬁt in its mouth and lives or ﬁnds its way into the water. Worms, nymphs, minnows, crayﬁsh, ﬁsh eggs, toilet paper (witnessed this myself), seeds, midges, and mayﬂies are all on the menu. So grab your ﬂy box and start digging around. I know you have a San Juan worm, black or olive wooly buggers, and some small dries. Other good patterns include hares ears and egg patterns. Don't be afraid to experiment. Like I said, carp eat just about anything. So you have your gear and ﬂies ready but where do you go? Carp live just about anywhere. I've caught carp everywhere from small creeks in Pittsburgh that receive sewage overﬂow to the pristine Bighorn River in Montana. Chances are good that most of the water around you holds carp. It's all about doing some leg work and ﬁnding the water that ﬁshes the best. My favorite water is mediumsized creeks with lots of shallows, but also enough deep holes to provide cover for the carp. Ponds and lakes can be awesome ﬁshing | 2012 | CarpPro | Commentary | 2012 | CarpPro | Commentary | 2012 | CarpPro | Commentary too. Park ponds are known to be carp producers. When tackling a big lake, look for shallow coves and feeder creeks. Carp will often migrate to the shallows where feeder streams enter to forage in the mud. Don't forget to travel up these feeders as carp will enter them for the abundance of insect life. I have caught many carp out of feeders that you can jump across. The key is to focus on shallow areas where you can see the ﬁsh. Google Earth is a great tool for locating good carp prospects. Get an idea of some potential spots and start walking. Don't be afraid to get muddy! So you are on some promising looking water with ﬂy rod in hand, but now what? Oh, I hope you remembered your polarized glasses because your going to need them. Catching carp on the ﬂy is a sight ﬁshing game. You need to constantly be searching for ﬁsh and visual cues of carp activity. We all hope to see a back or tail out of the water, but it's not always that obvious. Keep on a constant lookout for subtle giveaways, such as swirls, mud clouds, nervous water, and bubbles. If you are lucky, you may come across some carp sucking oﬀ the surface. These guys will give you one of the greatest dry ﬂy challenges out there. In general, a carp will not move far for a ﬂy. You need to get your ﬂy in his feeding zone. The size of this zone depends on the conditions. It takes some experimentation on the water to determine how much room you have to work with. This being said, you can't simply drop your ﬂy on the ﬁshes face. A carp in clear, skinny water will blow up and hightail to deeper water at the ﬁrst sign of danger. Often a sloppy presentation too close to the ﬁsh is enough to send him running. The best approach is to cast slightly past the ﬁsh and creep the ﬂy into its zone. Once the carp is interested in your ﬂy, leave it sit and let the ﬁsh work to it. Watch the ﬁsh closely for the take. In ideal conditions, you will see the ﬁsh suck up the ﬂy. However, if the ﬁsh is not positioned perfectly, you can watch for gill ﬂares, tail twitches, and body movement. If visibility is really bad due to muddy water or glare, don't be afraid to try using a small indicator. The next time you get the itch to hit the water but can't make a day trip out of it, don't resort to alcohol and day dreaming. Grab your gear and get after one of the most challenging freshwater ﬁsh out there. The best part is, you can get out and do it right now with the gear you already own. Flies Christopher Michael VARGO Born in Fullerton, California but has lived in St. Louis, MO the majority of his life. Graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Biochemistry from Knox College in Galesburg, IL. He has been fly fishing and tying since he was 12 years old and spends the majority of his free time casting to warm water species of the lower Missouri River. Catch up with Chris at www.Missouriflies.com and buy flies for Carp! #1 Squirrel Tail Flies Description: Made from one of my favorite carp materials, squirrel tail, the "Rough Dub Crayfish" (center) is one of the best common carp patterns I tie. Some equally deadly squirrel variations include(front to back) the no weight, hook point up "Blind Squirrel", Squirrel Tail Clouser, and "Hammerhead Rough Dubs". These patterns are primarily intended to be crayfish but bait fish and insect analogies could be drawn. When to use: If I see common carp, I tie on a size 6 or 8 "Rough Dub Crayfish" ASAP because the fly almost never fails, something I attribute to the look of the squirrel tail in the water. The Rough Dub is also a top pattern for Grass Carp and just about everything else depending on how the fly is tied. If your fish are shallow and very spooky, you can try the "Blind Squirrel". On the other hand, if your fishing the great lakes the "Hammerhead Rough Dub" can be a top producer. | CarpPro | 2012 | Bugs | CarpPro | 2012 | Bugs #2 Special Ops and Dragons Description: My next best pattern group is the "Special Ops" (3 front center and back) "Rabbit Ops" (mid) and Dragon family (rear). These flies can represent a Mulberry, leech, nymph, crayfish or baitfish. The "Black Ops" is my best grass carp fly, and takes every species in my waters. When to use: I use these flies interchangeably with the "Rough Dub Crayfish" when fishing for either grass or common carp. If one fly doesn't work, the other usually will. Black is not always my favorite color for common carp but it is good for off color waters. If the mulberries are dropping I throw a black or brown "Special Ops" over everything else and get slammed by catfish, grass carp, and commons as well. If plain Jane doesn't get it done, the "Dragons" have a little extra flare. #3 Backstabbers Description: (left to right) Backstabber, Dubbed Creek Stabber, Headstand Backstabber, Creek Stabber. Backstabber type flies are great all around warm-water flies. I tie some very sparse, and with different configurations of the body, wing, hackle, and eyes to get different effects. I think of crayfish and bait fish when this pattern is in the water, but it could also be an insect. When to use: Backstabbers are always a solid option no matter what the conditions or the species. Although I've taken the original fly in a more delicate direction, I have had good luck on grass carp, even when throwing larger lead eye versions. | CarpPro | 2012 | Bugs | CarpPro | 2012 | Bugs #4 Buggers Description: These flies are basically dubbed wooly buggers, and represent leeches, bait fish, crayfish, and nymphs. Black is my favorite color, followed by brown. When to use: Use these any time of the day or night on any species you can think of, it will probably work. #5 Rabbit Strip Flies Description: "Creeping Muskrats" (front) 'Hammerhead Sculpin" (Mid left), "Creeping Zonker," "Zonkers," "Bunny Stabbers". Made of Rabbit strips, these flies are soft and have lots of action in the water. I typically use rabbit on larger patterns but smaller backstabber type flies can be tied using this material as well. Imitates larger bait fish, leeches, and crayfish. When to use: I personally use rabbit strip flies in low visibility when I need to get a fish's attention with something large and undulating. Rabbit is a good Sculpin/Gobie material anywhere large bait fish are on the diet. | CarpPro | 2012 | Bugs ✰ ✰ ✰ Do you Smartphone Fish? ✰ With Tim Creasy âœ° | CarpPro | 2012 | Commentary Let me explain that title for a second. This is a subject I have been thinking about for sometime now and hopefully my thoughts will set your mental wheels in motion about how you ﬁsh and approach your ﬁshing spot. Now I am not suggesting you use a smartphone to pull up Google Earth--a great tool--and other mapping apps to ﬁnd new spots! I’m talking about taking a “smartphone mindset” to the water. Let me explain. With today’s technology, we live in an “instant” world. Facebook, Instagram, text messages, Breaking News alerts, company emails, personal emails, etc. are all in the palm of our hands. Within a matter of seconds, we can get anything we need and get “instant gratiﬁcation” with just a few keystrokes. Now stop and think about that for a minute. Do you take that mindset to your favorite ﬁshing spot? I did and sometimes still do. For over 14 years I worked for a “corporate machine,” and the last 3 years of that job were a living hell. When they hand you the company phone, your mindset changes. You no longer have a 9to-5 job; you have a 24/7 job. Even while I was on vacation and ﬁshed, I always wondered if ✰ | CarpPro | 2012 | Commentary something was happening at work or how many emails I missed or who was trying to reach me. My mind was on work and not ﬁshing. It aﬀected my ﬁshing and the way I ﬁshed. As a ﬂy ﬁsherman, you’re told or taught to “read the water” when you get to a stream, but with an “instant mindset” or the smartphone lifestyle, do you rush right into an area and start hurling bugs or casting away without really taking a look at what’s going on around you? When I started sight ﬁshing for carp over 3 years ago, I was doing that very thing. I would run to my spot, put the trolling motor down and have at it. I would troll right over ﬁsh and spook numerous ﬁsh, wondering why I wasn’t catching anything. “Why did that ﬁsh spook oﬀ my ﬂy? Why did that ﬁsh stop in his tracks when I put the ﬂy near him? What’s going on at work?” All these thoughts were going through my head; my mind was somewhere else and not really in tune with my surroundings. In addition, with the social media ﬁrestorm, Facebook, for example, suddenly becomes a ﬁeld of competition. Since I am a very competitive ﬁsherman, the competition begins when my friends are posting pictures of ﬁsh. Consequently, that need to equal or to outdo that picture of their catch can lead to missed reads and end up being a frustrating experience of ﬁshing for the day. By the time this article comes out, it may be your oﬀseason or if you’re reading this in a warmer climate and can still ﬁsh. I want you to take a few minutes and reﬂect on past trips. Were you getting frustrated when you didn’t catch ﬁsh right away? Were you moving from spot to spot but not catching ﬁsh? Don’t get me wrong, I realize that sometimes the ﬁsh are not biting and that’s why it’s called ﬁshing and not catching, but nevertheless, reﬂect back on those trips and do a mental review of those times on the water. Think about some of the things that caused you to possibly miss ﬁsh and then do what I’ve been doing for the past few months: Put your phone away & on vibrate If you’re a First Responder or medical personnel, then this is probably not an option; otherwise, rid yourself of those alert tones when you get an email or some type of notiﬁcation. Sloooooow down! And when you think you’ve slowed down, slow down some more. This is some advice I try and live by, but sometimes it’s hard to do! Maybe you need to change up your retrieve or maybe you need to change the ﬂy. Whatever the case may be, before you head to the next spot, try and change up your tactics one more time before you move. This one change could make all the diﬀerence in the world. Also, if you’re sight ﬁshing carp or any ﬁsh for that matter, try and take some time to see how the ﬁsh are moving in the area. Some ﬁsh are just cruising and not interested in the ﬂy, but some are cruising and feeding. Taking a few minutes to “check the ﬁsh’s attitude” can turn your ﬁshing experience around. A well placed ﬂy ahead of cruisers/ mudders or feeding ﬁsh will likely result in a bent rod and screaming drag like this! So folks, the outdoors is yours to enjoy. Get rid of that “smartphone mindset” and take it slow and easy. Relax! Let that ﬁshing experience for the day be enjoyable, and hopefully it turns into a day of “catching” instead of just “ﬁshing.” Learn from your time on the water and use that knowledge for future trips. Also, ensure a future for our sport! Take a child or young person ﬁshing and get the pleasure of having them there Enjoy your time outside Take a few minutes to look around and take in the beauty of the great outdoors. Maybe it’s the sunrise or sunset, or maybe it’s the trip to your favorite ﬁshing hole. In any case, take a look around and you might get the chance to see wonders like this. ✰ | CarpPro | 2012 | Commentary and teaching them about ﬁshing, while also fostering our future as ﬁshermen. I’d like to thank CarpPro for allowing me to write this article and hopefully I’ve put a thought in your mind about slowing down and enjoying your time on the water, which will hopefully equal more ﬁsh! Theres No app for that! Late Summer Carp in the Great Lakes with Kevin Morlock ✈ | 2012 | CarpPro | Destination During the spring, Great Lakes carp are willing to do almost anything to escape water temps in the 40’s and 50’s and seek out shallow back bays, river mouths, harbors and pond-like lagoons where the water is warmer than in the main lake. At this time the carp have another urge pressing then toward shallow water, spawning. When spawning is done and as the summer progresses, the near-shore main lake has warmed toward a pleasant 70 degrees and areas that, weeks before, were teeming with thousands of carp now contain almost none. Without the urge to spawn or seek warmer water most carp ﬁnd little reason to risk or simply bother with shifting shallow during the day. While this trend is true with most of the carp, it is not true for all carp. There are still ﬁsh to be found in shallow areas, though not the same areas you found them in early spring. In late summer you will ﬁnd carp on shallow reefs, small islands and prominent points, anywhere that oﬀers quick access to and from deeper water. It seems that even with deeper water at a cozy 70 or so degrees, some carp are still interested in moving shallow to feed in slightly warmer water. Late summer is all about going deep or going home, at least from a sightﬁsherman’s perspective. Many peak season carpers tell me that they just cannot ﬁnd carp late in the season and I’m certain that, in many cases, it is because they’re searching where they found them weeks before. The ﬁsh just won’t be there and if you are not willing to ﬁnd and target ﬁsh in 3-10 feet of water, then you’re just not going to ﬁnd many carp late in the season. It needs to be said that the colder the main lake temperature, the longer carp remain shallow. I’ve found that both the further north you travel and the cooler the summer equate to better lateseason ﬁshing. Shifting our attention from spawners, sun bathers and cruisers in less than a foot or two of water, catching tailing ﬁsh up to ten feet down demands a change in gear, rigging and ﬂies. Deeper ﬁsh demand we throw heavy ﬂies on a long leader and of course there is always wind to deal with so, for me, the nod goes to a nine or ten weight. Leaders should be in the 9 to 13 foot range and short sink tips or intermediates are worth considering. For late season our ﬂies are heavy, often with large lead eyes and even additional wraps of lead wire. It seems that in the early season bunny and ✈ | 2012 | CarpPro | Destination Kevin Morlock has been a full time guide for around ﬁfteen years, calling the Pere Marquette River in west Michigan his home. In summer Kevin migrates to Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan guiding for carp and smallmouth on the crystal clear ﬂats. marabou are staples, but late season we avoid these and other water soaking materials because adding a bunch of lead to a soaked sponge creates a ﬂy that just won’t cast. We also use slimmed down patterns; ﬂies that, when tied on with a loop-knot, will turn head down and sink to the bottom quickly. Late season carp in the Great Lakes may not be an option everywhere but I’m certain there are more carp available than people realize. By looking deep you might be able to double the length of your carp season. July and August have become my favorite time for Great Lakes carp because, for me, nothing beats hunting tailers. http://www.indigoguideservice.com CARPPRO PODCASTS Starring...Golden Boneﬁsh! Rocky Mountain Redﬁsh! Hillbilly Bones! The lowly carp seems to have acquired several nicknames within the ﬂyﬁshing community, names that ﬂyﬁshers use to describe the sporting prowess of their preferred target. Truth is we prefer to call them by their real name. Carp ﬁshers are quite possibly the evangelists of catch and release carp ﬁshing in North America and CarpPro prostaffers include such well-known names as John “Montana” Bartlett, Trevor “McTage” Tanner, Dave McCool, JP Lipton and others. We have regular ﬂy-ﬁshing features and interviews with carp on the ﬂy leaders such as Barry Reynolds, and now... podcasts! With host, Dan Frasier, the CarpPro FlyCast is our regular ﬂy-ﬁshing focused podcast, featuring tips and tricks, guest interviews, tackle reviews and more. Our Personal Tails podcasts are a series of spoken essays that talk to the common themes we all experience as lovers of the sport. For podcast participation and advertising opportunities contact firstname.lastname@example.org. “A ﬁrst for the ﬂy carping community” EPISODES 1-3 AVAILABLE NOW FREE!! ➜➜ ➜➜ Fly Carpin’ & CarpPro’s Trevor Tanner asks, “Who Gets It?” “Carp is the fastest growing segment in the industry.” | CarpPro | 2012 | Commentary I t may be the most over-used adage in ﬂy ﬁshing. True or not, for the past year ﬂy ﬁshing for carp has felt like a wave on the edge of full crest. Whether that wave crashes into worthless froth or hangs ten remains to be seen. To this point growth in ﬂy ﬁshing for carp has been fueled by the pure passion of a select group of oddballs. In the future it will need more support from the industry. The ﬂy ﬁshing industry has helped turn species such as steelhead and boneﬁsh into fully established and revered gameﬁsh. They can do the same for carp. In order to understand if they can and will begin to increase their participation in the sport I requested input from a broad cross-section of the ﬂy ﬁshing industry including: Perhaps the most interesting question I asked was if any of their staﬀ had any experience ﬂy ﬁshing for carp. I wanted to know if they “Got It” and I found their responses stunning. Every single one of these companies has at least one key staﬀ member with carp experience. In many cases this experience was extensive and may tilt towards passionate. Tom Rosenbauer’s from Orvis responded: “It would be tougher to ﬁgure out who in our product development and marketing staﬀ does NOT love carp ﬁshing. Most of us prefer carp ﬁshing • Tom Rosenbauer - Director of Marketing at Orvis Rod & Tackle (allencompassing) • Bruce Olson - New Fly Manager at Umpqua Feather Merchants (ﬂies) over trout ﬁshing—unfortunately we live surrounded by trout streams and we have to drive an hour for good carp ﬁshing. But we do it—before and after work and on days oﬀ.” To put that in perspective, the director of marketing for one of the largest ﬂy ﬁshing companies in the world, which was built on the back of the almighty trout, went on the record about preferences for carp over trout. Bruce Olson’s response for Umpqua was also encouraging: “All of us. Our President and our sales manager last summer were • Simon Gawesworth - Marketing Manager at RIO Products (lines and leaders) • Will Rice - Director of Marketing, Trout’s Fly Fishing (ﬂy shop) • Eric Beebe - Owner at CATCH Fly Fishing (ﬂies) either going out before coming to work or after work. Our ﬂy products specialist, he ﬁshes with Jay Zimmerman and John Barr a lot and he ﬁshes for carp a lot. There are just so many opportunities on the Front Range. I know of ten guys who work with us who ﬂy ﬁsh for carp at some time or another.” When I asked for general insight about the future of ﬂy ﬁshing for carp and how that relates to the industry, every response was positive. The belief that ﬂy ➜ Tom Rosenbauer from Orvis “Get’s It” ﬁshing for carp will continue to grow seems universal to the point of resembling dogma. The statement by Will Rice at Trout’s stood out: “Carp ﬁshing is not for everyone - we get that. We also get that carp ﬁshing has an amazing addictive quality that is not always found with other species. Carp are big and hard ﬁghting, they are very challenging to catch on a ﬂy, and they are heavily concentrated in rivers and other still water environments across the | CarpPro | 2012 | Commentary United States. At Trout’s we have recognized that the carp ﬁshing subculture is made up of die hard anglers who like to have fun on the water and can sustain a healthy dose of self punishment – and then go back out for more.” This is a nuanced and complicated statement. Although it implies growth based on enthusiasm and passion, I felt that it also gave pause for concern. Based on this question I reviewed all of the interviews, and every single one alluded to the die-hard or advanced nature of ﬂy ﬁshing for carp. It is unlikely that carp will ever be a gateway ﬁsh but those of us promoting the sport might have a tendency to exaggerate slightly. Clearly the industry is buying in to this perspective, perhaps to a fault. The personalities of the movement might want to reconsider the level of hyperbole. The industry clearly “Get’s It” and anticipates growth but does that enthusiasm translate into new carp speciﬁc product releases? Flies are a diﬀerent discussion, but when you limit the discussion to gear (rods, reels, lines and gadgets) I found no indication of near-term product releases. As Simon Gawesworth from RIO products put it: “We only have the carp ﬂy line at the moment. There are no plans to develop anything beyond that at the moment, as it is not exactly a popular ﬂy line, nor a popular branch of ﬂy ﬁshing – yet.” It is natural that RIO is not targeting new products since they already have one, and apparently it is not selling well “yet”. The “yet” in his incredibly candid statement stands out. RIO is still actively marketing the RIO Carp line and perhaps even making a push. RIO’s was the ﬁrst entry into the market that I am aware of and you can think of it as the canary in the coal mine. Their recent behavior and that “yet” indicates that RIO remains optimistic that the canary will eventually sing. Orvis and Trout’s live at opposite ends of the distribution chain. Neither indicated any knowledge of future gear related products. Instead they mentioned that they have lots of quality gear perfectly suited for carp. From Will Rice at Trout’s: “As far as products go, yes - Trout’s Fly Fishing caters to carp anglers. From ﬂuorocarbon tippet and a wide variety of commercially tied ﬂies that are speciﬁc to carp, to ﬂy lines, rod and reel combinations, Trout’s has the gear in our shop and our online store to outﬁt anglers who want to target carp.” From Tom Rosenbauer at Orvis: “Of course standard rods, reels, and leaders (…), sunglasses, etc work great for carp. We also have a really good selection of carp-speciﬁc ﬂies” I ﬁnd it hard to disagree. The mish-mash of freshwater and saltwater gear currently in use for carp seems to be getting the job done. I have to conclude that if your inner ﬁve-year-old screams for immediate attention from the gear manufacturers, you may end up disappointed. participants reported supporting carp ﬂy ﬁshing tournaments and activities. Orvis is not only supporting several tournaments, they have started their own. From Tom Rosenbauer at Orvis: “We sponsor the carp tournament in Denver, we sponsor Conway Bowman’s Carp Throwdown in San Diego, and our company store in Portland, Oregon, runs a carp tournament every year called Carpocalypse. We are still in the planning process on more carprelated events and marketing but I do know that the Portland store will run another Carpocalypse tournament next year and we plan to continue sponsoring the other two.” Fly shops are at the front lines of supporting community activities because of their direct involvement with local clubs and customers. Will Rice at Trout’s indicated that: “In addition to being a long term sponsor and strategic partner supporting the Carp Slam, Trout’s Fly Fishing hosted our ﬁrst guided trip on the South Platte this summer – dubbed the “Urban Carp Extravaganza.” We took ﬁve clients out who never ﬁshed for carp before in the blazing peak of August heat and had a blast chasing carp in skinny clear water.” These exertions of “soft power” are key contributions and may prove to be more This is not to say that the gear manufacturers and distributors are not extremely interested in our business. Instead, it would seem that their participation in the movement might come in more cultural areas. All of the | CarpPro | 2012 | Commentary ➜ ➜ ➜ “Soft Power” From Will Rice and Trout’s Fly Fishing ﬂies (Umpqua, Orvis, Trout’s and CATCH) reported having ﬂies speciﬁcally designed for carp in their current catalogs. Two (Umpqua and CATCH) anticipate new carp ﬂy releases for 2013. Of course, you can’t really start a serious discussion about ﬂies of any kind without starting with Umpqua and per Bruce Olson at Umpqua: valuable and fun than rods and reels with “carp” stickers plastered on the side. Additionally many rumors and rumblings outside of these interviews indicate that this kind of cultural support may accelerate rapidly in the next few years. It is when we start to talk about ﬂies that the story gets really interesting. All of the companies I interviewed with any involvement in producing or distributing Eric Beebe from CATCH “Gets It” ➜ “When we ﬁrst came out with our carp section, all we had to put in it was some trout ﬂies that we knew would carry over for carp and some | CarpPro | 2012 | Commentary boneﬁsh ﬂies. Now, it’s not like we have a huge carp oﬀering but now we’ve got 31 diﬀerent ﬂies that we recommend for carp.” Umpqua has been in the market for several years now. They already have one of the healthiest carp ﬂy selections currently available and Bruce indicated that Umpqua will continue to come out with new patterns every year including three colors of Barry Reynold’s Carp Bitter in 2013. He also indicated that their carp selection sells well which stands in stark contrast to the reported all 50 states in some form or another and it’s a way to reach out to future ﬂy ﬁshermen.” As a relatively recent start-up, CATCH Fly Fishing represents the other end of the spectrum in the ﬂy sector. I ﬁnd their position on carp ﬂies ambitious, exciting and while working on this article I agreed to join their design team in order to help. Orvis has also entered the carp ﬂy market with 6 new patterns and Trout’s reported having many carp speciﬁc patterns on the shelf. success thus far of RIO Carp Line. When asked if they had a carp ﬂy selection, Eric Beebe at CATCH Fly Fishing responded: “Currently, in this year’s catalog, no. Next year we plan on adding a total of around 300 new patterns and 125 to 150 will be for carp.” In order to clarify why he was planning such a big push, Eric added: “Well I am a carp ﬁsherman myself and it’s a way to branch out. To get people into ﬂy ﬁshing who don’t normally have a trout ﬁshery in their states. Carp ﬁshing is pretty much in It seems that the industry sees more opportunity in the ﬂy segment and for that we should be grateful. A healthy, diverse and growing carp ﬂy market will certainly help growth. Taking up ﬂy ﬁshing for carp can be diﬃcult enough as it is without the necessity of adding ﬂy tying into the mix. In summary it would appear that we may have to wait for a while or perhaps forever for gear speciﬁcally designed for carp. Fortunately we can expect continued and even accelerated support from the industry in the areas of activities, tournaments and providing carp ﬂies. This will continue to bring new New Blood Via Trout’s Carp Extravaganza ("Angler Dan Kagey, Photo by Will Rice") ➜➜ | CarpPro | 2012 | Commentary blood into the movement and I ﬁnd that to be a very positive development. To be sure, some in the carping community may cast a suspicious eye ﬂycarpin.com over the next month where he will be publishing each interview in full. on further growth. I understand that perspective. Who wants to wade through a crowd to their favorite carp hole? On the other hand I have come to the realization that for many years ﬂycarpers lived a lonely ﬁshing existence. There is nothing quite as humanly pleasing as shared experiences so I say; “bring on growth and bring on the industry.” Trevor blogs extensively about ﬂy ﬁshing for carp at http://www.ﬂycarpin.com. Additionally, he is on the CarpPro prostaﬀ and recently joined the CATCH ﬂy ﬁshing design team. Keep an eye on Trevor “Got It” years ago! Trevor "McTage" Tanner is the author of the highly respected blog "Fly-Carpin''. From his haunts of the South Platte river in Denver, Trevor has earned acclaim as one of the most technically proﬁcient ﬂy ﬁsherman for carp going; an expertise that was demonstrated with his winning Carp Slam 2011. ➜ Detecting the Take [ Remembering Two Days in June ] with Jim “Mr P” Pankiewicz | 2012 | CarpPro | Tactics Hours of slow wading through cloudy water and in hard wind have made my legs tired. It is the early season; plain and simply I am struggling. I want desperately to see tailing ﬁsh from a suﬃcient distance so that I don’t scare them. I want to cast to them. It isn’t happening for me. For the ﬁsh I do see, I am not “choosing to get close” to them as much as I am “ﬁnding myself close” to them. I am almost stumbling on some of the ﬁsh. Partly it is that I am rusty; I have to retrain my eye in the early season. Partly it is the color of the water and partly it is the darn, devil clouds. The sun, the sun; where is the sun? I ﬁnd myself so close to some carp that I hold the rod out and just drop the ﬂy in front of the ﬁsh. In these conditions, even up close sometimes, all I can see is just the blurred shape of the carp’s body. The slight turn to the side or the movement forward is the clue to set the hook. In the morning the wind was blowing hard; now, late in the afternoon it is howling. The sky is still overcast. Because of the cloudy water often I am not able to step over or around the rocks. I kick so many rocks my toes hurt and I am almost constantly nervous about falling. My boots have gotten heavy; I have had enough ﬁshing for today. Even though the Columbia River is a mile wide in some places, when water is released at a particular dam it makes a noticeable diﬀerence in the water level and the water clarity. As I leave the river I can see that the water level is going down where I am ﬁshing. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? When I am tying carp ﬂies in the winter, what I visualize is my favorite ﬁshing conditions--warm summer days; blue sky, mostly clear water, a slight wind, and tailing ﬁsh that aren’t too close to each other. I see myself spotting ﬁsh from a distance, moving into position, and making smooth, well placed casts. I see ﬁsh take the ﬂy I am tying, I see myself set the hook, and I see the water explode with the splashing ﬁsh. I hear the reel sing the carp song. Alas, imagination does not always mirror reality. Today’s ﬁshing reminded me that, while what I daydream about has actually happened many times, it most certainly does not always happen. There are plenty of days for me when ﬂy ﬁshing for carp is challenging and frustrating. High, cloudy water, gray sky, and strong wind made it a battle today. While I caught ﬁsh, today I felt I was almost constantly struggling. I was ﬁshing, and for that I am always grateful. I caught ﬁsh and for that I am also grateful. It was still not very satisfying. Just catching ﬁsh is not what gives me so much joy in carp ﬁshing because such an important part of the experience is visually detecting the take. The next morning brings slightly cloudy skies. There is some wind but not like yesterday when it aﬀected my balance while wading. My anticipation is high; conditions appear to be a good deal better. Instead of dropping the ﬂy in front of the ﬁsh, today I may get to make some actual casts to carp; the kind where I shoot line. In short order I see a ﬁsh tailing at casting distance and I am fully engaged. This ﬁsh looks to be over 15 pounds. Not taking my eye oﬀ the ﬁsh, moving slowly into position, I drop the coils of line from my left hand. My ﬁrst cast is a darn good one. The stripped Carrot gets to the carp’s dinner plate; I am fully expecting the ﬁsh to make a short move to the side and eat the ﬂy. He sees the ﬂy and does indeed make a move. My shoulders and my arms drop. The carp has turned and is slowly ﬂeeing. He made my ﬂy as a fake on the ﬁrst look. Even with this refusal I am already enjoying myself more than the day before. I can see the ﬁsh. Now I am a hunter; I am a predator. Wading, scanning, peering through the water, I am on the prowl for feeding ﬁsh. I get The Take | 2012 | CarpPro | Tactics casts at three more tailers. They were great targets. All of the ﬁsh turn from the ﬂy. An inkling of doubt begins. Is today going to be a diﬃcult day even with the better conditions? Am I going to miss every ﬁsh? Have I forgotten how to do this? In shallow water another tail breaks the surface. The tail moves back and forth like a sultry geisha seductively waving line and beginning the backcast does not alarm him. The next cast is better. With just a few strips the ﬂy is out near the edge of the carp’s dinner plate. He moves forward; it really is such a small amount. The subtle movement is not a shout or even normal talking; it is just a single, whispered word. With that small whisper, the carp speaks to me and I know it is time to stick him! Taken her fan. The ﬁsh is pointing away from me at a 45-degree angle. A better angle could be had by moving over but I choose to stay still. I do nothing to alarm the ﬁsh; I make my cast from where I am. I’m nervous because four tailing ﬁsh have spurned me. Being extra careful not to spook this ﬁsh, I cast too far to the right. Stripping the ﬂy does not get it near enough to the ﬁsh. I continue stripping well past him so that lifting the Through the day many tailing ﬁsh and some slow cruisers get the opportunity to eat my ﬂy. A good number of them take the opportunity and I am thankful. Once, all that I see is the line straighten without feeling anything in the rod tip; I set the hook and immediately feel the weight of a nice ﬁsh. Another time I see the white of a carp’s mouth as it opens and closes; that is the whisper I need to hear. One ﬁsh shouts at me; clearly and “I Took too Long” decisively he moves forward and to his side to grab the ﬂy. He speaks to me out loud and I thank him out loud as he peels line oﬀ the reel. Some carp that have their noses down simply wag their tails and I know they have found my ﬂy. A visible cruiser shows me a quick ﬂash of his side to signal the take. There are two more behaviors that signal a take that I don’t see today. These behaviors are the most subtle of all. I need to be fairly close to the ﬁsh to | 2012 | CarpPro | Tactics see this and the water needs to be clear enough to see all parts of the ﬁsh. There are times when I detect the take by watching the carp’s ﬁns. The dorsal ﬁn will elevate or the pectoral ﬁns will spread out and that will be my clue to set the hook. Even in clear water, these behaviors really are whispers. Perhaps I will see them on my next trip. I can always hope. I ﬁnished the second day very, very satisﬁed. I caught ﬁsh both days (more on the second day) but the second day was so much better because I was casting to ﬁsh and I could see the takes. It took time for me to learn to visually detect the take from a carp particularly the very subtle ones. Both in ﬁshing and in life the take is the premier moment. Fly ﬁshing for carp and visually detecting the take enhances that premier moment. Visually detecting carp takes is the best. Mr. P. is a USCARPPRO Pro-Staﬀ member. He lives in Bothell, WA and ﬁshes primarily in central Washington and Oregon. You can see his blog at http://themrpblog.blogspot.com/ He has created and produced the video series “Lessons from the Carp Lodge” which can be found on YouTube. Also,check out the video “The Best Thing About Fly Fishing for Carp”. To watch “Take” click here I have a severe addiction to hunting Golden Boneﬁsh. It’s a Tuesday morning in June. The day looks great, and I hope that the day will be full of large hard ﬁghting carp. The sun is high and the water is ﬂat. I could not ask for more than that. I am pumped. Before I head out, I tie up a few of my go-to ﬂies. They are called Fishy Pete’s. The ﬂy has been reﬁned over the years time. The materials I use provide quite a bit of action even in very calm water. I tie them in various weights to cover the spectrum of water depths we see up here. Sometime the carp are in deeper water around 4 - 5 feet, and sometimes they are in 1 foot of water or less. I typically use the lighter ﬂies in the shallow water. The lighter weight allows me to present the ﬂy to the ﬁsh in without spooking them. My Golden Boneﬁsh Addiction as I work thru my Golden Boneﬁsh ﬁshing addiction. Unfortunately, I can’t say the addiction sucks, because I love to catch carp. The ﬂy is simple and easy to tie, but the ﬁsh seem to love it. It’s simply a basic crayﬁsh pattern in a rusty color. Rust is a key color for us here in the Great Lakes. It contrasts well with the bottom, and the clear water. The pattern consists of a few basic materials (see the list below) and once you tie a few you can really kick them out in no with Pete Hodgman Guide @ GoldenBoneFish Packed with some tasty ﬂies, and my 8wt, I jump in my truck and head out to the ﬂats up here. The last few days the weather has been cold and windy and this warm up is just what the doctor has ordered. As I reach a favorite spot, I slap on the waders, grab the rod and start hiking out to where the ﬁsh typically pod up. As I hike across the ﬂats I stop to check the water temp. Prior to the colder weather the temp has been in the ❉ | CarpPro | 2012 | Tactics mid to upper 60s. I can’t tell you how important water temperature is to the whole equation; it can make or break a day. As I read the temp gauge, my heart sinks. The cold weather has pushed down the temp from high 60s to low 60s. That’s like a cold shower for the carp. They are not going to like it. As I make it over to the ﬂats where the ﬁsh typically pod up, my fear is realized. There is not a ﬁsh to be found. Two days earlier there were over 100 ﬁsh up on this same ﬂat. My clients ended the day both with high single digit ﬁsh, and if you count the ones that got away, the numbers were easily in the upper teens. Ok, not is all lost. I ﬁnd a rock, sit down and regroup. The key is to ﬁnd water that is warmer than what I am ﬁnding here. If I do that, I will ﬁnd ﬁsh. There are a couple of tactics I use. The simplest way is to simply wait it out. As the day proceeds the sun will warm up the water and its likely the ﬁsh will be back once that happens. But I can’t handle that! I need to hook up and soon! The crappy weather over the last couple days has me in Golden Boneﬁsh detox mode. I need a ﬁx. My second tactic is to look at other factors that will lead me to warmer water. That’s what I am going to do. What I ﬁnd is, when we have these weather fronts that bring in colder water temps, there are areas that tend to be protected or less aﬀected by the weather. What you want to do is think a bit about the weather over the last few days, and give some thought to where there might be pockets of protection that tend to preserve the water temps better. In the areas I ﬁsh, we have what we call trenches where the ﬁsh come up from the depths. The ﬁsh move along those deeper trenches towards shore and ultimately ﬁnd their way to the ﬂats. Some of these tend to be more protected by either islands or the curvature of the shoreline. Over the years I’ve found this tactic to be a game saver. The diagram above shows the diﬀerence between two spots. The ﬁrst is unprotected, and the second has some protection both in terms of an island and shoreline. I have to get hooked up, so I jump in my truck and head out to scope out a few of these more protected spots. As I pull up to the next spot I am a bit nervous but conﬁdent that the water will be warmer. Again, as I wade out to the spot, I check the water temp. Bingo! 67 degrees. Now we’re talking. As I round the corner to the spot where I suspect the carp are, I am greeted with a pod of 30-40 ﬁsh. And they look like they are eating. ❉ | CarpPro | 2012 | Tactics Fishy Pete Pattern ✤ Daiichi 1530 4, or 6. ✤ Rubber Legs (Feelers) tied in at bend of hook. ✤ Dumbbell Eyes, or Bead Chain Eyes for weight – tied so hook rides up. ✤ Rust Schlappen Feather – tied in at bend of hook by rubber legs. ✤ Rust Dubbing W/Sparkle up the shank of hook. ✤ Wrap Schlappen Feather up the shank of hook & tie oﬀ. ✤ Rust Rabbit Strip – Pierced thru hook, pushed down to bend of hook (over Schlappen feather), laid down up the shank of the took and tied in by the eye The key to approaching the pod is with the utmost care. These ﬁsh are feeding but they look pretty wary. I plan my tactics and walk around to the other side – very gingerly. The ﬁsh are in shallow in about 2 feet of water. I tie on one of my lighter Fishy Pete’s. After a couple of double-haul’s I quietly land the ﬂy on the edge of the pod nearest to me. I don’t want to place it in the middle for fear of spooking the whole pod. I let the ﬂy sink, and give it the slightest twitch. Nothing. Another twitch, and I see one of the ﬁsh turn on a dime, swim over, and suck it up. Game on. After two runs into the backing, I ﬁnally land a nice 15lb ﬁsh. It does not get any better than this. I round out the day by picking up another 6 ﬁsh. I got my ﬁx--at least for today. Tomorrow I will need another ﬁx. ADVERTISING WITH CARPPRO CarpPro is the leading resource for catch and release carp and rough ﬁsh anglers in North America. Comprising a magazine, a website information hub, a user chat forum, an active Facebook page and original and contributed multimedia content. Anglers and vendors from around the world come to CarpPro and read our popular magazine to ﬁnd out what is happening in this booming last frontier of carp angling. CarpPro prostaff in the US and Canada are embedded in the wild-water, paylake and ﬂyﬁshing for carp 5 scenes, bringing all the latest news from across the spectrum of carp angling from the new world. Regular contributions from some of the continent’s brightest names and best anglers, in addition to submissions from some of our 12,000+ readers, include technical articles and videos, tips and tactics, tackle reviews and catch reports. Partners and prostaff sponsors include Rod Hutchinson baits, Taska Carp, Sundog Eyewear, BioEdge, St Croix, WildCarpCompanies, Orvis, Mountain Khaki, Rio and more. Now is the time to catch the carp wave with North America’s longest-running rough ﬁshing magazine as we continue to transform and grow carp angling in North America. Dan@carppro.net 6