Fishipedia Top 5: Reasons why fly-fishing for carp rocks

October 28th, 2011| No Comments

There are probably more than five to be honest, but these will do for starters

Carp on the Fly1. They’re smart. Depending on where you are in the world, you’ll find people have different views on carp. In Britain and Europe, they’re held in such high regard that the bigger specimens in noted stillwaters have names, and groups of anglers who dedicate their lives and sacrifice marriages in pursuit of them. In some parts of the US meanwhile, they’re seen as a trash fish, not worthy of even the rustiest hook.
Whatever your outlook, there’s no denying that the carp is a wily adversary. Plenty of times I’ve had fish feeding confidently in front of me before introducing the fly, only to watch them hoover up everything in their path before giving the fly a derisory snort and disappearing back to the depths. It can be frustrating to say the least. Particularly on pressured waters, carp are ultra-sensitive to angler movements and bankside disturbance – pursuit of the so-called ‘golden bonefish’ requires the stealthiest approach.

2. They fight like stink. Sometimes takes are super-gentle, sometimes the fish will suck a fly from the surface without you even really noticing, and on other occasions they can be pretty aggressive. But once they’re on, they are most definitely ON.
That big old propeller on the back’s not just for show – carp will take you straight to the reel, and in many cases all the way to the backing, using speed and power to evade capture. As with all sport fishing, it’s important to get the fight over with as quick as possible, which means you have to really work the angles to tire them out.
That said, never assume you’ve got them beat – a carp always seems to have just one last run in him. And that’s all part of the fun.

3. You can sight-fish for them. This, for me, is probably the best bit. I love all forms of fishing – I could be casting lures to pike, dry flies to trout or live crabs to permit and I’d be a happy man. However, nothing beats casting a fly to fish you can see – it’s the ultimate.
Fortunately, carp are pretty obliging in this respect – when the conditions are right and the weather’s warm, they’ll hang around in the surface layers of the water, sometimes just soaking up the sun, sometimes on the feed. And that’s where you come in…

4. They keep you coming back for more. There’s something truly addictive about this form of fishing – it’s got plenty to do with the sight-fishing aspect but it also stems from the ratio of takes to fish caught.
You simply have to go into it knowing that you’re not going to hit every take, that it’s going to be occasionally infuriating, and that you’re probably going to have to watch bait fishermen stacking up bigger numbers than you. That’s fine though – you’ll be having waaaaaaaay more fun.

5. People will look at you like you’ve got a screw loose. In a lot of places, people are still only just catching on to fly-fishing for carp – if you turn up at some lake where everyone else is sat behind a bunch of rods, all wearing camo, and you casually break out the fly rod, then you can expect some funny looks. That’s fine. Just remember what the great John Gierach said: “If people don’t occasionally walk away from you shaking their heads, you’re doing something wrong.”

Rory Batho

>> Something you want to add to our list? Let us know in the comments below…

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