Thursday, July 28, 2011

On a mission for carp

Yesterday I set out on a mission to catch carp on a fly.  I have only fished for carp once before with my friend Justin (see his blog here), and I came up empty.  That trip, he caught one Asian carp by hooking it in the back on a low back cast with a backstabber (coincidence?), but since then, he has been racking them up left and right with solid takes.  I was inspired by his persistence and decided to strike out on my own in search of carp.  The night before setting out, I methodically prepared my gear and tied up several carp flies including the Carp Carrot, Backstabber and a Rubber Leg Hare’s Ear.

The following day I drove out west to a slough that sits adjacent to the Missouri river.  This body of water had flooded into a neighboring field of soy crop, which made for a nice flat to wade fish in and sight cast to carp.  I rigged up my 6 weight outfit with floating line and put on a 15' fluorocarbon leader with 6 pound tippet.

I fished for several hours, sight casting to carp that were rooting, tailing and cruising, and sometimes just blindly casting out of frustration.  It was a blistering day with temperatures touching nearly 100 degrees and the water I was wading in felt like a hot tub.  

Cast number 528 (approximate), I pitched a carp carrot out to to a mud puff about 40' away and made a short strip ... resistance ... another longer strip and the water boiled, carp on.  Immediately he bolted, and my reel made a painful noise I have never heard before.  I applied continuous pressure by alternating between palming the spool and retrieving line , and intermittently the fish would make a powerful run.  This dance continued for several minutes until he was close enough to lip.  The beast clocked in at 4 pounds, what a fight, what a fish!


  1. Congrats on the first carp! A grass carp at that. What fly did you use for this guy?

  2. Thanks Justin. This fish was on a #8 carp carrot.

  3. Hey Brian,

    I know you may have heard, so to say, me say this before, but a fly under an indicator will take many fish when all you see are muds and bubbles, and, I usually use an egg tie, size 6, fished what I presume the bottom. This works, well. Also a hook up fly with an indicator twitched inch by inch, again, to unseed fish. Takes are very sure.


  4. I neglected to mention that that water looks awesome, at least to this Idahoan. And, thus far our grass carp are locked in ponds, supposedly sterile, though I think some are wild or will be soon in our larger rivers. They grow very large penned in with all the vegetation they can eat, but are tough to fool. In your posts I see you've caught far more than I have. Keep up the carping!


    1. Hi Gregg,

      Thank you for the advice regarding indicator fishing for carp. I have heard you mention this technique, and I will definitely try it once the weather warms up. Much of the water where I know carp to be is not always shallow enough to wade and sight fish; often times, all I can see are the bubbles. This technique will be invaluable in such situations.

      Thanks again Gregg!