Fly fishing for carp

Basic Guide To Fly Fishing For Carp

It appears that fly fishing for carp has been gaining in popularity in the past couple of years and this is an interesting trend given the fact that carp was once labeled as a “trash” fish in the US. Originally these fishes were bred as a cheap source of food due to the fact that they multiplied easily and resilient nature. The carps high growth rates and hardiness made it convenient for fish farmers and anglers to populate a water surface quickly and later fished or exterminated. This practice didn’t create any significant environmental impact because the water bodies can be repopulated again thanks to their quick reproduction cycle. The carp were eventually transferred in un-kept water bodies of water throughout the US, hence the name “trash” fish.

Why Carp Have Grown In Popularity in Fly Fishing Circles?

Anglers, whether they happen to be amateurs or professionals like challenges and carp are known for strength when hooked and innate nature of evading capture. This made fly fishing for carp attractive to any style of fishing due to the challenges it presents. Carp as a species are known to be extremely clever and have the ability to learn to evade capture over time. As interest from to fish for carp on the fly to anglers from across the country seems to surge, we suspect that the species will continue evolving and become even more challenging to pursue to fly fishers and anglers.

As the sport of fly fishing keeps growing, the tools and techniques used to capture carp will also need to evolve and adapt to address the increasing challenges for those addicted to fish for carp on the fly.

Fly Fishing for Carp Equipment:

As we any other sport, you’ll need equipment and fly fishing for carp is no exception. The tackle that you use will play a central role in how well you’re able to catch and fight with these incredible fish. Furthermore, having the correct rod weight and tackle is also essential. Anyways, to fish for carp on the fly, you’ll mainly need the following tools: rod, reel, leader, and flies. Let’s discuss them in brief:

Fishing Rods

Most fishing rods available today are made of high strength synthetic material, which makes the rods lightweight but extremely strong. There are rods made from fiberglass, which for some reason has been abandoned by manufacturers for some time, but now it is starting to make a comeback. When buying rods for fly fishing for carp you’ll be provided with the option of choosing either a ‘fast action’ and ‘slow action’ fishing rod, or everything else in between. A fast action rod will give you more power and pulling leverage on the carp or any fish when hooked. They’ll also produce a fast line speed. The fishing rods made of fiberglass typically have slower action giving you a slower line speed. Slow action fiberglass rods have more bend in the rod allowing more shock absorption. With fiberglass rods, you don’t need to worry about breaking the fish off.

Fishing Reels

We already mentioned that carps are extremely powerful, and even if your rods are very sturdy, it is the reel that that will you the stopping power. The reel’s drag system will tire the fish quickly by putting pressure on it. Similar to rods, there is a variety of reels on the market today and when buying the most crucial factor for fly fishing for carp is the drag system. Most reels out there usually have a one-way bearing that goes around a clutch on the spool. Some reels will be fitted with a cork for the drag system, whilst some will have some kind of stacked synthetic material for the drag system. That being said, you can still catch carp on any conventional click and pull reels, but it will be much easier to tame these fish and bring them to the net if you’ve some stopping power in your hand. We think a reel with a one-way clutch instead of a ‘clicker’ is a good fit for most fishermen and anglers.

Fly Lines

After the fishing rods and reels come to the fly line and leader system. We already established the fact that these fish are clever and evolving to evade being captured. So, it is imperative to get the fly in front of them without startling the carp. Therefore, a fly line with a light taper is highly effective that aggressive looking front taper fly line that produces a lot of line speed as it will result in an unusually large splash. Most flies we use can be quite big and a light taper fly line will easily turn over the fly producing a good presentation to the fish. A dominant fly line will be required to flip over the flies and throw them to the target accurately. Vivid colored fly lines should be avoided as this will easily spook the fish even in semi-clear waters. So what should you pick for a fly line? We suggest fly lines with natural colors or a color pattern that doesn’t look prominent is something to consider.

Carp Flies

In the sport of fly fishing for carp, “flies” are used to replicate the natural food of the species. Anglers use both synthetic and natural materials to simulate the natural scents and color of the foods carp eat. Plenty of thought and some trial and error are done in developing the perfect flies for carp. Nonetheless, you’ll see carp patterns that appear generic and all look somewhat similar to one another, but they all can be used depending on the place and usage. Normally, carp flies are made specifically for different scenarios and carp feeding patterns. The location of the fish and what kind of water bodies they’re inhabiting it is also considered while making carp flies. This usually dictates their existing primary food source. There are also species of carp and the flies patterns also vary from species to species. Some common carp patterns used for flies include orange, olive, yellow/tan, and so on.

At last but not least, in addition to the aforementioned equipment, other flies tying tools you need to keep in your fly fishing for carp arsenal include whip finisher, scissors, dubbing teaser, bodkin, bobbin, and tweezers. You don’t necessarily need to use the best or the most expensive gear, but good quality and strong and a good rig are important.

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