You've seen it, we all have! Huge carp by the tens around docks, shorelines, shallow coves and ponds. But it always seems like they aren't feeding. If you try to throw out some corn or dough and get them going, they just sit there and continue their daily routine, as if they are laughing at you. Well if you are tired of just looking at 20, 30 even 40 pound carp then read on because you'll find out how, when, and where to catch monster carp by simply using a tiny fly. Thats right a tiny, tiny fly!
The absolute first thing to successful fly fishing for carp is vision. Without it, you stand about a 1 in a 1000 chance in hooking and landing a carp. This is why the use of good quality polarized sun glasses is HIGHLY recommended. In most cases when fly fishing for carp you already see the fish you are trying to catch.
The equipment that is used when fly fishing for carp is very simple. A basic 9wt fly rod with a good sized reel that holds alot of backing. About a 6 foot, 12 lb leader is used with 2-3 small split shot on it. The fly that is mostly used is called the chubby caddis larva and it has numerous variations. All that the fly consists of is a yellow or orange body with a black head and some hackle tied in as legs. they fly works best in size 8 but it can be tied in size 10 and 6 too. In rougher waters a weighted version of this fly works good. Wearing drab colored clothing is a definite plus because of the distance between you and the carp can be as little as 2 to 3 feet away so it is important to conceal as much of yourself as possible.
Chubby Caddis Nymph
When trying to locate carp that will take a fly, always check your area for shallow coves infested with cattails and other types of dense weed. Carp come into these areas close to shore about 3-4 weeks before their spawn, and stay the whole summer. They prefer to spawn in relatively weedy shallow areas, often not much deeper than 2 to 3 feet. These areas are prime areas for carp fishing. When wading in the water looking for carp, always walk along the cattails or weed edges and try to spot feeding or spawning carp. In some cases the carp can be heard rustling in the weeds as they spawn. Carp and catfish are the only two species of fish that can take in straight air without it being dissolved in water, this is why you sometimes see carp gasping at the waters surface. So naturally carp are close to the surface about 80% of the time.
Look at the weed lines for carp, but be very stealthy!!
Once a carp is spotted and it has not spooked by your presence, a slow but sure drop of the fly 12 inces in front of the carp is the best bet. Be sure that the fly is not too heavy because then the falling and tumbling action of the fly will appear un-natural and the fish will spook. Whats supposed to happen is that the carp will in most cases take the fly as it is dropping but if he doesn't than let the fly drop to the bottom and make it twitch irregularly. More often than not this will convince the carp that he is looking at a meal and he will take.
When the carp takes the fly set the hook fast and hard. Because carp have soft rubbery mouths it is easy for them to completely swallow the hook and then they have a smaller survival ratio when released. Also if the hook is burried deep in the carps mouth there is usually greater difficulty in getting the hook out. So be fast about it, and be prepared for the fight of a lifetime.