Carp near Bellingham?

Back in the Midwest, I got into dry-fly fishing for carp. It's not something I'd drive a long way for, but if it's available nearby I'll do it. Any carp in (clear) local lakes, say within an hour?

Zen Piscator

Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.
Carp seem to be in just about every lake that hasnt been rehabbed. Look around for shallow flats with lots of pockmarks. This is the signal that carp are or have fed here. They shouldn't be hard to find. Im not sure about dry fly fishing however, ive only caught them on nymphs.

Don't know anythign about lakes "over there". Have got a bunch on dries, great fun. Andy, some other areas near our super secret carp flat will have carp facing into the waves, sucking in anythign they can find. Also once in a while will find thm cruising along in deeper water, say along a rip-rap bank, picking things off the top. Jeesh, snowing like mad and I am thinking about spring....... I knew one other FFer from Kansas, who used to get a lot of em by fishing a hopper along the edges of the local river, over here, I would say is a bit of a rarity, but something to work long till spring???
I don't know if Lake Whatcom has carp or not. It has some big small mouth bass and Large mouths, but I don't think it has carp. There's a lake on the way to Darrington that has Tiger Muskies, but I can't remember the name of it. Bellingham is mostly a Salmon/Steelhead/cuttthroat/Dolly sort of thing mostly in the Nooksack river. Most of the lakes have your standard trout species. Green lake in Seattle has carp as well as tiger muskies, large mouth, brown trout, rainbows, sun fish, gold fish, and probably an alligator or two. You might give it a try. It's about an hour and a half depending on traffic of course. Good luck.


Zen Piscator

Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.
An enterinity or 3....Anyways, i think we should set up a get together with a bunch of guys from waff to go hit the carp. I was looking at our "super secret" carp on terrasever (sattlelight photos) and it looks like there is about 3 miles or more of fishable water. I think some of the guys would really dig a day of bent rods and big fish out there. Maybe i could find another one of ur not willing to give that one up, but none the less i would like to hold a carp gathering of sorts this spring or summer.

I would fish for them near a footbridge where people fed them bread. Greased giant white glo-balls were great fun. You'd usually get 2-3 rises before the pod got super spooky. You might get 2 fish in 5 minutes (2 guys, both hooked up for 10-15 minutes on 8 weights and 20lb tippet), then 1 in the next 3 hours.

Brad Niemeyer

Old School Member
Seems like the carp fanatics come out of the woodwork right about this time every year...

The problem in western WA is that the carp generally hang out too deep for sight casting and sight casting is the only way to really get them consistently on flies...

Here the short list I've developed:

Western WA:

Greenlake (carp mostly hang in deep water rarely tailing in shallow water
Lake Tapps (same as above)
Lake Washington (South end near cedar river mouth, deep near docks)
Lake Sammamish (north and south ends, mostly deep water, also in slough)
White River (rumor)
Vancouver Lake and nearby ponds ( this is a great area to explore near Portland)

Eastern WA:
Columbia River (Excellent sight casting to huge carp in shallow water ask Wrench or Zen Piscator for exact spots)
Yakima River (Especially Near Richland Y)
Gloyd Seeps wildlife area (Excellent carp swamp, lots of ticks!)
Moses lake (Chock full of huge carp, tough to find wading access)
Banks Lake (Excellent sight casting to large carp in main lake and side sloughs)

Good luck!
To add to the eastern washington carp list, I have seen them in the Seep Lakes. There are tons of them in Long Lake, so probably anything on that canal system has them. At Long, I tried everything (including various bait items) but couldn't get one to take. I've done well in shallower water using wooley bugger type patterns fished still or not moving at all, right on the bottom, particularly in swampy areas - thanks for the tip on Gloyd Seeps, piscean!
You are right Teeg, Long lake carp are tough! Sucess there means, for me anyway, getting out earlier than I usually do for carp, they will be tailing in the shallows hopefully. Also sneaking along the tops of the cliffs casting to fish feedign along the edges. THis is one of those places where, when casting to a big carp, you are very likely to catch a smallie who is hangin around with the carp. Darn sneaky bass always in the way of the serious fishing....
Piscean's list is a good one, with the exception of the Richland "Y", perhaps he knows something I don't, but that place is generally amuddy mess, visabily is near zero, wading is downright dangerous, and there areloads of spots just a few miles away that are much more pleasant to fish.