Carp help needed

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
I'm more intrigued than ever about sight casting for carp after Sunday
afternoon, since I had some turners and followers among big fish, but
no hookups. Maybe someone can help me on fly selection and presentation. I've heard of the blackberry
imitation, but it's too early in the year for berries if there were any overhanging this pond. A #10 pheasant tail
-ignored. A #10 gray ST nymph- some interest. A #12 sort of olive woolly worm with chain eyes -turn and
follow. I
think I had fish wiskering it because I'd see the end of the line
twitching when they were following, but no hookups. It seemed like the unweighted nymphs didn't attract as
much attention as the bead eyed, which sank slowly. The chain eye
woolly worm looks hilarious to me. It looks a lot like a Simpsons

The carp are hard to sneak up on and easy to spook. Exciting and challenging. Once I was carefully stalking
through the grass, getting lined up for the perfect cast, and a punkinseed grabbed the fly when it accidentally
dangled and flushed everything to the other end of the pond.

The LM bass however were not easily scared. Sometimes they'd boldly jump out to grab a wiggle bug
or clouser right under my rod tip. My attention was diverted to sight
casting to the bass that were clearly visible and easier to fish than the carp.

I had a nice bluegill grab the same flo pink and white clouser that caught the
palmateo in Aruba. I thought I had a bass.

This was near the mouth of the Klickitat on the Columbia. It is a nice diversion until the Klickitat opens in just
ten days .
I to am also interested in fishing for carp. I found a good book on the subject called "carp on the fly, a flyfishing guide" its by Barry reynolds, brad befus and John berrtman and the forward is by dave whitlock. IT is a good one for the subject. U might have it, but thought it might help.
I've hooked and landed 7 - 12 lb carps on Montana Stone nymphs and on Elkhair Caddis dries. It's a thrill when a 10 lb carp comes up and sucks in a size 14 elkhair caddis and runs into my second backing on a 5 weight and 3 lb tippet. They will take dries right up on top!
I would recomend that book "Carp on the Fly" by Berry Reynolds, book explains everything you need to know about carp. Be sure to tie up some of those clouser swimming nymphs mentioned in the book, I used those almost exclusively for carp when I lived in Colorado. Carp are a blast when hooked!

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
Just a few months ago I saw that book Carp on the Fly and thought it would make a good gag gift for a
buddy that always seems to catch more pikeminnows than trout. Now I'm getting it and keeping it.

Was there a hatch going when they would take a caddis dry? I didn't see any feeding on the surface, but I
wondered if they'd be interested in a damsel adult. Or nymph. Maybe a tie that looks like corn. Maybe a
San Juan worm.
That olive wooly worm with bead eyes will probably prove to be a good choice, stick with it. Were the carp feeding, cruising fast, or sunning themselves?? Feeding carp will be tailing, nosing around the bottom, or cruising slowly, and these are carp you should be fishing for. Carp sunning themselves, or cruising around looking like they re in a hurry are not easy to catch, although it can be done. Find feeding fish, get the fly as close as possible. A foot is not close enough most the time, try getting it about twelve inches closer. If you wait for the carp to actually "jerk" your line you will miss a lot of fish. In a perfect world, I would cast past a tailing fish, pull fly back so it would settle right in front of him, then either actually see him suck it in, or see him stop digging and float up for a moment, or see him flare his gills and fins like he just found a real treat. I would then pull gently on the line, if I felt resistance, yahoooo!!!. In a not quite perfect world, a bit of zen is needed to know when to strike, practice,practice practice. Watch your goldfish when you drop in some food, you will see what I mean about flaring their gills and fins when they find a treat.
Dries,, yes they will come up, some days easy, most days really tough. If you can see a lot of carp in the area, and some are "clooping"( sucking) at the surface, try to get a small dry near them, good luck. Also can just randomly cast a dry to a spot that has a bunch of carp, and wait, rarely one will break off from the pack and come up and inhale your fly. WAIT to strike till he sucks it in good, it happens slowly, so WAIT.
I carp FF in eastern Washington around the Tri Cities, is my fav thing to do, big challenging fish, no crowds, unlimited water to explore, sight fishing, great fun. Let me know if I can help further, and a word of warning, you will never be the same again!!!!

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
Many were sunning, but a couple were picking along the shoreline. But I didn't see any real tailing. I had
them turn, follow but no gill flare, although am I just imagining that they were hovering right over where the
fly should have been and wiggled it with their barbels? It seemed like the fly line end moved. Do you use an
indicator? I usually don't.

I was laying the fly out in front of the direction of travel a foot or so and usually beyond so I could inch it
toward them. I accidentally have a floating DT 8. It was hard to turn over the bass bugs but it put the little
nymphs down nice. I didn't alarm the fish from casting to them, it was usually stumbling down the bank that
spooked them. I had 8 lb. mono for a tippet. Too heavy?
8lb tippet fine, if anything a bit light, I use 2x and 1x mostly. I use a 5wt, even fish that don't go racing off, if they suspect something up, will often quite feeding an just drift away. Fish following your fly along are the hardest to hook, how do you tell when they have your fly????? Like I said, zen. Try letting it sit for 4 or 5 seconds, then stripping reletively quickly a foot or so and feel for that weight that means fish, then let it settle again. Tailing fish are the clasic, perfectworld example, don't alwasy find tailing fish. BUt if they are wandering around the bank, looking/picking at things as they go, they are feeding and can be got, and it sounds like you are on the right track. Often when I go out, ( which is not that often, I now live in Montana and don't get "home" very often) feels like I am gonna get skunked, that every carp in the area runs from me or just refuses my stuff, then I finally get one, then another and I am happy and catching fish. Cold water makes it tough too, I would bet the water where you are at is still pretty cold. Later in the day can make a big diff. Cold fish also are les dramatic when they take your stuff, again zen works best. Good luck and keep me posted, I always am looking for new carp spots in case I end up over that way someday.
I agree 8 lb leader is fine. The only reason I used 3 lb was to get it through the eye of a #14 hook.

They were feeding right on top, some of them jumping out of the water, when I hooked them on elkhair caddis. Wasn't a caddis hatch, just that size 14 tan elkhair caddis was the closest in color and size I had at the time.
I hooked a carp on a braided butt damsel once on North Teal Lake (it's in the Columbia Wildlife Refuge /Seep Lakes area- see Gazzetter maps).

I wasn't actually fishing for carp - but smallish planted rainbows that are all in most of the Seep Lakes. I was casting the dry blue damsels up along the banks from a floatube when 'wham..'
I thought I'd snap my 5wt. Sage!! Those scaly monsters have some serious weight to bend a rod and will pull you in your tube right along in the water like a dogsled! Then 'snap' - humm.. 4x just isn't designed for a 8lb. fish. I sure was a thrill though.

I suppose if I were really out for the carp, I'd try bass type patterns however - hair-poppers, frog, mouse, etc.