Carp: What am I missing?

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species' started by East Fork, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. East Fork

    East Fork Active Member

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    I view those carp pictures in the photo gallery (recent example: http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=7777 ) with a mixture of longing and revulsion - sort of like looking at a woman with a good body but an ugly face. Is it just me? Lets hear from all you carp lovers out there - even you guys that are still in the closet. What am I missing?
     
  2. troutpocket

    troutpocket Active Member

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    If you have to ask . . .. you'll never know. :p
     
  3. Paul Huffman

    Paul Huffman Lagging economic indicator

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  4. cmtundra

    cmtundra New Member

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    Gotta' admit that the large-scaled, downturned-mouth, non-tablefaring nature of the carp doesn't warrant much interest from me. I'm sure they'd be fun to play but I doubt you'll see me tying carp flies anytime soon.
     
  5. Stephen Rice

    Stephen Rice Senior Member

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    Sorry I am with Don on this one! those are just some of the nastiest things I have ever seen. It's like Dating the ugly girl at school probably alot of fun in Private but I wouldn't want to take that thing out on a date ! :eek:


     
  6. Chris Allen

    Chris Allen Member

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    Sure its like dating an ugly girl. But it's good for us guys who are pleased to get a girl at all. Well, figuratively anyway. Besides, the fun in catching them has very little to do with the fish's looks. It's more of a hunt than most other types of fishing.
     
  7. fish-on

    fish-on Waters haunt me....

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    Aahhh, ever hear the words "You'll never know what you're missing"....

    Think of it as that quiet, dressed down, bottle glassed librarian that you always see in the movies. They turn out to be the hottest chick in the show.

    Carp don't get much respect until you have them at the end of your line. They test one's fishing as well as "hunting/stalking skills". They are willing biters on the fly and they show you a thing or two on how to land fish.

    I'd say to those who haven't tried fishing for carp yet that you should at least once and then tell me if you don't like it. You might be in for a surprise.... And afterwards if you still don't like it, all I can say is, More for me :)
     
  8. shgrier

    shgrier Hooker of ducks

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    And DON'T say nontablefare! :ray1: Properly prepared, they're quite tasty on the smoker (bled, lateral meat removed, cooled immediately after catching).

    The Europeans think we're batty with our love for trout (a fish THEY consider trash), and we don't understand their love of this over-sized goldfish with their tournaments, etc., etc.

    I think we should start up a workshop ptyd here on the west side (maybe Lake Washington or Sammamish?) to re-introduce this worthy quarrey to the board, and create an alternative sport to pursue during the warmer months (like now).

    Thoughts? Some of us are new to the board, and don't know some of the finer points of chasing these pigs in the NW. I fished for them alot in NM (loads of them in all the irrigation canals along the Rio Grande), but haven't tried up here yet.

    Sean
    Sultan
     
  9. salt dog

    salt dog card shark

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    Finally. Its out in the open. I never said much as it seemed pretty politically incorrect to bad mouth carp around here. So up front, my apology to carp lovers.

    I can understand in the day and age of diminishing opportunities to fish, and increasing numbers of fishermen trying to occupy limited waters, that expanding fishing targets in any direction is probably a very good thing; and that takes a few more fishing days a year off of my favorite waters, maybe.
    However, I will never fish carp, unless as a lark or due to over consumption of alcoholic beverages.

    I came about my prejudice to carp honestly. I grew up in Ohio, ya, not too far from the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland; yes, the same river that actually caught fire from time to time in the early 70's. While that river was burning, I guarantee you that the Carp in the river thought it was just barbequed oil, which is a tasty treat for them. Carp were typically fished for with a spark plug as a sinker, and the nastiest piece of moldy smelling crap you could find as bait. We hunted them with bows and arrows, and used their 30 lb carcasses to fertilize gardens. They suck up eggs from game fish like a Hoover vacuum cleaner.

    Like many other things from my early years, I may never get past the vision of those bug eyed beasts with their ugly lips sucking up through the surface of the muddy befouled water of the rivers back east. I grant them one thing for sure, the are hardy as hell, but desirous to catch? I think not.
     
  10. fish-on

    fish-on Waters haunt me....

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    I used to catch them a lot too using ultralight spinning outfits and bonk them before I use them to beutify the golf course I caught them from. But after flyfishing for them, I have developed a slightly different form of respect for these fish.

    Can anyone say Catfish?????? Hmmmmnnn. I think their habits are just about the same aren't they? But you rarely hear anyone talk bad about catfishing. I don't think you can discredit carp just because of what they eat. We are talking about their ability to be a worthy adversary at the end of our line. For a fish that you sightfish for that readily takes a fly and puts on a hellacious fight, what is there not to like.

    Too bad I can't fly fish for pigs. They eat pretty much the same stuff too and I bet they would put up a better fight than a carp at the end of my line :)
     
  11. Jake Smulkowski

    Jake Smulkowski Throwing hoppers into baetis falls

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    I was chucking bait for catfish at a favorite Snake R. spot early this summer (somewhere between the Dry S**ties and Lewiston), and had my first run-in with carp. We were camped along the river, drinking N. Idaho's favorite beer, and generally enjoying the evening. The chatter from a family camped next to us was particularly interesting - they were a large chinese family and they seemed to be having a blast!

    We started chatting and they asked us if we had ever eaten carp. We tried to choke back the revulsion at the idea and both politely nodded "no." Within minutes, a gentleman emerged from the brush with a platter loaded with carp (prepared spare-rib style, with the backbone cut down the middle), some rice, and some frog legs. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever eaten. I should have gotten the recipe - the meat was clean-tasting, firm, and had a really nice flavor.

    We would have gotten the recipe, but instead we brought some Jameson's over to our gracious neighbors. They didn't quite know what to make of it, but they graciously accepted. They then offered in turn "ancient chinese medicine", which apparently is an infusion of things that are completely outside the realm of my wrinkly little western mind, soaked in vodka. After we drank, we asked them what was in it. The following conversation followed:

    Older gentleman: "You feel tired, you drink, then you feel nothing."
    Us: "But what is it?"
    Older woman: "Not very strong now, but strong later."

    At any rate, we never got the recipe. But it definitely made be believe there is something to these strange little butterface fish. I'll be on it with my fly rod soon.
     
  12. lx-88

    lx-88 Member

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    A class.... I would sign up. I'm all for "bonefishing" close to home. I'll try anything once. Tried watching NASCAR, so now I can defeneitly say F1 and every other racing sport that actually takes skill is better.
    :ray1:
     
  13. Teeg Stouffer

    Teeg Stouffer Fish Recycler

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    Vanity has no place in my fishing repertoire.

    My stripping basket is a plastic dish tub and bungee cord.

    I wouldn't think of spending $300 on a reel (let alone a vest) as long as my okuma continues to catch me fish, and my "Au Sable" vest continues to hold my gear.

    So it comes as no surprise, I'm sure, that I love fishing for carp.

    Fishing for trout is fun too, and so is fishing for salmon. And bass. And bluegill. I just love fish, and love being able to figure out how to catch all different kinds of fish along the way.

    I also love the crazy looks you get when you report catching not only odd species, but odd species on the fly. That's part of the pleasure to me.

    And as I release most of what I catch, what it tastes like really isn't an issue. How it is to fish for, and how it fights - that's paramount! And I challenge you to find a fish that's more fun to pursue than these big golden ghosts.
     
  14. East Fork

    East Fork Active Member

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    Wow! OK then! I admit it. I'm overwhelmed with the Freudianness of this but hey, I want to know that which can only known by not asking, see the golden maiden, date the dressed down bottle glassed librarian, see visions of bug eyed beasts, take the ancient Chinese medicine and meet the golden ghosts.

    So, how do I start? How can I learn everything carpish? Is there a best season? Best time of day? Are there runs of carp? Lakes v. streams? What do I need to do, who will be my role model, my carp mentor, the Shaolin priest to my grasshopper? Are there carp clubs, books and videos? Will I see laconic carp veterans and impatient young guys with spank'n new equipment? And guides! Are there carp guides that have fished all the big name carp waters and know all the special carp casts?

    OK, I'm getting ahead of myself. So, does anyone want to adopt me as their carp disciple or maybe, just maybe, a carp apostle? For an outing anyway? Perhaps we could swap a carp trip for something I know something about, something more pedestrian, more ordinary like winter steelheading, fall searuns, salmon, whatever. PM me! Please.

    Sign me,

    Desperate on the East Fork
     
  15. Salvelinus

    Salvelinus Member

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    I am not a carp nut but I like fishing for them purely because it is sight fishing and they fight hard. I would not drive farther than about 15 minutes to blind cast for carp but for me sight fishing is the most addictive thing since crack. They also are spooky; the carp I've fished over have been spookier than the bonefish I have fished for, which makes the whole affair challenging. All other comparisons to bonefish fall short, in my opinion. For me, driving to the east side in 90 degree weather to fish for carp is a little bit tough to rationalize but I plan on doing it once or twice a year for now, maybe a lot more in the future.
     
  16. salt dog

    salt dog card shark

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    Darn it, now there goes another guy after one of my finest target species.

    Sarge, toss me another spark plug and a hand grenade, I want to see'em fly. :p :p

    Sign me,

    unredeemable piscatorial xenophobe.
     
  17. Beckler

    Beckler Member

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    I'm gonna have to admit that I enjoy stalking carp on the flats. I can't afford to go to the bahamas so I will have to settle for these golden bones. I used to look down on carp as a kid growing up in KS, most people just tossed them up on the bank to die. It seemed so easy catching them on dough bait and corn, but catching them on a fly is a different story. When stalking them on the flats these fish are very skittish and require perfect casts and lots of stealth if you want to hook them consistently. Once hooked, you'll see a lot of backing that you probably haven't seen in awhile. I just look at it as one more opportunity we have in our great state. Give it a shot, I'll think you'll enjoy it. :thumb:
     
  18. sjterry

    sjterry Sr. Lurker

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    I see dead carp. At least I use to all up and down the Great Bend of the Ar-Kansas river. I wish that what I know now I new then. Carp, though I don't fish for them very often, are great fun once you get them on the line. I would like to fish for them more often and would attend a clave on fishing them.
     
  19. alaskahole

    alaskahole dancing engineering flyfisherman

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    What Beckler was really trying to say was that flyfishing for carp is not really that fun. In fact, if you don't already fish for them, I would say don't even waste your time :) People should really just focus on trout and not even worry about trash fish like carp and smallmouth :D
     
  20. salt dog

    salt dog card shark

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    Hope you all know I'm just pulling your leg. Whatever gives you a kick is worth the time to pursue with whole hearted passion. I don't golf either, but I can appreciate how it is as addicting to my friends as fly fishing is to me. 'Course I've got to give them a rash of crap now and then about it, otherwise what are friends for?

    I even have a small water feature I built at my house with a dozen baby carp swimming in it as we speak, mostly because I'm to cheap to spend the money for Koi to service the raccoon sushi bar. Now you carp experts out there tell me, what size fly would you use on 5" carp, and is chumming with goldfish flakes permissible?
     

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