Can I get some Carp 101-type help?


Junior Dave Monti fan
I'm looking to get my first carp this year. I will be in a good carp area later this week, but have no idea whether they are active with water temps still in the 40s. If they are active and I do see them, I still have little idea of the best way to coax one onto a hook. I spent a few hours casting to schools last year on different occasions, once when they even appeared to be eating something at the surface. A wide assortment of nymphs, dries, and small streamers were all roundly ignored.

Thanks for any pointers,



Active Member
They'll start being most active after about a week of warm weather. I know guys that get them during the winter, but I can't for the life of me imagine how. Check out John Montana's website, , or do a search here; Zen's posted up some of the flies and techniques he uses before.


New Member
I used to fly fish for carp often when I lived back in Pa. We always had the best luck when we could site fish to feeding carp in shallow water. Many were caught with a SJ worm, glow bugs and crayfish patterns. For the most part the key was in getting the fly right under the carp's nose. If the carp is actively grubbing ( you will see that big tail waiving and some silt being kicked up) twitching a bugger or crayfish as it drifts under the carp can draw a strike.

Speaking of carp, I really need to go chase some in Montana this year. In a way it was great when fly fishing for carp was not something you would admit to in public. Back then we had all the great carp water to ourselves.


Active Member
Carp 101

Book: Carp on the Fly by Reynolds, Befus & Berryman.:thumb:
As the water warms, they will become more active. Until the point they start the spawn. Then forget it 'til they're done.

Carp on a fly are a real blast. But don't go broadcasting about it. Once the fish eaters find out about it, they'll wipe them out in short order. :mad:
im telling ya, if you want excellent carp water, come to richland and go to columbia point or bateman island, a couple years ago there was a small group of russians catching carp with their hands on a small flood pond on bateman island. at columbia point when i have been bass fishing there is a steep bank down to the river and at the top i will see a few carp cruising in a foot of water every time. im thinking of catching one just to say i caught one.
That blog is awesome. VERY funny picture of the author's kid taking a leak at the top of the blog today. I spent last Saturday out in some flats on the Columbia hunting carp. No fish captured, but I saw some, and can't wait to have one take me for a wild ride. Those things are HUGE.


Active Member
Welcome to the joys and frustrations of carp fishing.Sounds like a typical day,....However you can stack things in your favor now and again.First get the Carp On A Fly book.Every carper seems to have it,a valuable source of information on the fish,flies,techniques etc.The key information is learning to determine which carp are feeding and which are not.Seems obvious,but it isn't always.Which flies to use is really trial and error.I tied flies all winter for carp,mostly proven patterns,but also a variety of spin-offs of my own creation.The carp I fish for have mostly rejected everything.haha But then if the conditions are right, and the carp are in the mood,hang -on.Case in point,earlier this year the SJW was killing them,last few times out they didn't want anything to do with anything.I did manage some weird hook-ups on an egg pattern, a serendipity, a giant soft hackle, and a rubber-legged wooly bugger.Just keep switching flies trying different colors etc.Oh yeah,ignore spawners and look for solitary fish which exhibit normal feeding behavior.The surface feeding can drive you f'ing nuts.Again,it isn't specifically matching a "hatch" but getting something right on their nose.Get the will really steer you on the path to being "better" at carping,to be great you will have to use the info. AND improvise.Prepare yourself for addiction.