Thursday, August 29, 2013

CarpSlam Alerts

A couple of alerts relating to carp-slam.  First of all the slam is next Saturday and if I understand the rules correctly tomorrow (Friday) is the last day to practice competition waters before the slam.

Second of all this is the last week to get yourself a Fly-Carpin "False Idols" t-shirt and I have dropped the price considerably.  I designed this myself and all proceeds from these t-shirts are going to be donated to DTU to benefit the Denver South Platte river.

I am not making a dime (quite the opposite actually) so get on over to ebay and show some support!

The t-shirts actually bring up an interesting point because some people might be curious how much money Fly-Carpin makes.  Well, lets see if I can add it up real quick -
  • The couple of ads - Free
  • Being a member of the guide directory - Free
  • All the how-to and flies and stuff - Free
  • The couple of articles I have written for other websites - Free
  • Proceeds from fly royalties: About +50 bucks.
  • Promotional expenses: - 350 bucks.
  • Other expenses:  -200 bucks.
  • Free gear:  Around +500 bucks.
So yeah, I figure Fly-Carpin is about dead even lifetime.  Unless I count all the work I have put in as an expense.  Hmmmmm.....Add the one.  Carry the three.  Geesh.  If I count that then Fly-Carpin is AT LEAST $30,000 dollars in the hole.  Its a damn good thing making money was never the point!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

McTage's Theorem on Catching Boat-Loads of Carp on The Fly

My Theorem:
Through a full season the person catching the most carp on the fly on ANY body of water is the one who knows how to induce takes from passive carp and detect subtle takes from all carp.
I have fished allot of aggressive carp this year.  I spent a week in Lake MI and have found some fun new water here in CO.  I have found that even when I find large populations of aggressive carp when I REALLY start laying the smack-down is when I am generously mixing in techniques that I have learned for passive carp.

When I am talking about mixing in techniques for passive carp I am talking about:

  • Dead-dropped the fly onto the feeding zone with no action or letting the fly go dead after one twitch or SLOWLY swimming it into the feeding zone.
  • Getting as close as possible in order to present the fly very very closely.
  • Using indirect presentations in order to present the fly very very closely.
  • Switching from crayfish to nymph, worm or hybrid patterns at the drop of a hat.
  • Believing that if the carp twitches a quarter inch towards my fly or pulses it's lips in my flies general direction it ate.  PERIOD.  And then making a point of setting the hook on a hair trigger (often with a small pause).
Fishing aggressive techniques is often important to starting out as a beginner because they are less intimidating and technical but there is a limit to how far it can take you.   SO - For those who have been at the game long enough that they catch carp but feel as though they have plateaued it may be time to grow out of the crayfish patterns and the fifty foot casts and the stripped presentations until you know how to do it responsibly.  And by responsibly I mean rarely!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fly-Carpin Tshirts for Carp Slam 7 Fundraiser

As you may or may not know the CarpSlam Tournament is not just for fun.  Denver Trout Unlimited (DTU) uses the proceeds from the tourney to benefit restoration of the Urban South Platte River.  And those are not just fancy words.  Per the CarpSlam 7 brochure tournament funds have already been put to excellent use:
  • $11,000 to South Platte Surburban Parks and Recreation District Project 
  • $14,000 to Overland Park Pond Restoration 
  • $25,000 to River South Project
Now, as you already know I love the carp in this river but I have also come to love the river itself.  Along with many of the other competitors I have agreed to help raise some funds on my own.  This year I decided to get a little creative and made up some special T-shirts and sell them for the Slam.  The shirts are now on sale on Ebay (ranging from 18 to 21 dollars plus shipping by size) and the proceeds from any shirts sold before the Slam will be donated to DTU.

If you are simply in the giving mood feel free to go to my competitors page at and donate directly to the CarpSlam in my name. 

Here is the logo that is on the back of the Tshirt:

Here is the shirt:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Stupid Fly Tricks #2 - Loading a Bobbin

The second installment in my stupid fly tricks series.  As you may remember, the first one did not go as planned.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Carp on the Flats

I have made a conscious choice to spend more time fishing wade-able flats on still-waters this summer. Between Lake Michigan and a couple of local lakes it has really paid off and I have had my best four months of fishing...ever. I would like to share a couple of tidbits that have been helping. Note that John Montana showed me all of this in my two trips out to Oregon. It just took some experimenting on my own for it all to sink in!

1) Structure:  Even on a flat structure matters! Look for transitions between soft mud, fine sand, coarse sand and gravel. Most transitions tend to concentrate carp. Combine a transition in bottom composition with a change in depth and you are really talking potential. In other words gravel bars rock!

Lake Michigan Gravel Bar Carp
2) Fear-Not the Deep:  While it is true that if you can find shallow carp they are often easier to catch that doesn't mean that you should always be wading in calf-deep water. When fishing gravel bars or shore-line give wading deep and looking shallow a try. This is an approach that had never occurred to me until John Montana showed it to me and it can be extremely effective. Additionally it is almost always true that there are more carp in knee-deep water than calf-deep. Whenever I can find enough clarity to have a chance I spend 80% of my time in knee-deep water.

A Mirror from the only knee deep water in a shallow bay
3) No Tunnel Vision:  I have a really hard time with tunnel vision. I will get into a mode where I am walking along focused on the bottom three feet in front of me. DON’T DO THAT!! It is a terrible mistake. Instead you should be constantly scanning out and back and if anything spend more time looking at a distance than close. That might be 50 to 60 feet in calf deep water or 30 feet in knee deep water.

A gravel bar 20 - spotted and caught from 40 feet away - ONLY because I was looking that far.

4) Drop-Pop-Pause-Set:  I have been spending a considerable amount of time fishing flats where the fish are keyed in on crayfish (or gobies in the case of Lake MI) this year. These fish are aggressive and will move to a simply stripped fly but really is not the the most effective presentation. One particularly effective presentation for me lately has been a Drop-Pop-Pause-Set. This starts with a drag and drop where I drop the fly just to one side of the head with a slightly raised rod. When the fly hits bottom I lightly pop it once (roughly 6” forward) with the rod and then kill the fly with a pronounced pause and then set the hook when the carp turns. There is a certain rhythmic quality to this presentation akin to slowly saying it. Drop-Pop-Pause-Set.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Three Rivers Carp Cup - August 17th

The next big fly fishing for carp tournament of the year is coming up soon.  The Three Rivers Carp Cup is August 17th.  Word on the CarpPro forum last year was that this tournament was a blast, I would get in on this if you live in that region of the country!

In their own words:
The 3RCC allows anglers to fish for the elusive carp along some of East Tennessee’s most scenic waterways. The carp may be the most difficult fish to take on a fly and provides real challenges to the fly angler. Last year’s tournament saw 44 anglers from all over the United States chasing carp in support of the Legacy Parks Foundation. The momentum and enthusiasm for the 3 Rivers Carp Cup is building and we expect to have an even larger contention this year with participation from as far away as France.
·         Registration Fee: $50 (includes an official Carp Cup fishing shirt, drinks, and hors d’oevres.
·         Dates: Meet and Greet: August 16, 2013 6-8pm. Tournament: August 17, 2013, 8am-6pm.
·         For more information visit
·         To register call Allen Gillespie (3RCC Tournament Director) at 865-200-5271 or email: