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!


  1. Gotta get better at that last bullet point. I think I miss a lot of subtle takes. For me that has been one of the toughest skills to master. I'm always waiting for more confirmation from the fish.

  2. Dead drop and watching the fish's reaction, and possibly subtley moving the fly/egg in a more correct path has caught my most fish this year. Usually by the nature of my water I am already close, sometimes hard to manage close, to the fish. Good on ya for aggressive fish though!


  3. 50 foot casts? I dap my crayfish patterns.

  4. I agree with you and Ty, my higher handicap is to detect subtle takes. Sun position, presence/absense of clouds, water colour and wind are factors that prevent take detection and closer presentations ease to detect them. Great post Trevor

  5. I've been having more bluegill interfere with my casts than anything. They get to the fly before the carp. This last time I hooked a gill and almost didn't throw it back in the water I was so annoyed.

  6. right on!!
    I have had more success this year in regards to bullet #5 leaving "curls" in my leader to help me detect takes.


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