We are fully and completely in the off-season here now. Any and all still-water carp are shivering the depths. Even the ponds that so surprised me to weeks ago appear nearly devoid of life. I am lucky to have the river though. The river is my last recourse now and will be until roughly late February.
So now it is time to commit to changing gears. Off-season carpin is like 4 wheel driving in that if you aren't half mad with how slow you are going then you are simply going to fast. Slow down and then slow down a little more.
You must walk slowly. You are looking for that magical fish that is feeding, and you may only find a couple of those in a day! Go too fast and you might miss it. Even worse, go too fast and you might startle it. There is nothing more demoralizing than walking right up to your only shot of the day and watching is swim away with a desultory flick of the tail.
You must present slowly. Even an aggressive winter carp will never chase a fly. Food that is hard to catch is simply not worth chasing. You fly should move slowly if at all!
You must give a longer pause on the take and set the hook slowly. Winter takes are in slow motion. If you are setting on the same hair-trigger and with the same velocity you used in the summer you will pull the fly away before it even enters the mouth.
Go slow, be patient, get a little lucky and it will all turn out. Eventually.
Incidentally - notice anything different? This is my first DSP carp with my new glasses (old-fogey blue-blocker looking cocoons not shown). My vision was bad enough that they had to give me partial corrections to 20/25 in one eye and 20/30 in the other for a while in order to get used to it. Pretty soon I get a pair that corrects to 20/20. Not sure how I have managed all these years, the carp could be in deep trouble.