Sunday, July 6, 2014

Presenting The Fly to Carp - The Calm Before The Storm

In Football I think they call it happy feet - when a quarterback in never comfortable enough to just settle down in the pocket, set his feet and let the ball fly.   Well, there is an equivalent in Fly Fishing for Carp and I used to have it.  I used to have it bad.  Lets call it the fly fidgets.

Well, over the past year I have finally beat the fly fidgets.  It started in October when I finally got glasses. My improved vision gave me a level of confidence in my presentation and take detecting I had never had before. Those new glasses took a little getting used to, but by December I was knocking it dead.  I couldn't necessarily tell you exactly why - just that the glasses had made some kind of difference.

Then in December John Montana put out a post on not moving your fly.  It was nothing new to me conceptually, but it had always been difficult for me in reality.  Well, at about the same time I got a Go-Pro and I started to get some footage of me hooking carp (video1, video2, video3).  Because of John's post, not moving the fly was central to my mind and upon reviewing that footage I often noticed where there was a moment when I would go completely motionless between presenting the fly and setting the hook. The cool thing was that the video would take me back to those moments and I could re-feel a moment of complete and total calm and confidence.  A moment where time would almost stand still and my fly would not move at all.   A moment that I could clearly recognize as new since I had gotten the glasses and the increased confidence in the presentation the take detection they brought.

Once I re-lived those moments and those feelings, suddenly I found I could capture them. Contain them. Accentuate them.  Now, six months later, not only do I almost never move the fly after presenting it, I have found that there is a whole new and different class of take that I never even knew existed.

A Carp Caught On a Delayed Reaction Take Of The Fly
Previously if a carp did not react to my fly in the first split second after it hit bottom I believed that the carp had not noticed it.  At that point I would try and twitch it or strip it in order to draw attention.  Now I have learned differently.  In the last six months I have learned that some carp - MANY carp - will ONLY take my fly after a delayed reaction of a second or even two without the fly moving!  As a matter of fact, I now think that many carp that I had previously thought unwilling to eat were just more patient than I was. 

Another Carp On A Delayed Reaction Take Of The Fly
It turns out that now we - and by we I mean the carp and I - both have a calm before the storm.  A moment between action and inaction.  A moment when the predator waits but then pounces.  Find that feeling, and your carpin will take a big step forward.  


  1. Thanks for the advice, I always learn something when I stop by. Ever try suspending a pattern below a hopper? That's my current go to for carp.

    1. I have played with a thingamabobber. I feel like it has potential, but also feel like it messes with my ability to place the fly perfectly.

  2. This is so spot on. Number one reason I blow shots on carp. Feel it's like buck fever, you have to train to calm your reflexes

  3. Give 'em a chance to think about it.

  4. I agree, but we know when we put the fly too far away, then and only then do I move the fly, either to place it in it's path or re cast. My pond with aggressive fish is no longer a worth while fishery so I do try not to move the fly to the paranoid fish I chase now. Now then, I don'e fish moving water often, that would change to dynamics.



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.