How difficult is fly fishing for carp? Many of us on the front line of the revolution (aka carp slime pushers) have been worried that we are making it sound too hard and discouraging new-comers. Well, according to our recent fly fishing for carp survey we are probably under-stating the situation. This #$## is HARD!
The first question relating to difficulty in the survey was "What is the most carp you have caught on the fly in one day?" I asked this question because I have personally caught something like 70 trout in an afternoon before. Smallmouth bass too come to think of it. I have never personally caught more than 20 carp in a day though, and I am not going to lie to you, I am a little self-conscious about that. After all, the dude from Fly-Carpin should have had a 20 fish day mixed in there somewhere.
Well, I suspect that many of us in the fly fishing for carp revolution are a little self conscious about it, because a significant majority of the participants have never caught more than 10 carp in a day.
I don't know about you, but I found that a little shocking, and it is not like the survey was full of rookies. I couldn't figure out a reasonable way to normalize this by years of experience, but a solid majority of the participants have over two years of experience.
The lesson here is that if you are at all discouraged about your best day of carpin, you probably shouldn't be. It is just hard to catch allot of carp in a single day. Really hard.
The next question was "About how many carp have you caught on the fly lifetime? I was able to normalize the responses for this question by years of experience, and I like to think of the resulting curve as the fly fishing for carp learning curve.
According to the survey, carpin requires years of commitment to master. It takes the typical carper 2 years to catch their first 10 carp, and they don't really start to catch allot of carp a year until after year 4 or 5.
Are you freaking kidding me? That is pretty close to my own experience, and I am not sure I would have stuck with it if I knew then what I knew now because the learning curve is brutal.
The good news is that it does get easier. Much easier. So, if you are in year 1 to 3 and getting discouraged, stick with it! Your progress may seem slow, but that is because carpin is HARD and that is all their is to it.