Friday, October 17, 2014

Fly Fishing For Carp Survey Results: Carpin's Dirty Little Secret

Fly fishing for carp has a dirty little secret. I am willing to share that secret but you gotta promise to keep it between us OK? Actually, I change my mind. Please share the hell out of this because I think it could really help people new to the game gain critical perspective.

The secret is this: It turns out that you don't have to cast very far to catch carp. As matter of fact it turns out you barely need to be able to cast at all - at least in the traditional sense. I bet some of you don't believe me, but that is OK because I come armed with data!

The following graph charts the distances where the 200+ respondents to our recent fly fishing for carp survey catch the most carp. Well over 50 percent of the respondents fly fishing for carp survey catch most of their carp at less than 20 feet. Almost 90 percent of the participants catch most of their carp at less than 40 feet. Most shocking of all perhaps, about 17 percent of them catch most of their carp at dapping range!!!!!

Chart of Survey results - At what distance to fly fishermen catch the most carp
The Internet has spent years and years convincing us that only master fly casters can catch carp on the fly.  Well, sorry to disappoint, but at least when it comes to distance it just is not true!  Personally I would actually counter that even trying to catch them at any significant range is usually counter-productive and damaging.

Now, that does not mean that a certain level of skill doesn't help - just that distance has absolutely nothing to do with it!  Getting close and presenting the fly are actually orders of magnitude more important.  Instead of practicing casting a line 80 feet you should first work on mastering your crouching tiger stalking heron. Once you have gotten the hang of getting close you should master several different short range casts and presentations that make a huge difference - some of which can be seen here:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Carp On The Fly On The SUP: Episode 5

Not only was this my biggest carp of 2014 (so far), it was one of the best takes I have ever gotten, and it all went down on my Standamaran SUP.

For some details - You may notice that the carp initially starts to swim towards something that is NOT my fly (a Sculpin Helmet McLuvin).  I actually believe that the fish had detected the disturbance my fly was making during the drag part of the drag and drop and was moving towards that disturbance to investigate.  That is an aggressive carp!!!!  Way more aggro than I am used to around here.

At the time of course, all I knew is that it was not moving towards my fly, so I popped my fly a little off the bottom and then let it drop still.  The carp noticed my fly at that point and turned slightly to the left and accelerated to attack.  Sight fishing?  In clear water?  From a SUP?  To an 18lb carp? That attacks your fly like a bass?  And then smokes your drag?  Life doesn't get much cooler than that.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Carp On The Fly On The SUP: Episode 4

In this latest video I landed one of my biggest mirror carp ever and at that time it was the biggest carp of the year.  That is awesome in an of itself - but what is even cooler is that this carp was a topwater sunner in chest deep water.  This was essentially an open water sunner - which are often virtually impossible on foot.  I made the Standamaran SUP with the intention of being able to target carp in different scenarios - and here is one example of how it worked out.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Carp On The Fly On The SUP: Episode 3

Somebody recently asked me if Standup Paddleboards are the future of carpin.  I think that may be pushing it, but they certainly open up new waters, opportunities and scenarios for catching carp on flies, and that is why I made my Standamaran SUP last winter.

In Episode 3 of "Carp On The Fly On The SUP" I hook a decent ~12 to 13lb carp tailing on a small sand flat surrounded by waste deep water that is extremely difficult to access on foot.  I would have never had a shot at this fish without a SUP - and it was a really fun fish to catch.  

Note:  If you look carefully you can see a much much bigger fish tailing in the background that I never noticed in person because I saw this fish first and got focused.  A MUCH bigger fish.  I just noticed it.  And yes, I cried.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Carp On The Fly On The SUP: Episode 2

In this episode of Carp On The Fly On The SUP, Chris Galvin got in on the action with a rented SUP.  It was his first time ever on a SUP - let alone fly fishing from one, and he landed a total beast of an 18b carp.  He also fell in in the process.  For the record I was laughing with him not at him.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Carp On The Fly On The SUP: Episode 1

This September I had a brief two week window where I was catching some very good sized carp in an area of waste deep flooded brush from my Standamaran.  It took me a while to get around to blogging about it because I was lucky enough to get some of my best go-pro footage yet chasing these carp and it took some time to edit the video.

This is the first episode in a series of videos about the experience:

As you can probably tell, it was really challenging to land these carp.  I ended up using mainy 1x  and cranking my drag down and sticking it to these fish from the second I hooked them.  If you showed mercy - any mercy at all - they would destroy you.  

For the most part I was using black leech patterns like Chubby Charsers and Martin's Carp Bitters.