I was fly rodding the Hocking near OU's campus last night with a buddy and saw a bunch of gar. For about 5 minutes I threw one of my rope flies. I had several chases, 3 strikes, "hooked" 2 of them and landed them both. They were small, though. The biggest was maybe 24".
I've been fly fishing for carp out of the black river quite a bit lately. How are you fishing for them? What flies are you using? The only time I can get a hit is putting a fly a foot or so in front of it. I've tried blind casting to the spots where I know they are hanging out but can never get a bite. I tie all of my flies and normally just use a small thread body with a little bit of hackle. Seems to work as long as I can put it right in front of them. I've also tried using some crawfish imitations with the lead eyes. Never got a carp to strike one though, only sm bass.
I have always had good luck using a black/brown wooly bugger, Clauser Crayfish, or Clauser Minnow. I can't say I have ever had a carp "strike" the fly...you normally do have to place it within a certain window while the fish is feeding in the 'head down' position.
olive cone-head woolly bugger and the McCabe crayfish have been my go-to patterns for a while now, and I don't see that changing. Love crayfish patterns because it's no problem to get away with using 0x tippet, which really cuts down on the snag threat. Bring a hook file though!
But yeah, the only real way to get carp is to either spot the silt trail of them feeding when they're in deep water and cast WELL ahead of it, and get quite lucky, or spot them on flats and cast about 4' in front and 2' past, get it on the bottom and drag it by them as they feed haha. Carp aren't predatory fish, you'll never see them busting shad in the shallows or chasing a fly a decent distance. And don't get disheartened by the smallies; they cruise with the carp and eat his leftovers haha. If you hook a smallie when presenting to a carp, it means your cast was close