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Freshwater bonefish...newbie

Discussion in 'Fish on the Fly' started by creekwalker, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. creekwalker

    creekwalker Moving water...

    I targeted carp on the long rod for the first time this weekend. I used a crayfish and brown woolly bugger fly, but had no luck. Really didn't even get a look. I was casting about 5+ feet in front of them and drifting it into where they were rooting. It was also the middle of the afternoon.

    I'm not that good with hook sizes, but these were small as far as crayfish and woolly buggers go.

    Any tips on targeting carp with fly rod? I found a good post on the forums - link.

    I also found a site listed on a post American Carp Society.

    One problem I may have been having is the drift. I was fishing on a trib of the Ohio River near a dam and the creek would flow one direction, then the other based on the locks at the dam. The current would pick up then die down. I wasn't fishing any weight and I'm afraid I didn't get it down fast enough and keep it in the zone long enough.

    Will they come after the fly or do you have to drift it really close for them to stumble on it?

  2. cw - I started seriously fishing for Carp last year. It took a few trips before I could differentiate between carp that were actively feeding and those that weren't. I'm not saying that this is what happened to you, but I know that I spent considerable time casting to fish that weren't active.

    If they were rooting as you indicated, it would seem to me that would indicate that they were feeding. My experience has been that if I do not spook the Carp, and get my presentation in their window of vision, I usually end up getting the fish to strike.

    I know that there have been times when I continued to present my fly to the fish and they simply ignored the fly while continuing to feed. I don't believe that Carp are as selective as trout, although I know that most fish at times can be selective, especially if there is a particular type of forage or food present at certain times of the year! I can only assume that they must have been aware of my presence, but not spooked enough to scatter, or they were keying in a one certain type of food. I'm not very good at "matching the hatch" as they say! (Believe me, I have spooked them enough to see them scatter!)

    I wish I had more answers to your question. I know that there are others on this site who may have had more experience with Carp. I can only encourage you to keep working at it, when it happens for will be in for the ride of your life!!

    P.S. - You do not always have to drift your fly directly in front of the fish. I have had Carp move quickly from as far as 5 or 6 feet to strike a fly! That's really neat to watch!

  3. creekwalker

    creekwalker Moving water...

    I might have spooked them, but they didn't take off like I've seen them do when wading through the creeks. It was shallow water, really clear, and really sunny out. I could find them easily by looking for the mud trail where there were rooting for food (presumably).

  4. Were teh carp rooting on the bottom, or were they rooting in the weeds. My experience is that carp rooting on the bottom will almost always take a fly (if of the right size and shape), if it's presented on the bottom and moving AWAY from him (so you have to get him to see it, and then move it away). I have seen carp rooting in the weeds, but I firmly believe they were feeding on the vegetation itself. I couldn't get those ones to hit. I would say you're on the right track, and you must have a great spot. Try a different fly and and don't get frustrated.
  5. I tried for carp a few times, and couldn't get them to bite either. Then I read something that said they (like bonefish) look for little puffs of dirt off of sandy bottom which means activity by something crayfish, nymph whatever. So the next time I used a bead head wooly bugger and I made sure I let it tick bottom and kick up a little dust cloud. I practiced away from the fish where I could see the puffs of mud kicking up in the shallows, and got the feel of it.

    Then I put cast right out in front of a nice rooting/tailing carp and he sucked it up like a champ, fought like a son of gun gave me some good runs and I had a blast. Now thats the only time I've had one eat it, but I think with my new technique I think I can be more productive if I see them tailing. But generally I like to fish for smallies, and trout...
  6. Maybe the carp in your area are more vigorous, the ones I hooked in the local river acted more like a 5# bag of potatoes after a mediocre short run.
    Otherwise they are alot of fun to stalk because of the fact that they are very conscious of their surroundings most of the time.
    My experience shows however that when they are not feeding they are the most difficult if not impossible game.
  7. Big agreement with what's been said. If they are not feeding, you can forget it. In the weeds, they are probably feeding on snails. You do need to get the fly down to where they are feeding. As for hooks, I would recommend staying between a #12 and #6. I've caught them on a #10 BH Lil Bugger, a #8 Craw, and a #6 Barry's Carp Fly.

    If you see the puffs of mud while they are feeding, watch to see which way they are moving as they feed. Try and cast your fly close, especially in stained water. In a river situation, it can just become nymphing like you would for Trout.

    I can't say that I see a whole lot of difference between a Steelie and a Carp except for the leaps a Trout might make. Those first few runs are unbelievable.
  8. Dag Nab it!

    Missed one this AM and donated my tippett to a second this afternoon.

    Both readily turned to the fly and nabbed it.

    The 1st. I set too quick and jerked it. The 2nd...well, the fish slowly turned stopped for a bit then must have realized it was hooked and hit the afterburners.

    I'll get one yet!
  9. Oarfish, about half the carp I catch basically need to be dragged in. This is usually in shallow moving water where they are either pinned in or don't want to get into the heavy current. If you hook one next to a bigger pool or in still water, those are the fish that get the adrenaline pumping.

    Experiences may vary.
  10. I was fly fishing in PA for trout, and nailed a 15 pound Carp on my 3wt fly rod. The Carp took me down the river, but got him up to see how big he was in the shallows. The fight lasted 20 minutes, what a rush. Didn't have a net with me, and he would not cooperate with me to get my fly back. Nailed him with a size 14 experimental fly I tied, glass ant, Carp was feeding so it took my offering.