Pretend you’re stalking redfish in a pristine tidal backwater, then hold your nose


You are suddenly whisked away to that envisioned destination, but wind up standing on a discarded tire. Sensing your fairy godmother made a mistake, but keen to figure out what all those shadowy figures are on the muddy bottom that you keep spooking as you walk by, you cast. Then you wait. You twitch that fly with an ever so tiny tug of the line. And you wait again.

Twitch. Wait. Twitch twitch. Wait. Pick up, and start over.

When you think you’ve got a follow, it’s just a carton of rotten eggs floating nearby. Gotta strike? No, it’s just another submerged shopping cart. Feel something akin to a palm-sized bream nipping at the bread-ball you wadded up just a bit too big? Could be Brownliner Target A, that elusive second cousin (thrice removed) of your kid’s goldfish bowl inhabitant, the carp.


Those who know me best already presume this is not my kind of fishing – I’m even surprised an anxiety attack never kicked in. A fast pace is more the liking – I prefer throwing meat and seeing fish give chase – the more pissed off my prey is the more I’m smiling. But the weather was beautiful, even early, and I’d pounded on another project until after midnight. I earned the right to wade stinky water and trip over sunken industrial debris while the sun shone brightly on my ever expanding forehead. And despite the fact that the morning was spent…twitching…and waiting…I’m hooked.

I’ve heard people call carp the ‘golden bonefish’ – well they don’t strip 150 yards of backing off the reel on the first run, but they’re so damn picky that I’m giving the alias a pass. Par for the course, this transplanted kid carried a saltwater rig on his first serious carp outing – a half dumbbell attached to a broomstick (Tibor Everglades/Sage SP+ 890-3). After struggling with the fact the setup needs every bit of the belly out there to load – not conducive to dropping 10 feet of flouro twenty five feet ahead – me now thinks a medium-fast 7-weight (or a stiff 6) is more suitable for the activity. As for flies, well it was much the same – a box full of bait labeled Ten Thousand Islands. Funny enough, that part worked out fine (although I’ve already got a double-super-top-secret source with a Ph.D. in Brownlining queued up to dish me some real carp candy).

These oversized rejects from the ornamental pond are wily buggers – an outstanding challenge for any Homo sapien flyroddus. And they are now in grave danger too because I’m hereby taking it upon myself to target them with fervor. Cyprinus carpio watch out, ’cause I’m gunning for you.

Editors note: waders and boots are now soaking in a vat of nitric acid – time will tell if that gets the stench out of them.


Nice work goddammit. I’ve got to get into some carp water soon.

PMcD – The best part of this species is they have this eerie ‘personality’. When you take a trout out of the water, it goes into immediate shock – eyes seem to dilate and it just gasps for breath. Take a carp out of the water and it stares you down – almost like it’s sizing you up, saying “Ok, you got me bitch. When you’re done taking those pics don’t forget to put me back in.”

Hurricane says:

Yo. Carp. Carpe diem. 😉 Last time I went carp fishin’ i had a shoe string with a rusty ol’ hook on the end with some stale bread for bait. That was in Glendo Res up in Wyo. Those fish were so big, they almost pulled me in to the water like I’m the baited end!

We’ll have to fish sometime soon– if anything the entertainment factor looks guaranteed high!

Jon says:

Nice carp…what pattern did you catch it on?

@Hurricane – We are all about entertainment around here!

@Horrible – Wasn’t that a pheasant tail? After all, you have enough of them.

Jon says:

Actually, I believe I used a carp teaser to catch that carp : )~

Send me a pic, since I know you are stingy about your flies after I kept snagging yours! BTW, how do you make those carp swat your flies with their tails?

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