Fly Fishing For Carp - Solo!

Fly Fishing For Carp Explained...

Fly fishing is to fishing as calligraphy is to writing. Carp is to fish as Twinkies are to dessert. Fly fishing carp; beauty and the beast!

Fly fishing is to fishing as calligraphy is to writing. When we first learn to write we start with printed block letters, then we learn cursive, and if we want to take it to a higher, artistic, beautiful level – we might try the art of calligraphy. Apply that formula to fishing – starting with a spin-rod and a bubble and finishing with fly fishing and you’ll get the simile.

Carp is to fish as Twinkies are to dessert. When I think of dessert I think of beautiful chocolate mousse with cinnamon infused whipped crème or perhaps a vanilla-bean Panna-Cotta with a fresh berry coulis. On the other end of the spectrum we have the brick shaped snack pumped full of hydrogenated oil and corn syrup with a shelf-life of forever – not unlike the Carp.

Fly fishing for carp has increased in popularity over the years with a big burst of interest bubbling over as of late. In Europe people are nuts for the sport. They don’t necessarily rely on the fly rod but the art of catching the giant gold-fish has been perfected and adorned with reclining lawn chairs and umbrellas. Here in the states the pursuit seems to follow the path Joan Wulff describes as the “stages” of fly fishing. When we first start all we care about is how many fish we catch, sometime soon after we get excited about the big fish, but then we graduate to the third stage – the more difficult fish to catch. Carp fall into this category. For two years in a row now I’ve attended the

South Platte Pro-Am Carp Slam and this year, just before the show itself, I caught MY FIRST CARP! (check out the VIDEO)

It required a lot of guidance and coaching from Front Range Anglers top-guns Jay Zimmerman and Patrick Knackendoffel, but catching your first carp means you can’t wait to catch your second one. That marker was not laid down at this year’s Carp Slam, for the second year in a row.

September 2009 in Colorado is shockingly gorgeous. When you wake up with a 45 degree chill and a warm sun promising to heat the day to a perfect 75, you know it’s going to be one of those days that need to be carpe’d to the fullest. (Carpe the Carp.)

Today I headed back up to the Carp pond that produced my inaugural experience but this time – solo. No Jay, no Patrick, just me, my 5 Weight Winston, and a couple of ugly flies. The slight nip in the air felt absolutely luscious with the sun shining down on that panoramic display of Rocky Mountain foothills. The water was alive with tiny bait-fish sending me encoded messages of "good luck" in their ever moving swirls and pattersns; where there are little fish there are most ceratinly bigger fish.

Today, I had no doubt that I would win a repeat fly fishing carp. The water was vacant except for one guy at the main water-way lazily casting a bobber about five feet in front of himself. I smiled to myself – no bobber required when fly fishing carp; if you get it right you’re rewarded with that unmistakable feeling of a hungry hog taking that fly of yours into their rubber- tire lips. I stalked the shoreline and immediately saw the familiar gray shadows submarining in the mud.

First I perfected the art of bonking fish on the head – my guide’s voice echoing in my ears, “better to blow up your target fly fishing for carp than not get it to them.” So blow them up I did. And then a magical thing happened – I landed my cast about 10 inches in front of a target's nose and he bit! And he snapped off my fly – user error I’m sure. I tied on another bug and landed about a foot in front of a wallowing grazer. I stripped in at a medium speed and FISH ON!

The fight wasn’t too tough and I got this baby beached in record time and safely released to his watery den. Two casts later I had another one just like it and I was literally vibrating with adrenaline!

I took my knocks. Fly fishing for carp is hard - but I listened when I was instructed and I was able to execute solo. I just became an official carp-er, I’ve done Carp-Face proud!


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