So you think Carp are a “trash fish”? A bottom feeder? Easy to catch? Ok, I grant you this, if you wad up some Velveeta inside a casing of Wonder Bread…. Maybe so. On the fly??? Different ballgame my friend!
Allow me to address the first issue of “bottom feeder” There happens to be this saltwater fish that people pay thousands of dollars to go catch. They have down turned mouths, feed almost exclusively on the bottom, and are much easier to catch using live bait. Yes, the bone fish, the ghost of the flats, in many ways is the saltwater cousin of the common Carp!
Now the carp are much more of an SUV than a Ferrari, but a good sized Carp will take you and your eight weight into your backing and give you a better struggle than most fresh water species. In addition, Carp in the double digits are common and you can sight fish for them to boot!
Here is the crowning jewel. For almost all of us, you can be on prime Carp waters for the price of a few dollars in gas and a Twinkie. Close your eyes… swap out pristine white sand for a bit of mud, that sweet salt water smell for something a bit less savory, and that endless horizon for some endless graffiti and voila! You are now on your typical urban creek, spillway, river, etc…. Now, not all Carp fishing is steeped in such beauty, but for many of us with an hour and a half to fish after work… this is Nirvana!
Now I know all of you trout purists are snickering at me right now… please, snicker away! If you are still a doubter, take a few hours and try this out. Any evening after work, head over to your nearest warm water river, find some mudding or tailing Carp in shallow water and try to approach them… better yet, present a fly. Unless you put the fly in the perfect spot, approach with stealth, and have a bit of luck on your side… chances are the fish you were stalking is gone in a puff of mud.
So maybe this is no longer the best kept secret in fly fishing but I do know that there are far fewer fisherman on my local Carp stream than there are on my local trout stream! In fact, I have gone weeks and not seen another soul other than my buddy Bob who is now afflicted with the same addition. And you know what? That is just fine with me!