Mainly there are 3 types of carp I am fly fishing for:
1. Mirror carp
2. Common (or Scaly) carp
3. Grass carp
Everyone of these species of fish has it's own feeding behaviour.
Mirror carp are usually the easiest ones to catch. They feed on bred (if available), a lot of insects and even small fish sometimes. Thus you may try a lot of different patterns. Mostly I try a bred fly first and then a nymph or an egg fly. Usually no movement on the fly works best. If nothing seems to work a small white streamer sometimes does the job! Make sure to perform a perfect first cast. Carp are pretty clever often and they easily get spooked by presenting the fly several times near them.
Common carp are mostly significant harder to catch compared to Mirror carp. I caught most of them on small nymphs. Size 16 - 20. If the water is clear I present the nymph at the end of a long leader - sight fishing though. If the water isn't clear and it's hard to see anything but the fish muddying at the bottom I fish with strike indicators. Watching out for muddy spots also works pretty well on cloudy days. In clear water Scaly carp (when having some fishing pressure) mostly react negative on strike indicators above their heads. So when changing from muddy water to clear water make sure to remove your indicator!
Grass carp are incredible hard to catch unless you start to condition them onto something (not what I want). In fact I yet have to catch my first grass carp on fly! I managed to hook (a pretty big) one this year but lost it after a dramatic fight. I tried many different flies and strategies but yet have no clue how to catch them. Just yesterday I was chasing one single Grass carp for about 4 hours and in the end - no, I didn't give up - had to stop due to running out of sun light. Damned, he refused my whole fly box - smart ass!?
If you have an idea for a fly pattern (or even better the right strategy) which works on Grass carp - please let me know!!!
Back into carp right now...
Great week to all of you!
All my best