Fly fishing for carp often asks for extra precise (and very soft) presentations, long leaders, the perfect first cast and some experience in playing the (strong) fish, if the rest successfully worked out.
Generally there are two kinds of water:
A) (mostly) smaller lakes often holding pretty muddy water and
B) (mostly) large lakes with clear water.
And then it makes a huge difference if carps regularly will be fed by (for example) hiking people or not.
When having water A) and enough people starting to feed the carps soon they get conditioned to pick up everything entering the surface. Thus they get pretty easy to catch.
Those carps are not as much of my interest as those not being conditioned. Still they are a lot of fun to catch anyway - I nailed some of those last week.
I really love to focus on lakes offering crystal clear water and carp not being conditioned but following their natural feeding behavior. Last week I also was lucky to fish a perfect lake offering extra crystal clear water with very low fishing pressure and no feeding pressure at all. And then only a few carps were in that lake. I was fishing that lake for two days and could spot just one single carp cruising around (just below the surface).
All my childhood I have been angling for carp. Fair to say I learnt a lot about sight fishing for carp in those early days – even though it wasn’t fly fishing back then.
The most important key factor in my experience is: Observing, observing and still observing FIRST! Then, when I know the lanes in which the carp moves around and when I have an idea about his feeding mood it’s time for a first cast. That cast should match. Often one will not get a second change. Still talking about wild none-conditioned carp this is.
The one carp I spotted in that crystal clear water last week couldn’t resist my fly after a perfect first presentation. It was a kind of Mayfly tied in wet fly style. I presented it dead drift just below the surface and the carp fully took it. Watching that carp taking my fly in very slow motion was fantastic as was the fight. Pretty strong fighting fish compared to many fish belonging to the group of game fish!
Usually I fish a 6wt. line and a pretty stiff fly rod. As the tippet I like to stay above 0,30mm nylon, if fishing pressure is low. Otherwise I’ll have to play it for quite extra long. You may find a small selection of flies, which often did the job in the pictures below.
As it looks at the moment we will be back to mullet and pike perch next week. Flies are ready!
Hopefully you are heading some great fishing, too!?
All my best