doing everything right but I’m still not catching these fish” our response is
you’ve missed something in the planning or execution. We’ve summarized
a simple but detailed list of 30 little things that count.
1. Never cast to a carp...cast past it if it is rooting around, or out in front of it if it is moving...then draw your fly to the fish.
2. Carry several sizes of your favorite patterns - muddy water allows for bigger imitations sometimes including flash, low clear conditions require smaller more innocent patterns sparse of flash. You need weighted and un-weighted versions of your subsurface flies.
3. Leader of 8 to 10-feet are ideal in most lake or river situations.
4. Always pull or strip set after a carp takes before elevating the rod.
5. You want sunny clear days with minimal wind- fish early or late.
6. Constantly check your leader for knots and abrasions and rebuild it when you find one.
7. What you do after your fly is in the water is more important than your cast! Move the fly in front of the fish making it easy for him to eat!
8. Pick you shots but cast fast! More often than not, the window of opportunity is very short…if you can’t see the fish, you can’t cast to it! If you’ve got time on you side take it waiting for the carp to move to an advantageous position.
9. Always have some line off the reel and your fly in hand…and be ready!
10. Stealth in approach cannot be over emphasized - slow and soft walking.
11. Unless you know where the fish are blind casting is wasted time.
12. The weight of the fly is very important - heavily weighted flies will spook fish in shallow water.
13. Wearing drab clothing is always a smart decision.
14. Hook sets are often relatively intuitive and patience is critical. Many "missed" carp are due to premature hook sets.
15. The distance threshold at which you fish can be quite variable, ranging from 10 to 50 feet. It’s a function of conditions and fish behavior, and can change daily.
16. Have the discipline not to fish to every single carp you see. Pick your battles and focus on specific fish that may be actively feeding or are displaying aggressive body language.
17. Don't fish a leader length, fly size, or rod you are uncomfortable with.
18. Find the head of a feeding fish and cast off to the side in the direction you think he is headed
19. Consider fishing with two flies - use different styles and sizes spread 24 to 30-inches apart.
20. Persistent ultimately pays off, but keep moving and looking for opportune targets.
21. Feeding carp are easiest to present flies to in areas of from one to four feet of still or slow-moving waters.
22. Carp feed most aggressively at water temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees
23. Impart just enough movement in your retrieve so that the carp notices the offering
24. Carp are incredibly sensitive to taste and smell. Before you use a fly for the first time rub it with mud or algae
25. Every day is an adventure in terms of what Carp might be is in the mood for - change flies until you find out.
26. Wear good gasses and learn how to spot fish – watch for tails and mud clouds
27. Spooked fish may hang around but they are not about to take your fly
28. In bright sun carp will pull off the flats between 10:00 and 11J) am
29. If you get a refusal to a well-presented fly go smaller.
30. If possible stay out of the water and fish from the bank.