A universal guide to fly fishing for carp, which contains everything you need to know about fly fishing for carps in ponds and rivers - technique, carp fly fishing tackle and best carp flies.
The best period for carp fly fishing
The season of active carp fishing on the fly takes from May to August. In the case of a warm and dry year, it is possible to start with fishing from the end of March, when spring nature is often awakened, the intensity of the sun is sufficient to heat the water of smaller or shallow ponds and blind river arms, and so the first hungry carp start to find the food in the shallows and "warm the bones" after winter. The best part of the season is, of course, hot summer from the second half of June to the end of August, when the hottest July days are the best time for the best hunting and adrenaline fishing of large carp and grass carp under the water surface. Carp fish at this time often "stand" under the surface and their discovery quick takes care of our heartbeat!
What to do before fishing
In the case of active carp fishing on the fly, the "Stalking" method is a real hunt, when we first trace our prey, approach to the fish as close as possible, try to persuade our fish to strike, and if everything succeeds, we look forward to a thrilling and hard fight with an unknown end.
Therefore, as soon as you decide to go on a carp with a fly, try to be invisible! Yes, this property has not yet been gained by people - in the pursuit of progress - but nature is very close because it gives animals mimicry and protective color that protects them from predators! So be inspired by nature, and even if you are the predator at this time, try to blend in with the environment that surrounds you. So avoid color elements on your clothing that simply do not fit into adjacent fauna. If you fit into the appearance of the surrounding nature, fish will accept you easier as part of the outside world. So avoid to wear colorful fly fishing outfit. While these principles are already much undermined and questioned today, nature is smarter than we are, and if we want to be successful, we must humbly admit this fact
Be patient and, before you start fishing, explore the whole water, or the most interesting places and try to find the fish - at best a whole shoal of fish on which you will target your casts.
Look for obstacles in the water, overhanging trees or grabbed branches, water feed covering a large part of the water surface or reed into which the fish can hide. Carp and grass carp are often found near these types of obstacles that provide them protection from predators.
The right fly fishing tactic
If you find a fish near the shore or at good distance for casting, quickly evaluate the situation and offer your fly to fish before it sees you and will spook. In this short moment, the fish often responds positively to the impact of the fly to its area, although you can often see it as if fish doubted the whole situation and often took our fly out of curiosity.
A large shoal of fish in the open water is a good sign for us. However, you have to pay close attention to fish, which can easily be spooked by a careless cast or a mischief or an inappropriate fly presentation - rapid retreiving, unnatural movement, dragging your fly over fish, etc. You have to get as close to the shoal as possible - as well as to individual fish - and cast and present your fly as tenderly and naturally as possible!
Hook up at the right moment
During "Sight Fishing" fishing method, which is the best suited for summer fly fishing for capr, it is very important not to hook up the fish too early. This fishing method is very exciting, as we can see in "live transmission" as carp sucks our flies. The negative side of the whole situation is that there is a risk of "premature hooking" when we pull the fly out of the fish mouth. After a while, the fish will realize its mistake, and if it is scratched with a hook, it will almost immediately be spooked and unfortunately there is no chance to catch this fish again.
Principles of successful fighting with the big carp fish
If everything goes well and we manage to hook the carp, there is an exciting fight with a strong and big fish! Carp and grass carp - like most other fish - usually do not only fight with their own strenght on free water, but - as perhaps they are a little bit aware of our power superiority, they are looking for obstacles and hideouts to which they deliberately choose their way to get rid of our flies. In the case of a free water fight, there is usually no complication. But if we caught the fish near an obstacle where fish looking for its refuge, the fight is more thrilling and more difficult because fish knows the area underwater perfectly and usually chooses where to go to finish the fight for its benefit! In such a situation, we must rely on quality and durable equipment that we have deliberately chosen for the hunt in difficult terrain!
Once you hook up the fish, try to surprise it with your strength in the first moments! Take its precious powers right at the beginning of the fight and get the fish out of dangerous obstacles to free water, where you get better control over the fish! If you can not do this, the fish will surprise you, it will take you to the first fallen tree, which usually does not work well.
The right fly gear for carp fly fishing
Suitable fly rods are in the AFTMA 7 or 8 category, 9 feet (275 cm) long, and in some special cases - the presence of really big fish around fallen trees and water barriers - are the appropriate AFTMA 9 rods. Fast rods with the tip action are more suitable for power fighting with big fish than slower action rods that you can not rely on in so doing.
The fly reel should surely suit the weight of the selected rod and should have enough capacity for the fly line and backing line! Strong and big carp in their wild outbreak immediately after the crash almost always pull the line out of the reel, so it is advisable to insure this situation with the backing line, which will not lose a valuable catch! A suitable large fly reel should be large enough with large capacity for fly line and backing line and should have a good disk drag with easy use.
The fly line must, of course, match the category of the rod used and definitely more suitable are weight forward types - stronger head/belly and thin running line. But, for example, when a fly is presented for a longer distance, it is often better to use a lower category of fly line to lower impact on fish. Floating fly lines are the best, but you can use a different type, such as the underwater type - Hover, which is the next most suitable to floating fly lines! The important part of the fly line is the core, which should be stretching to reveal the first energy escape of the fish. Otherwise, the leader breaks very quick!
Fluorocarbon leaders with a diameter of 0.22 - 0.28 mm are great! These types of leaders are invisible for fish in the water and in this diameter category reduces the risk of losing large fish, and in the event that carp is tangled in a floating obstacle, there is hope of releasing the fish with a stronger leader without the possibility of losing a rare catch!
The best carp flies
In the first place, our fly has to act naturally, which is mainly related to its presentation. As soon as we have mastered the correct technique of presenting our flies, we are half way to win and we can only improve it with a suitable fly pattern! When using Sight Fishing, use flies that will be well visible to you! Therefore, it is advisable to use carp flies larger than those we commonly fly fish with for trouts on still water - nymphs, lures, buzzers - in dark colors to improve the visibility for us, eg in slightly muddy water. Personally, I prefer to use bigger black flies, which I can see and work with it well. Big dark flies can be better controlled and watching the strike of the fish!
Flies as CARP TUTY, EPOXY BUZZER or larger dark nymphs as PHEASANT TAIL NYMPHS or HARE'S EARS and black or brown lures as the WOOLY BUGGER with golden bead are great carp flies for active stalking. If the fish are active under the surface and eat, for example, the flower, leaves and grass, smaller fruit of fruit trees or large terrestrial insects, it is best to try floating silhouette patterns of large insects, multicolored "BREAD FLIES" or other types of pseudo-flies mimic, e.g. the white fluff of the poplar blossom, colored flower leaves or the grass, which especially love the grass carp!
What is very important, flies for carp should be tied on high-quality sharp and very strong hooks made of strong and durable steel. Big carp over 80 cm will fight for a long time, during which the hooks from thinner and softer wire will easily bend and we can lose a precious catch at the end of the fight, because - as it happens - at the last moment the hook will not hold and the fish is free!
Other carp fly fishing equipment
Keep in mind that when you are actively fishing carp on the fly, you will be moving a lot and often find yourself in a rough terrain or challenging situation. If we add a very hot and sunny weather during the summer months we will often in a very difficult condition that you have to adapt to.
Try to be "as light as possible"!
Wear lightly and airy clothes. You just need a lightweight and breathable shirt, surf shorts made of fast-drying material, a soft long-bill cap that protects your head from the sun, and some suitable sandals that will protect your feet during wading in the mud and underwater branches.
Along with the fly rod, take only the necessary equipment that will fit into your waterproof waistbag. Do not forget your fishing licence, one spool of strong leader, carp fly box, a Swiss knife with more features, scissors and other accessories, folding landing net, which can often serve as a temporary shield when strolling with thorned and often impenetrable coastal vegetation. Don't forget your polarized glasses to help you to find your fish target or unpleasant obstacles under the water surface! Surely you have to have some nutritious snack and sufficient amount of drinks because you want to fish, not solve the problems associated with dehydration and sunstroke!