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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After the Triangle Fly Fishers Haw River Cleanup I decided to do a little fishing. Not really expecting much I tossed my black bead head wooly bugger under a tree. Gave it a few strips and felt some tension. The fish didn't tug hard at first but then it was like it woke up and started to peel off line.

The water was brown and the visability was horrible. All I could see was my line pointing at the water and zigzaging as the fish headed to deeper water. I knew it was either a carp or a catfish. I let the fish run then remembered how I"ve lost plenty of fish before by letting them run too far. They eventually get caught on a tree or some log and you have to snap the line. After about 100ft of running I grabbed the line and tested the Orvis 8wt. It held fine and the the fish did some interesting things. Went straight towards the bank so fast I thought it was gonna fly out of the water and land on shore. Stopped like a dime about 6inches away then headed for deep water again. It kept doing this over and over and each time it inched closer. The fish rolled about a foot away and I could see from the mustard shimmer that it was a carp.

I finally horsed it towards me and like all of my other carp landing attempts the fish made a last ditch effort run right as my hand was grabbing for it.

Usually this is about the same time my tippet or knot snaps. Luckily it held and the fish came to hand.

Sorry no glory photos, I just removed the bugger and the fish had enough in him to splash me and swim off on his own. I have to thank my buddy for taking the pics while the whole thing was going on. Usually when I'm fishing I never have any pictures of "me" actually fishing. =)
 

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Great job. carp are beyond one of the must challenging freshwater fish to not only hook but land on fly. congratulations on the first one good luck with some more.
 

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Sweet! I have been wanting to hook up with a carp for a couple of years now with my fly rod. I think I need to get on the ball.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Congrats I too am looking at getting a carp on the fly.
Honestly I can't say if now is a good or bad time. I caught this one on the Haw. By my house there is a small pond that has about 20 of them in it and I can't get them to hit anything. My buddy caught one and had too come unbottoned today. Seems the hits are pure luck or perfect and I mean perfect presentation. He had one where the carp was cruising towards him, he cast over it scooted the fly past the carp, some how not spooking it, then kept stripping it about 3-4ft in front of the carp then let it drop. The carp turned and went for it and he had it on for about 3 seconds. Everything was so pefect we spent the rest of the day trying to recreate that presentation. It's tough. They aren't dummies. At least with flies.

What's weird is how I've caught them, the one on the Haw was pure luck, I was blind casting and the carp was just there. The other times I've had them on when I was site fishing. I could literally see the carp taking the fly. Both times were with a kind of bead head wooly bugger. One time I let the fly drop about a foot from the carp, it turned went towards the fly, I did a small twitch and the carp grabbed it and took off. Another time I saw a carp cruising eating pretty good and just put the fly in it's path. I saw him take it and this was about 6inches from shore. I've tried casting for them when I could see them barely under the surface and I've had luck once with that. Small strips.

The hardest and most frustrating way is seeing just part of the fish or their bubbles when feeding. You can't really tell which way they are facing and if they feel your fly line or leader they are gone. I honestly would say if you can't see the fish don't even bother going after them. Unless there are so many of them you have a general idea of where they are lying.

The best peice of advice I can give you too, is let them run but not too far. They will wrap around things. Don't be afraid to pressure them hard with your rod. They will sand bag you too, act tired get real close to you so you think you can just net them, then they'll take off almost ripping the pole out of your hands.
 
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