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These are my all time best carp patterns. Carp are funny. If they are just stationary they are not eating. Cruising carp will eat but are difficult to catch. In my opinion cruising carp are the most rewarding. Tailing carp or carp that are in large groups tend to feed and are easily caught. Fly fishing for carp in my opinion is no different than bonefishing. You get those super frustrating days when nothing will take the fly. The next day you can do no wrong.
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Discussion Starter · #563 ·
These are my all time best carp patterns. Carp are funny. If they are just stationary they are not eating. Cruising carp will eat but are difficult to catch. In my opinion cruising carp are the most rewarding. Tailing carp or carp that are in large groups tend to feed and are easily caught. Fly fishing for carp in my opinion is no different than bonefishing. You get those super frustrating days when nothing will take the fly. The next day you can do no wrong. View attachment 188593
I like those flies I plan on hitting lake Michigan again. They are totally different up there vs these fish in the southeast. The MI fish are aggressive as hell and big. That lake is gorgeous man and nice mirror.
 

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I resisted the carp thing for a long time but a British friend kept dragging me to carp locations until it finally 'clicked'. In the right location, it's pretty close to bonefish or redfish other than the lack of palm trees:

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Harder than bones or reds most of the time as well, at least in my experience.
 

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I disagree with the boga grip use, but still an awesome video with two legends.
There’s a later era walkers cay with the dude from mad river outfitters and they’re fishing carp as well. I think the boga probably speaks more to the time
Harder than bones or reds most of the time as well, at least in my experience.
In Charleston, unless you find common carp living in the sweet water river systems inland, we have sterile grassers. In my experience, they are about 3,000 times harder to fool than our redfish, and most times, I find our redfish to be a pain in the ass majority of the time as it is. My first grass carp came in the most unlikely, and un-carp way. Since then I have been humbled by that same school of fish, like a lot. Most recently I managed to present a fly that one of said fish followed, got right up on it, inspected it, and moved on, without spooking, or noticing me, and I felt as if I had legitimately won the lottery. If I had the same scenario with a local redfish, I would have probably responded a good bit differently to put it into perspective.
 

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In Charleston, unless you find common carp living in the sweet water river systems inland, we have sterile grassers. In my experience, they are about 3,000 times harder to fool than our redfish, and most times, I find our redfish to be a pain in the ass majority of the time as it is.
A friend of mine lives on a private lake that is full of grass carp. I persisted until I finally caught one but once that was accomplished I went back to common carp and mirror carp where there's a slight chance of success. Grass carp are lottery fish: every so often you have the winning ticket.

Some of my local mirror carp are about on par with bonefish: a properly presented fly, wiggled just right, and you have a fair chance of coming tight to them -

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A friend of mine lives on a private lake that is full of grass carp. I persisted until I finally caught one but once that was accomplished I went back to common carp and mirror carp where there's a slight chance of success. Grass carp are lottery fish: every so often you have the winning ticket.

Some of my local mirror carp are about on par with bonefish: a properly presented fly, wiggled just right, and you have a fair chance of coming tight to them -

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I caught a sizable grass carp on a 1 or 1/0 frog gurgler, with the head tied more in a diver style, than* a traditional gurgler, walked up on a body of water I thought looked great for bass when driving by, it was about sunrise, and the only fly I had was the gurgler, found several carp tailing, and a large group of them feeding on the surface. Which is how I managed to land mine. Got him on the bank, was attempting to remove the fly and he surged, bounced back in the water, and broke my leader clean off, which was straight 30lb fluoro, also stealing my fly. Over the next week I tried everything at the same spot, found them acting similarly every time at sunrise, and evening nearing sunset, never caught one again. Gave it a good 3 months, tried one again on the subsurface game, and that’s when I was rejected and took it as a win. More recently (last weekend) made a perfect shot on one, was fully expecting it to work out, and was foiled by a good size largemouth, which I wasn’t totally mad at, but I wanted the damn carp! As it warms up around here, I will be making some missions to known haunts for our common carp further inland, hoping for some better play. At this point i am more interested in these dang fish than our reds 🤣
 

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Anyone fly fishing for carp in SW Florida? I see some grass carp in the brackish canals around our Placida neighborhood, but I have no idea how to target them. My usual is to fish for common carp standing in a kayak, but that's in Washington State. The alligators seem to change the equation for me. I fall off a kayak in Washington carp water, the worst I get is an ear infection and maybe some antibiotics. I fall off a kayak in a FL canal, the worst could be a chomp on the ass. I know a small boat solves the falling problem, but that probably means a trailer and trolling motor versus a kayak in back of the truck with a paddle/pole. And if I know one thing about carp -- stealth is everything. Let me know if anyone has any SW Florida tips/best practices.

Thanks in advance.
 
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