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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Typical of the winters we have had for many years, our rivers in N California are brown and running too high to wade or fish. So another steelhead season has about become history with minimal days to even consider fishing.

Last fall on a couple of local rivers before the floods and the salmon/steelhead runs, I noticed and heard a lot of very large carp acting like bone fish, striking flies on the water and dandelion type things floating down river. Then, you could see them in the shallows with their tails up while feeding on the bottom. One of these struck a brown deceiver pulled my 650 grain Skagit about 150' before it broke the tippet. My 9 weight TCR was basically useless :eek: in trying to stop its first and last run, down stream with an outgoing tide, before it broke off.

When I got back into fly fishing about a dozen years ago, there was a place on the Russian River by Geyersville which had huge 10+# carp. I used to get mad when they struck one of my steelhead or smallmouth bass flies. Now I look at that as not too smart.

So I'm about ready to cross over to the dark side and start fishing for carp.

Who here is brave enough :saeek: to admit that they Carp fish with two handed rods and are willing to share how to's with us.
 

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i have yet to try it with a 2 hander, but i'm planning on trying. a big nasty old carp will test your tackle better than any steelhead ever thought about, especially in nice warm water. i to would like to hear the methods employed by others.
 

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Grampa Spey said:
Who here is brave enough :saeek: to admit that they Carp fish with two handed rods and are willing to share how to's with us.

I am, I do it all the time in the summer, not spey casting, but over head. Some excellent flats fishing within walking distance of my house. I'd be a fool to turn my nose up at it. I have a pattern, I won't say I came up with it, but I call it the Harbor Charley, as its very similar to the Bonefish fly, the Crazy Charley.

Lead eyes on the top of a hook near the eye, chenille body, rabbit strip wing with a bit of K-flash. Whole thing is about an inch to an inch and a half long. Black is the killer color in my neck of the woods. Slowly stripped across the bottom until I see the line go tight, hold on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Jamey

Jamey McLeod said:
I am, I do it all the time in the summer, not spey casting, but over head. Some excellent flats fishing within walking distance of my house. I'd be a fool to turn my nose up at it. I have a pattern, I won't say I came up with it, but I call it the Harbor Charley, as its very similar to the Bonefish fly, the Crazy Charley.

Lead eyes on the top of a hook near the eye, chenille body, rabbit strip wing with a bit of K-flash. Whole thing is about an inch to an inch and a half long. Black is the killer color in my neck of the woods. Slowly stripped across the bottom until I see the line go tight, hold on!
What size hooks or brand of hooks do you use?

Are you fishing with sink tips or a long leader?

How long do you let the fly rest on the bottom before you strip it back in, and do you pause between the slow strips?

I wonder if they think that they are after a cricket. One of our locals gave me a cricket, and it got smashed probably by a carp as it floated downstream on a nice warm evening.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That carp got into my backing. Nothing else has.

crobarr said:
I have yet to try it with a 2 hander, but i'm planning on trying. a big nasty old carp will test your tackle better than any steelhead ever thought about, especially in nice warm water. i to would like to hear the methods employed by others.
That carp got into my backing. Nothing else has.
 

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I can't remember what hook it was, typical heavy wire up eyed short/medium shank nymph hook. I give it a good 10-20 seconds after it hits the water, probably longer than I need for the conditions. Some of them I palmer the body, just looks "buggy". Olive is pretty good also.
 

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Grampa Spey said:
That carp got into my backing. Nothing else has.

Theres a bouy about 150-175yards out where I fish. It seems like they run straight at it and turn the corner knowing it will break the line. I used my T&T1107DH last year, since sold it, probably use the old RPL6113 this year. These fish run between 8-15lbs.

Into the backing every time :hihi: .

And to finish answering your above question, I use a floater, usually a shooting head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the feedback.

A local carper, who is still in the closet said to use my Eagle Claw Shad hooks which are stainless steel, as these carp are bigger and stronger than shad which often will break or straighten out regular fly hooks. He uses a 9140 for his Shad Fishing with floating lines and 15' steelhead leaders when wading.

If he fishes from his boat, he sight fishes for them and uses a 10 wt one handed rod with a floating shooting head and a very long leader. He feels that they are more boat shy, rod shy and line shy than stripers and need casts of at least 70' to 80' to catch them when they are tailing in shallow water. He likes to cast a few feet in front of them and let a heavy fly sink to the bottom and then jerk it in the silt just before they get to the fly. He says that a 12 pound carp fights harder and longer than a 12 lb striper. They get into his backing and seldom do stripers up to 15#'s.

Down here when dandelion seeds and other white seeds are flying and falling on the water, he says the carp become very aggressive as if the dandelion seeds are some type of stimulant drug. He has fished rivers in Oregon with black berries along the side of the rivers and uses floating wooly buggers with purple and black bodies. He said that becomes carp insanity when the berries are dropping in the water.
 

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Carp fishin' for us NorCal locals

Hey Dave,
Have you ever fished the Napa River for carp, or only the Russian? I have seen quite a few in the 10-15 lb range pulled out of the Napa on bait for someone's dinner. I have had sporadic luck with those fish on flies though.

In stillwater I do a bit better. The 6-10 pounders in the side ponds at Berreyessa are pretty spooky, but will take small wooly buggers, olive or brown, no bead or flash at all. Drop the bugger off their shoulder and wait till they close in and start to mud, I have found a little twitch frequently draws a "slurp" (Can you really call what they do with them rubbery lips a "strike"?)

Other times I'm throwing a clumpy dry kinda thing. Last summer I was experimenting with the "cheeto fly" as well as more traditional "Orvil Redenbacher" patterns. I figured that if I'm gonna "match the hatch" I needed to tie a series of "junk food" flies. For the monster carp at the Lake Mead marinas in NV, these type of flies are the ticket. Unlike most carp these fish are not shy and can be fed by hand if you want. The slap of your line and fly is ringin' the dinner bell. Those fish run upwards of 17 lb and are a blast on a fly rod. Given the opppourtunity, they will dive deep, so a rod with great lifting capabilities helps if your near deep water. Think 10/11 weight single handed.

One fine summer day, I want to setup off the bank across from Downtown Joe's Brewery in Napa and sling "cheetos" to rolling carp. I figure they will be quite receptive. And if things go real poorly, I can stop by 7-11 and pick up a bag of "chum". That'll get those carp up and workin'. Not to mention the possibility of a schoolie striper blitz at any given moment & the occaisional 12-15 lb fish. The Napa River ain't pretty, but it's close to me and offers decent variety (minimal steelies, some kings, good stripers, carp, & the occaisional sturgeon) when I can't get to the Delta and Putah is overcrowded.
 

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Carp:) my second fav fish after Channel Cats on the Spey rod:)

carp bent 15' 10/11



high water fish porn



couple of fav river patterns

hivis cased caddis and dragon nymph




Will
 

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Grampa Spey said:
That carp got into my backing. Nothing else has.
;) You'd get into that backing more if you quit fishin' those sissy rivers and moved out to the manly, coastal ditches! Oh, and hack off the back 50' or so of your running line. That'll help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hacking off the running line to get into the backing.

sixrivers said:
;) You'd get into that backing more if you quit fishin' those sissy rivers and moved out to the manly, coastal ditches! Oh, and hack off the back 50' or so of your running line. That'll help.
Okay, I see my mistake. I only cut off about 20 to 30' of running to get some of my spey lines to fit on my reel.:hihi:

One September/October I was fishing the woosie/sissie lower Rogue, and I got into some nice summer type steelhead. It was hot, the water was warm, and I was fishing with a big heavy Grandspey and good sized furled leader.

Most of the woosie fish struck on the dangle. 3-5 # fish just couldn't handle dragging the cable er Grand Spey and the furled leader. They came in like whipped doggies. I stopped fishing after a couple of fish to keep from killing them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
prairiespey, Thanks for the greatfish pictures and the pictures of the flies

How much did that big sucker weigh, and how did it take to land it?
 

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Carp on the fly

Book...A serious read if you really want to get serious about flyfishing for Carp. We used to do it when I lived down south. Steelhead were but a dream. Trout were an all day drive. But Carp, five to ten pounders, were only minutes away. :Eyecrazy: We did it with single handers. Tried the two handers. God, I wanted a reason to use a Spey rod. He gave me a reason. But it weren't Carp.:) Btw: those are some buggy lookin' flies.
 

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Dave- not sure on weight- they average 35/36 " long here- that one was around 36"( we dont bother with weights- takes too long to C&R). In the big spring flows- maybe 15-20 mins- for landing if we get them on the butt section fast- if not then wayyyyy!!!!!! longer


JD- yep thats a good primer- though much of what you do for steelheads works as well with more carpcentric patterns- there seems to be a misconception they can only be taken - sight fished- they hold off seams/in pockets/off run creases/backflows etc etc same as any feeding fish - we have even been exploring taking them using DH/shooting heads ala striper tactics in the big surf off our local 200 mile long lake that has 5-6 ft surf on many days- possibilities are endless:))))

Will
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
JD re Carp on the fly

Thanks, I got the book and the Carp Fishing DVD for Christmas.

They are an excellent resource. I have found that this site is where reality re the fine tuning of the parts and pieces come together.
 

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Carp on the fly

DVD????? there's a dvd out now? That I would like to see. Any chance of borrowing it it the near future? I'm gonna be laid up for a couple of weeks and that would be good therapy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
JD re Carp Fishing DVD

JDJones said:
DVD????? there's a dvd out now? That I would like to see. Any chance of borrowing it it the near future? I'm gonna be laid up for a couple of weeks and that would be good therapy.
Sure, private mail me your address, and I will get it in the mail to you tomorrow or Friday. You can review it for a couple of weeks.

Hope you mend okay. Did some mean :saeek: surgeon cut on you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
JD, the Carp Fishing DVD is in the mail

JDJones said:
DVD????? there's a dvd out now? That I would like to see. Any chance of borrowing it it the near future? I'm gonna be laid up for a couple of weeks and that would be good therapy.
The DVD will be heading north soon. The afternoon, actually the daily pickup, is 4:30 pm. It is at the local sub station waiting for the pickup. Enjoy it and recover!
 
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