Lure Blog #55
Summertime and the living’s easy
Last month I wrote about my fly fishing adventures in Spain chasing Iberian Barbel. Well this month I’ve been targeting Carp, on the fly.
At this time of year I usually fish for Trout until the increase in water temperatures forces me to stop. Over the last three years I’ve found myself fly fishing for Carp more and more as I’m enjoying it so much. I’m learning new tricks all the time and I’m enjoying the challenge of fishing different waters each week which keeps me on my toes.
Not all waters offer such easy casting opportunities
Where, when and how?
Fortunately in the South East we are blessed with a plethora of day ticket venues, you only have to flick through the pages of ‘The Freshwater Informer’ to find several waters close to where you live.
What I like about Carp fly fishing is its simplicity and the visual aspect of watching fish, their behaviour and reactions to my presence and my flies. My tackle is basic a 9ft #8 rod [any #7 Trout rod will suffice], a floating fly line, Co-Polymer leader material, not Fluorocarbon and a selection of Deer Hair “dog biscuit” imitations plus a few Black Foam bodied Trout flies. A large landing net and an unhooking mat will be required, Trout anglers might not be familiar with these, and they are readily available from any tackle shop and won’t cost a fortune!
Minimal tackle required
Most Sundays see me arriving at the water around 5 o’clock this leaves me plenty of time to get carp feeding on my “loose feed”, a mixture of dog biscuits, cat biscuits and riser pellets. The combination of different shapes, sizes and colours gives me plenty of scope when it comes to my choice of flies. Feeding this mixture conditions the Carp into accepting anything that floats on the surface. If you only feed Chum mixers, dog biscuits, the fish very quickly learn to avoid the “wrong’un”. By watching how the fish react to my loose feed tells me what to do next. I always start feeding small amounts of first and then adjust the frequency and quantity depending on the number of fish I have in front of me and how quickly they’re clearing the feed up. My best advice is always feed small amounts, “keep them keen”, you can always step up the frequency, it’s a mistake to feed too much as this will drift away, taking the fish with it!
Floaters and flies
More often than not I feed around my fly, drawing the fish to where I can easily cast, remember these waters aren’t manicured with fly anglers in mind so you have to adapt but it’s not impossible. Try to resist casting at the first fish that starts taking your free offerings, I know how hard this is but it’s better to get several fish feeding before you start fishing for them. Once they’re feeding the disturbance of a hooked fish can often excite the Carp, if you can manage to continue feeding while playing fish, this takes a little practice, you can keep then lined up “ready and waiting” for you to catch them, “happy days”.
You can control fish if your tackle is balanced
Andy looks well pleased with the end result
A hard fighting Common from yet another day ticket water
It’s so much FUN I hope this inspires you to give it a try?
Andy offers a guiding service for those who wish to learn more about “Lure Fishing & Fly Fishing”. For details visit www.thefriendlyfisherman.co.uk