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On The Fly: Challenge yourself with carp

Kirk Webb
On The Fly

While hobbling around on a gimp foot that I broke a few weeks ago, I haven’t been fishing as much as I generally do. Don’t feel too bad for me though, I’ve still been getting out there twice a week on average, but I’ve been having to learn how to slow down, watch where I’m walking and think twice about where I can fish with my limited mobility.

In a way, it makes me feel like a virgin wader, always looking down at my feet and planning where I position myself to not only cast and fish, but also thinking ahead on how and where I have to play and land fish; not an easy task when I’m used to just going, let alone when it’s more than 50 degrees outside and all that I want to do is go fish.

This past week, I did a national radio show interview on fly-fishing the Lower Colorado River, where I talked about trout and carp fishing from Glenwood Springs to Grand Junction. The format of the program allowed questions to be submitted from the audience, where, much to my surprise, 90 percent of the questions pertained to carp, not trout, fishing. So there I was, talking about preferred techniques, lines, flies and areas to carp fish in western Colorado. I was amazed, simply because fly-fishing is easily driven and dominated by trout. Carp are now being deemed as the newest “saving-grace” in the fly fishing media, where they’re being perceived as the hot, new, cool thing to do.

After all of that talk about carp and carp fishing, I was seriously getting that “winter itch” to do some warm weather carpin’.

I racked my brain going through all of my local carp spots trying to come up with a few easy areas where I could comfortably gain access with a busted-up foot. I had three or four areas specifically in mind, and with a plan hatched and weather in the mid-60s, I headed downvalley.

I’ve only caught carp in February a handful of times, but with the weather on my side I thought I’d see if any carp were cruising and moving around, knowing full well it was very, very early in the season to begin fishing for them. Hell, I’d be happy just seeing a carp, let alone present a cast to one, especially after threading on tiny midge patterns for the past few months trout fishing on the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers. Long story short, I did in fact see plenty of carp in each area I went to, and even caught three, including a very respectable 12 pounder to go along with two “Pop-Tarts” of smaller size.

If you’re growing a bit tired of trout and want to really challenge yourself, I urge you to give carp a try. My only word of caution is that the carp bites bugs hard, and you might find yourself ditching that wimpy trout rod and those little fish for a big, whoopin stick and a crack at a large carp.

“On the Fly” is provided weekly by the staff at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt.


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