Fly Fishing for Carp -Hunting the Golden Ghost Posted: Tuesday, September 04, 2012 EST
Over the past several months, we at Chattokee Lodge have spent hours on the shallow flats with fly rods in hand hunting the “Golden Ghost”, more widely known as the common carp. Carp are a true challenge on fly; amazingly spooky, finicky feeders, and always impressive when you hook up. All these traits can leave anglers frustrated at times, amazed most all the time, and elated when the fish finally take the fly.
Hunting these fish is a term I use literally. When poling the shallows hunting these fish, the search is for tailing fish feeding in the soft muddy bottom or fish feeding along the shallow weed beds. Once spotted, it is up to the angler to make a precise presentation without disturbing their feeding activity. Here in lies the challenge, presenting the fly to the fish without “blowing” the target out. Excessive movement casting, boat noise or pressure waves, or sloppy presentation will alert the fish of your presence and they are gone. My fishing partner and fly fishing guide at Chattokee Lodge, Pete, has a saying I’ve heard too many times, “ They know we are here”.
As much time as I have spent on the water the last 2 months, I can honestly say there appears to be no pattern in their feeding activity. Today, fish are on the flats at sunrise, tomorrow they don’t show up till 10am. However the one variable that must be considered at all times is sunlight. Carp fishing is 100% sight casting at feeding fish, bright sunny days provide optimum visibility just as they do on the salt water flats chasing bones or reds.
Even with the odds being stacked in their favor most of the time, we have been successful getting fish to the boat. Not only is hunting the “Golden Ghost” very challenging on fly, it is loads of fun. Additionally, there is no better practice for your trip after bones or reds. If you enjoy site casting at feeding fish, I would highly recommend taking a shot at “Hunting the Golden Ghost”.
Beginning early Spring of 2013, Chattokee Lodge will be offering guided Carp fly fishing trips. Visit ChattokeeLodge.com for photos and information. I guarantee it will be an experience you will not forget.