Written by: Steve May
Last weekend, I was at an event in Upstate New York called Carp-o-rama. It was a chance for a bunch of guys to go out and try their hand at carp fishing around Grand Island and share stories and some fine craft beers at a wrap-up BBQ with the folks from Oak Orchard Fly Shop.
I had a phenomenal day on the water with two patterns that really did a number on these clear-water carp. The Full Motion Crayfish and the Identity Crisis were hoovered in by orange lips regularly throughout the morning before the fish started to peel off the flat for an afternoon siesta. These flies are designed for carp, smallmouth, panfish and trout, but it seems that anything that eats little crayfish or big nymphs will usually suck in one of these things. That is why they get a good deal of tippet time when I am on the water. They have really helped me and my clients better enjoy the “catching” part of a day on the water.
I do not do a ton of carp fishing. But, every time I go out, I question why I don’t chase these fish more often. They are challenging to fool, but incredibly abundant. And if you do things right, you can get hooked up with a bunch of big strong fish in an outing. They do not attract crowds, and they can be found on some beautiful freshwater Great Lakes flats or in clear warmwater rivers where sight-fishing is best. Sounds like a super fly fishing opportunity to me!
Steve May is an avid angler who has worked and played on the Grand River for many years. He has been a guide and a fly-fishing instructor, and he has a number of innovative fly patterns listed with Orvis.