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Kayaking for Carp: A Fly Fisherman’s Summertime Daydream

Kayaking for carp can be a blast, if you’re prepared.

When most people think of fly fishing, most minds turn to trout, and rightly so. The large majority of us are trout fishermen.

However, every trout fisherman located below the Mason/Dixon Line has also experienced the dog days of summer when the water gets so warm that it can just barely support trout populations. Of course, that’s when the fish absolutely refuse to feed.

Fortunately for us southern fly fishermen, Mother Nature has seen fit to provide us with the carp.

The stillwater fish species is often disparaged by other types of fisherman, but they are every bit as wary, wily, and tough to catch as a trout.

Best of all, the peak season for carp just happens to be those long days of summer. Plus, they like flies!

While fly fishing for carp is commonly thought of as a southern pursuit, the perfect craft for pursuing carp actually comes to us from the Arctic Inuit peoples. I’m talking about the kayak.

A kayak is capable of covering long distances relatively quickly with very little expenditure of effort. It’s highly maneuverable, capable of being propelled very stealthily, and has a very shallow draft so that it floats in only few inches of water.

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Therefore, a kayak will allow you to approach a school of feeding carp much closer than a bass boat.

A fly rod is the ultimate tool to deliver your lure to them.

Plus, like a kayaker, a fly fisherman is a master of stealth. Kayaking and fly fishing for carp go hand in hand because a kayaker can spot a school of tailing carp from a considerable distance, and then stalk them like a cat after a bird.

Because carp consume a diet of both aquatic insects and bait fish, you can often catch them by presenting them with large terrestrial flies (such as grass hoppers and beetles) as well as May Fly nymphs, aquatic worms, and streamer flies.

Plus, with the stealth delivery afforded by using a fly rod, the kayaking fly fisherman can deliver his fly to feeding carp without disturbing them. That way, he’s concealing his presence from them until it is too late.

Once the fly is consumed and the hook is set, be prepared for a titanic battle. Carp are often called “freshwater bonefish” with good reason. They are prone to long, high-speed, runs and an absolute refusal to give up the fight.

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Plus, they can grow to exceptionally large proportions and therefore, an eight, nine, or ten weight fly rod with a good fly reel and size 4 through 8 flies are recommended for pursuing this species.

The next time you feel the need for a summertime fly fishing fix, give kayaking for carp a try. You will undoubtedly enjoy it.

Last, as always, please feel free to post your suggestions and comments about this article below.

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Kayaking for Carp: A Fly Fisherman’s Summertime Daydream