A Reel With Smooth Strong DragCarp are strong fish that have boundless energy (due to the fact that they don't build up lactic acid in their muscles) and love to make long head rushing runs at full speed whenever there's a fly stuck in their face. So your reel choice becomes more important than your rod. Many carp on the fly anglers use rods as light as 3 weights to chase these cowboy bonefish. In our opinion having a large arbor reel with smooth drag is more important than your rod weight. Even small 5lb carp are capable of insane strength so protecting your tippet is imperative at all costs, don't be afraid to let them run a little bit at first while you try your best to catch up, its a helluva ride.
A Diverse Fly Selection
Photo from Tribe Member Ryan Poquette stuck this carp on a buggy streamer pattern.Despite their appearance, Carp are some of the most intelligent and picky fish out there. They have insane senses of smell, feel and sight which can make them tricky to fool if you don't have the right flies. Carp live in all sorts of places and they can eat just about anything, so you need to dial in on what the carp in your fishing area are actually eating. I have caught them on everything from tiny #18 trout nymphs to 3-inch long streamers. When you get to your fishing spot, pay attention to how and what the carp are feeding on, is it leeches? nymphs? corn? maybe even dry flies? All of those questions will show you what to cast out to your target, and what to have in your fly box.
Polarized Sunglasses & HatMost of Carp fishing on the fly is sight fishing which means having a pair of good polarized sunglasses will greatly improve your odds of spotting a carp and successfully sneak up on them. Because of their size, carp are relatively easy to spot from a decent distance, and seeing them before they see you is key.
A Stealthy Approach
Postfly's own, Pete Bernaby with a stud New Hampshire CarpAs we mentioned earlier, carp have superpower senses, because of their size they make easy targets for many surface dwelling predators, so they are always looking over their shoulder. When you spot happy feeding carp, it's key to first decide how you are going to approach them. First, you want to figure out which way they are facing and plan your approach accordingly. You want the fish to have its head facing away from you so you can move in closer to make your presentation. Now some may scoff at the idea that bright clothing spooks fish, and it may not spook all of them, but wearing muted natural colors is certainly beneficial when sneaking up in close on these wary fish.