Oh, us crazy carp guys. The trout guys hate us, or love us because we stay off of their water...I forget which it is. I do know they don't seem to like it when I pretended to be blinded by how white their backing is (mine is all dirty and gray) and they sure don't seem to like the whole "we measure our fish in lbs, not inches" shtick...I should be nicer, and that has gotten easier as the respect for carp has grown. I can tell you that 10 years ago nearly everyone either looked sideways at me, or straight looked down on me.
Oh how times have changed. With his latest book, Kirk Deeter of Field and Stream and Trout Magazine, basically a well known influential Trout guy has sort of come out of the closet with the rest of us crazy carpers. The word is out, carp are officially mainstream. Don't believe me? Read the book.
Disclaimer, the boys at Stonefly Press sent me a copy to review, but there is no question I would have dropped the money for this book anyway. A guide to fly fishing for carp? The endeavor I have spent the last 10-12 years working to try to figure out...heck yes, I was in for any tips I could get.
So, what did I learn...quite a bit actually. Kirk mentions frequently throughout the book that he isn't an "expert" and even has one section dedicated to tips from know carp guys (I somehow made the cut, and yes, I am proud as hell to included with THAT group of carpers...not bad for a weekend hack). This section was by far my favorite of the book, not because of any one piece of advice but because of the massive different bits of advice listed.
I will be honest, I was secretly worried that Kirk would go into detail about how to catch SPECIFIC carp...not carp in general. To me there is a difference. I have caught carp in 8 or 9 states now and while there are some things that apply to all I am convinced there is not one fly or technique that is a true magic bullet. Carp are too adaptive, too varied and flat out to smart to be patterned or to rely on one specific fly to be a national go to fly. Body of water to county line to state line, you better come prepared to read the situation, learn and adapt.
Kirk nailed this. The information in the book is basic enough to apply to carp (and many other species) yet specific enough to help increase your odds of success without being so detailed that it would only work on the flats of lake MI or the Denver South Platte. This is a fine line to walk, and managed so with a skill that makes me envious. He covers the full spectrum, detailing how varied the carp behave and how you need to focus on the behavior I. Order to have some success. One chapter alone is dedicated to how he did it "wrong" at the well know Carp Slam in Denver. Reading that felt like running through my own mistakes each and every time I drive home from the river. To catch carp, you have to get each individual situation correct, and that simply won't happen 100 percent of the time.
One more reason to pick up this book...it is flat out beautiful. Full color, glossy, a must have if you are like me and simply enjoy books on a shelf. The Stonefly Press boys reached out to the carp community, and a lot of the carp guys out there are pretty amazing photogs...some great work made it to this book (even my ugly mug).
If you are looking for some tips, or simply want a place to start "The Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing for Carp" by Kirk Deeter is a must have.