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Thread: Carp Waters

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Default Carp Waters

    Good Morning All

    Doing some web browsing regarding fly-fishing or different species of fish, I came across some interesting stuff regarding fly-fishing for carp. I know that this is not for everyone. Lots of anglers will regard carp as a “lesser” species not worthy of their attention. No problem with that, each to his own.

    I have caught them on small lead heads and plastic grubs, but not yet on fly.
    For those interested here is a resource with a lot of information. How-to guides, explanations and videos:

    http://www.flycarpin.com/

    After spending some time on other websites as well, I think I have some idea how to at least start going about this. There is one general piece of info I would like to gather from community members though. Having spent some time catching carp on lead-heads and platic grubs, I do have some idea what I am looking for.

    Here is the thing. As we all know carp exist in almost all our waters. But, they are not all necessarily very catchable on fly. One needs specific conditions for a fly-fishing effort to be worthwhile. I will list them here as I understand them:

    Good Numbers

    Preferably carp population density should be fairly high. We need to be able to physically find the fish in relatively shallow water within 30 minutes to an hour most of the time.

    Feeding habits

    In some dams, or at some venues, the carp hold mostly in deeper water, where at others, they can be found on shallow mud-flats most of the time during the day. Carp fly-fishing is mostly sight-fishing so we need to find them shallow. I used to do this quickly and easily at Chelmsford Dam near Newcastle in Natal.

    Water clarity/quality

    They are catchable in all sorts of water, but I have found that they are easiest in waters with medium visibility, when you can see between 300mm and about 500mm into the water. From my exploits with lead-heads and grubs, I know that they are easiest to stalk in poor viz. In vaal dam you can get right next to them. In medium viz, they usually spook when you get within 3-4 metres, so you need to stalk better. But, they are very docile in bad viz. They tend to act like vacuum cleaners, and just suck the bottom, and it is hard to get them to pay attention to a grub or lead-head, because they are more fixated on consuming vegetable matter like plankton than insects. In medium viz, they use their sight more to feed, so they eat insects more readily. I have found that in medium viz, they will take a grub or lead-head much more readily. At Roode-kopjes dam, many years ago, I saw carp move up to 2 meters to take a lead-head. I found conditions at that dam almost perfect. Only thing was, we had to fish from a boat, because there are crocs. That made stalking tough.

    No Crocodiles/Hippos

    Wading is best for carp, so best the dam had no large predators.....

    So, a perfect dam will have good numbers of carp to the extent that we could find them feeding in shallow water fairly easily and quickly most of the time we go there. The viz will be between 300mm and 500mm. There will be large mud flats we can wade. Roode-kopjes would prabbly have been a top venue if it was safe to wade.
    That said, a dam does not have to be perfect to be fishable.

    Here are some venues I know and their good and bad aspects:

    Chelmsford Dam, Newcaste

    The Good

    Good numbers, carp everywhere
    Good habits, carp in the shallows from September to April.
    Lots of mud flats.

    Bad:

    Viz is very poor.

    In summary, at this dam I always find carp within 10 minutes to half an hour actively feeding in the shallows and mud flats. They are easy to stalk due to poor viz, but they are docile, and it is relatively hard to get them to take a lea-dhead or grub, so I guess it will be hard to get them to take a fly too. My daily carp count there was between zero and Six. Average was between 1 and three. That said I normally spent about 40% of my time targeting Carp.

    Roode-kopjes Dam

    Good:

    Good numbers, carp everywhere
    Good habits, carp in the shallows from September to April.
    Lots of mud flats.
    Good Viz. Carp are relatively aggressive, will move a considerable distance to take a lead-head.

    Bad:

    Crocs. Wading this dam is dicey. Pity, because I think this would have been an absolutely perfect dam if not for this.

    Vaal Dam:

    See Chelmsford, exactly the same.

    Benoni local Dams

    Good

    Good/decent viz.
    Mud flats

    Bad

    Not great numbers.
    Not great feeding habits. Don’t find them in the shallow often.


    In summary.I think fishing pressure is the problem here. Aside from the numbers, the fish get conditioned not to go shallow, as they are disturbed too often by the presence of people.

    I gave these few examples just to give a general idea of what I look for in a good dam for fly-fishing for carp.
    So now for my question:

    Which venues do you know that would be good/decent? What are the good and bad sides to them?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this lengthy post. Feedback will be appreciated.
    Last edited by Vicus; 01-10-14 at 08:43 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Interesting topic, carp is one of the species I plan on adding to the list of species caught on fly.

    In middelburg we have a small dam in town that has good numbers of carp, and nice mud flats (at the moment water level is low). Seen some monsters in there, water is mostly clear 1-2m vis.
    George Victor Cooper

  3. #3
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    Jan 2007
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    Cape Town
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    Richard Simpkins from the Urban Fly fishers, had very good catches on carp in the urban dams. Might be good to chat to him
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  4. #4
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    PS: I had success in clear water with Orange blobs, on very slow figure 8 retrieve
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  5. #5
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    Sep 2013
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    Guateng
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Korrie View Post
    Richard Simpkins from the Urban Fly fishers, had very good catches on carp in the urban dams. Might be good to chat to him
    Thanks, will do.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korrie View Post
    PS: I had success in clear water with Orange blobs, on very slow figure 8 retrieve
    Ja, I will believe that. I found that the clearer the water, the more likely the fish are to take a fly, but, also the more skittish they are, so better stalking and longer casts, and better presentations are called for.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVC86 View Post
    Interesting topic, carp is one of the species I plan on adding to the list of species caught on fly.

    In middelburg we have a small dam in town that has good numbers of carp, and nice mud flats (at the moment water level is low). Seen some monsters in there, water is mostly clear 1-2m vis.
    The things is, they grow relatively large, so that makes them good fun. Also they are commonly available. Also, it can make for some really exiting sight fishing. I think having carp in your repertoire just makes sense.

  8. #8
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    Nov 2006
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    Western Cape
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    The problem that I have with carp, is that you want to at some stage at least, touch the fish that you catch. Carp are so gross, that I wouldn't even want to touch them... Thankfully I have never yet caught a carp on a fly or on any other tackle, and I really don't intend to change that status quo...I don't care how much fun they are, they are simply a disgusting fish...
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    The problem that I have with carp, is that you want to at some stage at least, touch the fish that you catch. Carp are so gross, that I wouldn't even want to touch them...
    Andre, there are many sensory rewards to being a bit more adventurous about what you are prepared to touch ....

    ... you can always take a shower afterwards, even the President says so

    ... and this from page 25 of possibly the world's premier fly fishing magazine, Flylife Issue #69:




    The highest form of existence is play.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    The problem that I have with carp, is that you want to at some stage at least, touch the fish that you catch. Carp are so gross, that I wouldn't even want to touch them... Thankfully I have never yet caught a carp on a fly or on any other tackle, and I really don't intend to change that status quo...I don't care how much fun they are, they are simply a disgusting fish...
    I can understand this view. I expect a lot of people feel the same about barbel as well.

    As I said:

    I know that this is not for everyone. Lots of anglers will regard carp as a “lesser” species not worthy of their attention.No problem with that, each to his own.
    For me...well.....we don't eat 95% of the trout we catch either. So for the most part, the joy of fishing for me, is the actual stalk, the take, and the fight. With sight fishing obviously always being the most exiting. But I can fully understand your view.

    It's really hard to exactly explain why I find it enticing. Maybe this video does it best:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnIvE8o24HM

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