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On The Fly: Casting for carp is fishing veteran’s latest challenge

Kirk Webb
On The Fly
A carp tail shimmers in the sun following a recent fishing trip in the Roaring Fork Valley
Courtesy Photo |

While hobbling around on a gimp foot that I broke a few weeks ago, I haven’t been fishing as much as I generally do.

Don’t feel too bad for me though. I’ve still been getting out there twice a week on average. I have, however, had to learn how to slow down, watch where I’m walking, and think twice about where I can fish with my limited mobility. In a way, it makes me feel like a virgin wader, always looking down at my feet and planning where I position myself to not only cast and fish, but also thinking ahead on how and where I have to play and land fish. That’s not an easy task when I’m used to just going, let alone when it’s over 50 degrees outside and all that I want to do is go fish!

This past week, I did a national radio show interview on fly fishing the Lower Colorado River, where I talked about trout and carp fishing from Glenwood Springs to Grand Junction. The format of the program allowed questions to be submitted from the audience, where much to my surprise, 90 percent of the questions pertained to carp not trout fishing. So there I was, talking about preferred techniques, lines, flies and areas to carp fish in Western Colorado. I was amazed simply because fly fishing is easily driven and dominated by trout. Carp are now being deemed as the newest “saving-grace” in the fly fishing media where they’re being perceived as the hot, new, cool thing to do.

After all of that talking about carp and carp fishing, I was seriously getting that “winter-itch” to do some warm weather carpin’. I racked my brain going through all of my local carp spots, trying to come up with a few easy areas where I could comfortably gain access with a busted-up foot. I had three or four areas specifically in mind, and with a plan hatched and weather in the mid 60’s, I headed down valley.

I’ve only caught carp in February a handful of times. But with the weather on my side, I thought I’d see if any carp were cruising and moving around knowing full well it was very, very early in the season to begin fishing for them. Hell, I’d be happy just seeing a carp — let alone present a cast to one — especially after threading on tiny midge patterns for the past few months trout fishing on the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers.

Long story short, I did, in fact, see plenty of carp in each area I went to. I even caught three, including a very respectable 12-pounder to go along with two “pop-tarts” of smaller size.

If you’re growing a bit tired of trout and want to really challenge yourself, I urge you to give carp a try. My only word of caution is that the carp bug bites hard, and you might find yourself ditching that wimpy trout rod and those little fish for a big, whoopin-stick and a crack at a large carp.

This column is provided weekly by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374.


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