First off, the title isn’t a spelling error. This is Carpy Weather! This is spring, spring means rain, rain means flooding, and flooding means carp. Of course you can always catch carp, but nothing gets them happy like flooded out creeks and coves. Here’s some tips to take advantage of rising water.
To start, you’ve got to find the fish. No kidding, right? Well, when water floods the, fish all of a sudden can go to twice as many places as they could before. The surface area increases drastically while the number of fish, unfortunately, don’t. So you’ve got to cover ground, look everywhere, and anywhere. Look for slight current, any creeks entering the lake will usually
hold some fish. Fish the windward side of a lake or cove too. Wind blows food to that side which draws more fish, ideally though the best fishing is when the water is “glass” calm. Generally carp will school up a fair amount and once you’ve found a couple you’ve probably found a pod.
Finding carp is half the game, flies truly don’t matter that much. Everything you throw, especially in flooded and dirty water, should be brown, black, or olive. Even the biggest carp don’t have very big mouths so don’t fish
anything bigger than a half dollar or longer than an inch and a half. And only, I repeat only, fish flies with the hook riding point up. Weed guards help in flooded water but probably aren’t absolutely necessary. Any super hungry, tailing fish will hit just about anything you put right in front of him.
That brings me to the last hurdle in hooking into a broad shouldered mud pig. Casting and accuracy is everything. Carp may tail like redfish, and have a body type similar to redfish, but the similarities stop there. They will not chase food or even move more than a few inches to eat a fly. It has to be right in front of them. If he’s tailing aggressively then typically you can get pretty close, so take advantage of that. Don’t worry about plopping your fly down or slapping the water too hard because tailing carp in flooded water are so engrossed in feeding that they won’t spook easily. That being said, never cast over a fish, if they feel that line run across their tail or back they’ll split. Casting is everything, if you can’t put your fly in a shoe box from twenty feet away forget about it.
Carp are still not getting the respect they deserve in the angling community. That my not be all bad though. If you’re willing to get out there and put in the work to find some “hillbilly bonefish” then you’ll have them all to yourself. They fight hard, provide a challenge, and are literally everywhere. Go give them a chance.