SCOF HISTORY: COMMON CARP LOVER

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Another piece from the vault…..
Ryan Dunne explains his unnatural love for the carp to help you get ready for the summer fun.

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COMMON CARP LOVER

By Ryan Dunne
Photos: Steve Seinberg and Ryan Dunne
Southern Culture On the Fly
Issue No. 4: Summer 2012


When I bring up fly fishing and carp in the same conversation I usually get some funny looks. I hear comments like, “You actually touch those things?” or “My cousin’s brother-in-law’s nephew caught a big one on a bread ball down at the carp pond.”

While chasing carp with a fly rod has become quite the norm in certain parts of the country, here in the South they remain somewhat overlooked. Some people seem to think carp are dumb and not worth the time of day. Then there are those who are secretly interested in fly fishing for carp, but try not to show their interest in front of their friends (kind of like that case of warts down there you haven’t told anyone about).

I didn’t set out to become a carp addict by any means; things kind of snowballed after I caught my first carp on a fly. Carp are sophisticated fish with bi-polar tendencies (much like that aunt who just ain’t quite right). They always leave you guessing and wanting more pudding. Most of the time they are going to refuse you. They sense you way before you see them. Very few people are fishing for them, so chances are you will be sharing the mud flats with birds, turtles and other fish, instead of every Touron (tourist + moron) in town. Not to mention carp are measured in pounds instead of inches. If you hook a carp, your backing will actually see the sunlight. If you survive a nuclear attack, you will still be able to go carp fishing.

Nothing beats the early morning boat rides across the lake. The anticipation felt while stalking carp is just like the anticipation felt while hunting the rut during deer season. You never know what to expect. Sight fishing to carp is in many ways like hunting, because a bad cast or sudden movement will blow your cover. This is where things can get intense as you slowly and deliberately scan the flats for the slightest movement. You hope that when the time does come that your performance is up to par. If you blow it, there’s always that chance you will go home with a giant goose egg. Carp fishing isn’t a numbers game—it’s about the culminating of your skills to fool a wary fish and get him to eat your fly. When it all goes as planned you feel that sense of accomplishment. I’m a carp lover, just keep it on the DL if you don’t mind.

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