Get Down & Dirty for Summertime Carp!

Summer is in full swing in Denver, Colorado and turn up the AC because it is flipping hot outside! Chances are you are staring out your office window right now, daydreaming about heading to the mountains this weekend to fish your favorite trout stream. Or maybe you have truly entered Fantasy Island and are dreaming about wading barefoot along a sand flat of the Bahamas? Either way it is still the middle of the week and you need to do something now to get your fly-fishing fix!

Colorado Fly Fishing for Carp
Rocky Mountain Bonefish on the Fly!

Instead of living in outer space why not focus on fly-fishing close to home? With a little research and preparation you can be catching fish bigger than any Bonefish you might encounter in the Bahamas and probably not to far away from your office. Carp on the fly provide anglers with a great challenge and lots of easy access close to home. Carp fly-fishing is also great practice for your next salt water flats trip!

What do you need to get started?

  • A good 6 weight fly rod
  • Any reel with a decent drag system will work
  • Weight Forward Floating line matched to your rod
  • 9 foot leaders
  • 2x-4x Tippet, Mono should work but there is no harm in bringing along some Fluorocarbon
  • Most anglers use waders and wading boots when wade fishing the South Platte through Denver
  • Landing Net
  • Quality Polarized Sunglasses

Carp flies have really evolved over the years but the best patterns tend to be Bonefish style “Flats Flies” like Gotchas and Crazy Charlie’s tied in drab colors to imitate crayfish, leeches and other forage items. Fly Placement and casting is key! You want to cast your fly as close to feeding fish as possible without spooking or lining them. From here slow strips will allow the carp to “suck up” your fly! Identifying feeding fish is the key to success when carp fishing, cruising fish are less likely to show an interest in your fly. Instead look for “tailing” or “mudding” fish and place your fly accordingly.

Carp Fly
Flies like Jay Zimmerman’s “Backstabber” from Umpqua will catch Carp in all conditions…

Where to fish?

Carp can be found in many ponds, streams and reservoirs. If you live or work close to Downtown Denver, the “Dirty South Platte” is a great place to start, lots of fish and even better access:

Access Map to Some of Denver's Best Carp Spots
Access Map to Some of Denver’s Best Carp Spots

Chances are there is a great access spot along Denver’s South Platte near you. Get out and fish! Stay tuned next week for some of our favorite Colorado Fly Fishing Guide recommended Carp Flies and fly tying instructions.

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

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