Species:  Common Carp; “Golden Shadows”

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Almost everywhere, native to Asia and Europe. Habitat: freshwater ponds, slow-moving rivers, estuaries. Found across the US and Europe, Asia, and Australia, in temperate waters from 37-95 degrees.  

Describe the fishing conditions that you’ll encounter:

  • Shallow water typically inches to 8 feet
  • Soft vegetative sediment
  • Tons of urban opportunities 

Key Skills:

1. Accurate stealthy casts, minimal false casts

2. Finding and spotting fish

3. Line management, ready position, soft presentation   

4. Controlling hard pulling fish, drag, applying pressure, landing fish

5. Stealth, stealth, stealth 


  • Bugger-type flies
  • Crayfish for larger fish
  • Nymphs, annelids, borrowing mayflies work well
  • Potentially dry flies, mulberry flies are popular, bread flies, “normal” trout dry flies, spent mayflies can turn fish on
  • Full range of weight from unweighted to heavy dumbells 
  • Drab colors matching the bottom 

Line Weight:

5wt to 9wt with 6wt, 7wt, 8wt being in the average sweet spot depending on fish size. Lighter rods like a 5wt can be used but they’re not very popular due to long casts, potentially heavy flies and landing large fish quickly.

7wt and 8wt handle fish, flies, and wind without being too heavy, still maintaining stealth. 

Recommended Lines: 

Floating lines are the most common but intermediate to full sink have applications, too.

Scientific Anglers MPX, Scientific Anglers AnadroRio InTouch Gold.  

Warm water lines are important for summer. Most lines will work, so you can potentially use the fly line you already have.

Scientific Anglers Bonefish is great for summer and warm water.

Recommended Leader/Tippet:

  • 6-15lb tippet works well. 9-12 foot knotless leaders, fluorocarbon is best and typical. Mono leaders work well for dry flies. 10ft 12lb Rio Saltwater is a solid leader option.
  • May need a heavier leader for larger fish and abrasion resistance (16-20lb).
  • Fluorocarbon tippet 8-12lb is best but bring lighter and heavier to match specific conditions

Match tippet size to fly size and fish size.

Choose the longest leader you can consistently and accurately turn over.

Choose a shorter 9ft leader for shorter casts (easier to control). 

Other Essential Gear: 

  • Sun protection (gloves, buff, UV long pants, and shirt)
  • Wet wading shoes
  • Waterproof wading bag 
  • Bug spray
  • Good sunglasses 
  • Net 

Recommended Rods: 

Fast action rods able to cast long distances accurately yet delicately are the best Carp rods.

Scott Sector

Scott Radian

T&T Exocett

G. Loomis Asquith

Orvis Helios 3D

Sage X

Winston Air

Hardy Zephrus

Recommended Reels: 

A reel with a smooth sealed drag is best, able to hold at least 100 yards of backing.


Nautilus NVG

Nautilus X-Series

Galvin Grip

Lamson Litespeed G5

Lamson Speedster S


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