Saturday, March 26, 2011


Most of my friends and guides are going to be pissed-off that I'm writing about Carp fishing on the fringes of our Valley, but to heck with it.  What do Roaring Fork Valley fishing guides really do on their off days?  Carp.  Growing up along the Front Range of Colorado I began fly fishing for carp at an early age.  They were available, I could sight fish them, and most importantly, they were big.  Yes, carp are tough to catch.  They're elusive, refuse bad presentations and often times are seemingly impossible to catch.  That's the fun in carpin'.  It is HARD.  It is a challenge.  Don't get me wrong, there are always days where the fishing is "easy", but when that happens you simply count your blessings and call it good. 

Our local carp fisheries are all the backwater sloughs, channels and on the river itself (the Colorado River) between New Castle and Grand Junction.  I'm not going to spoil anything here by hotspotting specific areas.  Put your time in, fish hard and enjoy the closest thing we have to fishing saltwater.  I love carp fishing, especially in rivers.  Lake carp are fun too but less challenging in my eyes. 

The gear:  Rods should be in the 6wt or 7wt category and I prefer a medium to medium-fast action.  I really like the G.Loomis NRX.  Travis Lyons (the other shop guy and carp junkie) prefers his Scott S4S.  Tippets should be kept at 0x-4x as conditions dictate.  Flies begin to get a bit personal, but most are variations of sorts of Bob Clouser's Swimming Nymph in neutral colorations. 

Take our word for it.  If you want a serious challenge and want to match wits with the most skittish of freshwater fish, the carp will become your target, or in our case, an obsession.

Written by Kirk Webb and Taylor Creek Fly Shops.
Photos courtesy of Kirk Webb, Josh Lively and Travis Lyons.