It’s a warm summer day and the wind is gently blowing across the bow of the saltwater skiff guided by professional fly fisherman, Capt. Paul Rose. We tie on what we hope will be the perfect fly, and gently pole our way into the shallow mud flat looking for the tell tale signs of fish feeding. We have to be stealthy, we have to be absolutely still, and we have to be accurate with our casting, these fish are very unforgiving to mistakes. You might think our group was after the elusive saltwater flat feeder called red drum, or perhaps a bonefish in the shallows of the caribbean…but we’re not. We’re deep in the heart of North Carolina, on a man made lake, fly fishing for common carp and grass carp, which are generally known as “trash fish”.
QC Exclusive’s editor JP and I, both avid fly-fishermen, have been around the world casting at all types of fish. We’ve tried our hands at 5 inch brook trout in the NC mountains, to salmon fishing Alaska’s pristine rivers, to chasing bonefish in Turks and Caicos. Between the two of us, we’ve done a lot of fishing for tough quarry. But this might top them all. And who would have guessed? These notoriously spooky and fickle fish will more often than not, ignore your fly and continue about their business, rather than look at it….or eat it. If by some miracle the fish does eat it, hold onto your pants. JP’s fish took the fly line all the way down to the backing in a nearly rod breaking run toward deeper water. We didn’t even see it for ten minutes after he had hooked it! The brute strength that carp possess is really quite amazing, and makes for a very rewarding catch.
Don’t snub your nose at some “Carolina bonefishing.” You might be surprised at the level of difficulty, even for experienced fishermen. See the images in the September/October issue of QC Exclusive magazine (out now) in Charlotte, NC.
Thanks to Capt. Paul, JP, QC Exclusive magazine……and the fishing gods.
All images © Jamey Price for QC Exclusive. All Rights Reserved.