Unicoi Outfitters is north Georgia's premier guide service and fly fishing outfitter, located on the Chattahoochee River near alpine Helen. Look for fishing reports, gear and book reviews, and general musings here from our staff and guides.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Carp 101

Henry Cowen, carp guide extraordinaire
Unicoi Outfitters is pleased to announce that we will be hosting "Carp 101 - How To Find 'em & How To Feed 'em".  You will be taught by one of the masters:  Henry Cowen.

John Cross is fond of referring to carp as "the fish of the new millenium" due to their unique ability to survive just about any environmental conditions including a nuclear holocaust.  Global warming, politicians gutting the Clean Water Act, increased angling pressure on our trout streams, whatever your viewpoint, there's no denying the growing popularity of chasing carp with a fly.

We do guarantee you'll fall in love with the sport of fly fishing for carp.  Consider the following:

  • There isn't a more wary species swimming the face of the earth.  John says they know when you step into the river, regardless of how careful you may be.  
  • They're actually very picky eaters, unlike their reputation for being lowly bottom feeders.  Small crustaceans and aquatic nymphs as well as seasonal fresh berries constitute the bulk of their diet.
  • Pinpoint casts are required at just the right time else you'll either spook them or they'll never see your fly.
  • Most situations require you to watch closely enough to actually see the fish suck in your fly; a true adrenalin moment.
  • The hook set must be a strip set akin to redfishing or bonefishing; and most of us trout anglers can't seem to remember this in the moment.  Expect your hookup percentage to look like a batting average most days.
  • If you love the sound of a good fly reel singing as line is smoking it across the water, look no further; you've found your fish.
  • These are not wimpy fish.  Use a 7 or 8 wt. rod and expect tired muscles once a fish is landed.
  • During the Dog Days of summer, you can find them almost anywhere across north Georgia in lakes and rivers near your home.
  • On your first trip, you may consider fishing with a bag over your head but after that first fish, landed or not, you'll be bragging as you sip your Dos Equis in the neighborhood bar about the challenges you've faced going up against carp; some you've won, some you've lost.  Friends and strangers alike will gather round you, mouths agape in wonder at the tales you have to tell.  A carp tattoo may even be considered.
So, make plans to join us at our shop in Helen on August 31, 2013 at 10 am (if you're planning on attending, please let the guys at the shop know so they'll know how many chairs to put out, just give them a call at 706-878-3083).  It will probably change your fly-fishing life!

And if that isn't enough, all attendees at Carp 101 will receive a coupon worth 10% off non-sale merchandise at Unicoi Outfitters!

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