Are Carp America's Next Great Gamefish?

Long scorned, the common carp is slowly gaining respect as a wily, hard-fighting gamefish. Not all of us can afford fishing trips to exotic locales seeking glamour species like bonefish. But we can drive to the local river and match wits with the ubiquitous "Golden Bone." Flyfishing for carp is even catching on in hard-core baitcasting-for-bass places like Oklahoma.

From this story in the Oklahoman:
_Most Oklahoma anglers view the common carp with scorn, not worthy of a true sportsman's time and effort. In the most recent survey of Oklahoma anglers, carp rank next to last in preference of species, only ahead of the equally despicable gar. Fly fishermen Barry Shrader and Charlie Wright think carp are deserving of more respect. Shrader writes a blog called the Prairie Ocean Fly Fisher and often is sharing information and stories about his beloved Blue River.

__However, the trout season on Blue River ends March 31, leaving Shrader and Wright having to travel long distances to fish for trout. So this pair of fly fishermen from Sulphur decided to do the next best thing. They would go after a fish close to home. They would learn as much as they could about catching carp on a fly rod. Nearby South Rock Creek was rich with carp ranging from 2 to 10 pounds. Shrader and Wright spent most of the spring and summer fly fishing for carp and developed an admiration for them. Carp may be considered a rough fish in Oklahoma, but these two anglers consider them diamonds in the rough.

They recommend that other fly fishermen test their mettle against the mighty carp. "Without a doubt, the carp is the hardest fish I've every tried to capture with a fly," Shrader said. "They are a smart, savvy fish with incredible senses to motion in the water. "They are extremely hard to approach and picky in the fly presentation. But once a carp is on the fly rod, it's like having hooked a tugboat." Before this year, Shrader and Wright had caught on flies a total of four carp between them. "This year, we found the resolve to teach ourselves and we have captured almost 100 carp," Shrader said._

Granted, most Oklahoma anglers would swallow their Red Man if they saw someone waving around one of those fairy wands and actually trying to catch a damn carp with it. But more and more guys are trying it. Will you? Joe Cermele just did and filmed it for the latest episode of "Hook Shots." Click here to check it out. Maybe it'll sway your decision.