Fly Fishing for Carp Earns More Love

Carp fishing with flies is going even more mainstream, as evidenced today in the New York Times. A piece by my friend and author of the acclaimed "Fifty Places" books Chris Santella shows how carp fishing is stepping further out of the shadows and into the spotlight, as it should.

After all, those of us who carp fish realize they aren't just "backup plan" fish. They're very worthy adversaries.

All this gets me wondering just what kind of an impact carp fishing can and will have on fly fishing in the future. Do I see carp being the main attraction in years to come? No. I think trout will always make the fly fishing world go around.

But I do see the number of American anglers who claim carp among their three favorite target species tripling within the next five years.

By 2020, it wouldn't surprise me at all if "rough fish" fly fishing tackle sales approached the levels of dollars spent on saltwater-specific rods, reels, lines, and flies.

I think there will be more and more anglers whose first-ever experiences with fly rods revolve around carp.

I've said before, and I'll say it again, that for fly fishing interests to land on a real, fair, honest tournament fishing format, the species it will have to revolve around will be carp.

I also see fly shops in certain parts of the country--shops that are now 90 percent trout driven even though they're in places that are an hour or more away from the nearest trout water--flipping the focus and being over 50 percent carp and bass driven. To survive, they may have to be.

(By the way, this is a photo of Charlie Meyers and me, carp fishing several years ago. It was taken by Will Rice, who features prominently in the NYT story, and this fish was caught by Charlie on the lake Will mentions in the piece. As Will said to me this morning, "somewhere, Charlie is kicking back and having a laugh about the whole carp thing.")