The Braided Wing

Kirk Deeter & Fly Fishing for Carp

Posted July 3, 2012 Kirk Deeter.

Kirk Deeter & Fly Fishing for Carp

Kirk Deeter is familiar to most of you as TU's new editor for TROUT magazine... or as editor-at-large for Field & Stream...or as co-editor of Field & Stream’s“Fly Talk” weblog at or as the “Fly Fishing Jazz” columnist for or as the editor-in-chief of Angling Trade....  If you haven't met him or read anything by him or fished with him yet, there's a good chance that you will some day (and we hope to help you with that!).  He is the author of several excellent fly fishing books, perhaps most notably the recent Little Red Book of Fly Fishing with the late Charlie Meyers.  The photo above is the cover - seen here for the first time - of Kirk's upcoming publication (March 2013) with Stonefly Press, Fly Fishing for Carp: Tips and Tricks for the Determined Angler.  That's right. Carp.  I should probably let Kirk explain below. 

I get asked: “How you doin’, man?’

I usually answer:  “I’m good… busy… but doing great.”

Sometimes, there’s a follow-up…

“Yeah, I noticed you have a lot going on… any books happening?” they ask.

I answer: “I do… the next one is on carp fishing, as a matter of fact.”

And right there is where I carefully watch the face.  Because that’s when I can separate the player from the contender.  You either get the carp thing, or you don’t.   And truthfully, if you’ve caught enough trout, stripers, bonefish and tarpon to feel comfortable in your casting skin, the buy-in factor on carp is usually 100%.   The “trash fish” prejudice is usually reserved for those who cannot catch a salmonid without the assistance of a guide, or are so spoiled with their fantastic trout or flats fishing scenario that they don’t need to break the mold.  Their loss.

Thing is, I’ve literally traveled the world in search of great fly fishing adventures and stories—and have been paid handsomely to do just that (I’ve taken one for the team… go figure).  Mako sharks on the fly off San Diego, native cutthroats in the backcountry of the Rocky Mountains, sea-run brown trout in at the far reaches of Tierra del Fuego, epic salmon and steelhead runs in Alaska, and so on.

Throughout all of that, what struck me most has been the fascination that the guides I’ve fished with have shared for cyprinus carpio.  They’re almost all carp junkies.  They do what they do for a living.  When they have time off, they chase carp on the fly.



To wit, I’d point to Geoff Mueller - senior editor for The Drake, raised as a steelhead aficionado in British Columbia - now lives in Colorado and chases carp on his days off.  Or maybe Conway Bowman, the mako shark guy, and the original “extreme angler” who holds a world record for redfish on the fly.  What does he do on his days off?  He carp fishes.  Barry Reynolds lives in Colorado and can fish for trout anytime, any day.  What’s his fancy?  Carp.  Kevin Morlock lives near the river where the first brown trout in the United States was planted (in Michigan).  But he spends his summers on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan chasing carp.  (Maybe that sounds silly, but having been flats fishing all over the United States, I can tell you that the best flats experience to be had, anywhere, is, in fact, on Beaver Island.)  The list goes on, and on, and on....

There have been a few brave souls who have professed their love for carp long before I ever did… Reynolds… Dave Whitlock… and so forth.

Still, maybe I’m forcing some of us to come out of the closet.  It is what it is.  The fact is that almost all of us you read, or watch on television, or otherwise, are carp freaks, because carp are top of the game.



Catching carp on a fly is harder than catching most other species, in the salt, in rivers, or otherwise.  If you can figure carp out, you can transpose those tricks back to your river, or your saltwater flats, and do just fine.

So that’s why we do this… and that’s exactly why I wrote this book.