I've been fishing for carp a lot lately. A lot. The lake near my house has some large mud flats that hold carp. Big ones. Without a doubt the most challenging fishing I've done this year. These are tough, tough fish. In fact, I've come to the conclusion that carp are the ultimate freshwater gamefish for the fly rod.
Here are my reasons:
1. You sight fish for them.
2. Pinpoint accurate casting is required.
3. Stealth is paramount. One wrong move and you'll spook every carp within 100 feet.
4. Even if you do everything right - sneak up on the fish without spooking him and put the fly in the take zone- your chances are fifty-fifty on sticking that fish. You almost certainly won't feel the take - you have to anticipate and guess when to strike. You're usually wrong.
5. If you do manage to get the hook-up, hang on. Carp fight like demons when hooked. I have seen my backing more in the past month than I've seen it all year.
So there you have it - a big, strong hard-fighting fish that is extremely tough to catch on the fly. No other fish that I can think of has all of these qualities.