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Okay, carp fishing fanatics. The book you have been waiting for has arrived. It’s called The Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing for Carp, and it’s by a guy who knows what he is talking about – namely, Kirk Deeter, an editor at large for Field and Stream and coeditor of that publication’s “Fly Talk” log. He also holds other positions too numerous to mention.
The book is breezy, easy to read, and loaded with attractive color photographs. You could sprint through the volume in an hour or so, I guess, but that would be a mistake, as Deeter is onto something big with this book. He writes not as just another carp apologist and how-to writer but as one who has come to appreciate fully how hard carp are to catch and what makes them that way. His admiration for carp has led him to believe that fishing for them will make you a better, more thoughtful, and more careful angler, not just for trout or bass but for any fish. And, you know what? I think he is right. This book made me want to go carp fishing.
Deeter’s careful analysis of the things that make carp hard to catch resists easy summary. But consider this: carp (except for grass carp, which are harder to catch than common carp) are omnivores. That means that on any given day, on any given body of water, carp can be feeding on anything from berries to grasshoppers to baitfish to worms to crayfish to potato chips to cigarette butts and more. If matching the hatch on a trout stream is checkers, “matching the hatch” on a carp pond is three-dimensional chess.
I could go on and on about the carp’s awesome sense of smell and taste, its lateral-line sensitivity to movement and noise, its apparent ability to warn others of danger and more. But you get the picture. The lowly carp is actually a royal piscatorial opponent that will improve your overall fishing ability while providing moments of pleasure and excitement that will stay with you forever.
I enjoyed this book. I read it cover to cover and circled back to digest some particularly pithy parts. If you already like carp fishing or just wonder what the hoopla is all about, read this book. I recommend it. – Don Causey.
Postscript: The book is available from the publisher, Stonefly Press (www.stoneflypress.com), from Amazon, or at specialty bookstores. It was not available for Kindle as this was written, and that is just as well, as an electronic edition of this book would deprive you of fully enjoying the many photographs and diagrams the book contains.