Considered a nuisance fish by most anglers in America, carp in Texas seem to be as divisive a topic as the Dallas Cowboys, the legalization of marijuana, or Kinky Freidman. Some love them, many hate them. Discussions about carp can quickly become as heated of a debate as one about UT vs A&M, putting sauce on Bar-B-Que (notice the spelling), or wind turbines. As carp fishing (especially fly fishing) becomes increasingly popular in Texas, this divisiveness may get further entrenched. All sides of the carp debate feel solidly correct, but what is the truth...are they trash fish, do they destroy the environment, are they a prize catch? What are these carp in Texas and what is their impact?
In this five(ish)-part series, Texas Freshwater Fly Fishing, will attempt to dive deeply into the subject to root out as much CORRECT information as possible. Be sure to understand the facts before you make a decision.In the 6th(ish) part of Texas Freshwater Fly Fishing's series, Carp in Texas, Pat Kellner interviewed (virtually) a few expert carp fly fishermen in the state, to pick their brains and see if they could share some information to help you catch a few Carp in Texas. Today's interview is with Odom Wu.
Here is Pat's interview with Odom Wu:
Pat: What is it about catching Carp that keeps you targeting them?
Odom: "I enjoyed the hunt and the challenge of enticing them with accuracy and a stealthy approach. It helps me to improve my game."
Pat: Is there a time of year that is most productive to target carp?
Odom: "Spring to Fall is often the best. I also target them in the winter but it’s not optimal."
Odom: "My favorite carp gear is a 6wt Epic Swift fiberglass and 6wt Loop graphite paired with a Loop reel. My fly line is either a Cortland Bonefish or Scientific Anglers Amplitude floating line connected to a 9ft or 12ft fluorocarbon leader that I build."
Pat: What would you consider your top 3 carp flies?
Odom: "The Scarpion, Articulated Damsel, Hybrid, and a variant of some flies."
|Tying up some Scarpion|
Pat: Any other details about your presentation, tactics, that you could give someone someone trying to target carp for the first time?
Odom: "A common mistake that newbies make is not allowing the carp to run at initial hookup. With their enormous inertia, you must allow them to take off with some drag (not fully locked down) and then subsequently play them harder to bring them into the net or you will snap the leader or fly."
Pat: What negative things have you heard about carp in Texas?
Odom: "Some people consider them as a “rough” fish. Carp went from food fish to rough fish due to a lot of misconceptions. Carp has enormous status in Europe and Asia and is maintained by a lucrative industry. However, carp is slowly gaining popularity in North America and in some places, they are considered a “sports” fish. Catch one on the fly and then you will know their power. Some people bow “fish” for them. Personally, I think it takes little or no skills or talent to shoot something that is 4 ft away from you. The worst part of “bow fishing” is that often people shoot and mistakenly kill Buffalo fish as carp. Lastly, the worst of the worst is to witness the horrible waste of fish to be shot and thrown on the banks, left to die and rot in waste."
Pat: Thank you so much for your time and willingness to share for this project.
Be sure to check out Odom Wu on Instagram @odomonthefly
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