Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Carp 101 at Unicoi Outfitters

Henry Cowen, carp guide extraordinaire
Unicoi Outfitters is pleased to announce that we will be hosting "Carp 101 - How To Find 'em & How To Feed 'em".  You will be taught by one of the masters:  Henry Cowen.

John Cross is fond of referring to carp as "the fish of the new millenium" due to their unique ability to survive just about any environmental conditions including a nuclear holocaust.  Global warming, politicians gutting the Clean Water Act, increased angling pressure on our trout streams, whatever your viewpoint, there's no denying the growing popularity of chasing carp with a fly.

We do guarantee you'll fall in love with the sport of fly fishing for carp.  Consider the following:

  • There isn't a more wary species swimming the face of the earth.  John says they know when you step into the river, regardless of how careful you may be.  
  • They're actually very picky eaters, unlike their reputation for being lowly bottom feeders.  Small crustaceans and aquatic nymphs as well as seasonal fresh berries constitute the bulk of their diet.
  • Pinpoint casts are required at just the right time else you'll either spook them or they'll never see your fly.
  • Most situations require you to watch closely enough to actually see the fish suck in your fly; a true adrenalin moment.
  • The hook set must be a strip set akin to redfishing or bonefishing; and most of us trout anglers can't seem to remember this in the moment.  Expect your hookup percentage to look like a batting average most days.
  • If you love the sound of a good fly reel singing as line is smoking it across the water, look no further; you've found your fish.
  • These are not wimpy fish.  Use a 7 or 8 wt. rod and expect tired muscles once a fish is landed.
  • During the Dog Days of summer, you can find them almost anywhere across north Georgia in lakes and rivers near your home.
  • On your first trip, you may consider fishing with a bag over your head but after that first fish, landed or not, you'll be bragging as you sip your Dos Equis in the neighborhood bar about the challenges you've faced going up against carp; some you've won, some you've lost.  Friends and strangers alike will gather round you, mouths agape in wonder at the tales you have to tell.  A carp tattoo may even be considered.
So, make plans to join us at our shop in Helen on August 31, 2013 at 10 am (if you're planning on attending, please let the guys at the shop know so they'll know how many chairs to put out, just give them a call at 706-878-3083).  It will probably change your fly-fishing life!

And if that isn't enough, all attendees at Carp 101 will receive a coupon worth 10% off non-sale merchandise at Unicoi Outfitters!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


We're passing along this article from Field & Stream's Kirk Deeter.  Hope you enjoy it.
June 17, 2013
Why I Wrote 'The Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing for Carp'
By Kirk Deeter
I have a new book out. It's all about fly fishing for carp. Now, those of you Fly Talkers who have been following along know that I wear my affinity for chasing these "trash fish" on my sleeve. And yet, every time I write a post on carp, I inevitably get a comment or two like, "I cannot understand why anyone would bother chasing those filthy things."
It's a fair point of view, and one that I shared until several years ago. My friend the late, great John Merwin once described carp fly fishing like dragging a chicken leg through a senior's center—cast a fly enough and sooner or later something's going to pick it up and gum it. Heck, I'm the editor of TROUT magazine, and an editor-at-large for Field & Stream, both icons of outdoors tradition. Writing a book on carp is nothing short of heresy, right?
I truly don't think so, and here's why:
1.  Foremost, I think catching carp on flies is a supreme test of angling skill. On some days, sure, carp can be easy to fool. On others, however, you can bring your "A" game and get denied. An angler can "pattern" trout and bonefish (and certainly bass). You find the fish. You figure out what they're eating. If you make a decent cast and presentation, you catch the fish. It isn't always so simple with carp. I believe if you can get your game to the point where you consistently hook carp on flies, there are no fish that you cannot catch, permit included.
2. Carp are everywhere. As you read this, what fish is likely closest to you right now? I'm going to guess that for 80 percent of you, it's the common carp. As a believer in the "all fishing is good fishing" philosophy, I'm all about angler opportunity. I think it's great to have an opportunity to go "flats" fishing without having to shell out thousands of dollars to fly off to some tropical locale.
3. It's a culture. The more I travel, and the more people I fish with, the more I realize that the best anglers are carp nuts. Conway Bowman? Carp crazy. Dave Whitlock?  Literally wrote the book on it. Geoff Mueller from the Drake? A carp fiend. When the best trout guides get off the river at the end of the day, and they want to do a little fishing on their own, many chase carp.
4. Carp are good for trout. I know, they're "invasive species" (but so too, technically is the brown trout, or rainbow trout in the East, or brook trout in the West). Where carp threaten habitat that trout need, I say kill the carp. All of 'em. But if a good percentage of anglers stay in the city or suburbs on a given day, that leads to less pressure on the trout rivers. That's good for trout, and good for other anglers who prize their solitude.
5. Lastly, there are plenty of carp to go around. If you want to shoot them with your arrows, great. Knock yourself out. That won't bother me in the least.
I know some of you won't ever get the carp thing, and I respect that. But for those of you who do, I hope this book helps you not only get better at this game, but also appreciate it more for what it is really worth. You'll see that a lot of thought and effort went into this project, and I am indebted to the many other writers, photographers, artists, editors, guides and angler friends who helped me pull it off. I could not have done it without them.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Photo of the Day: Carp Rods of the Champions

This is how you know that fly-fishing for Carp has hit the to speak:

Special Orvis Helios 2 rods to be used as awards in this summer's major US fly-rod carp tournaments.  Click here for more!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing for Carp

This proves that fly fishing for carp has gone mainstream.  So to speak:

Reportedly available next month, it's showing "in stock" right now at Stonefly Press.