Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club: a new direction

Brad Smith

I believe there exist five Universal Truths: Nothing lasts forever, All things in moderation, Hot dogs must be eaten with mustard, At least one of your aunts or uncles will be insane, and Fly fishing must be for trout. These maxims have faithfully guided me along my journey over the years, but on moving to the Valley, one of these truths is now questioned, and a rip in the very fabric of the universe may be at hand (at least the fly-fishing universe). That rip has form and structure; it is sentient, even cunning; it lives among us; it waits; it has a name. Carp.

In some unimaginable perversion of the sport, a renegade sect of fly fishermen has appeared that not only pursues carp, but considers them a highly-evolved species, surpassing even the trout as quarry. The sect is resolute in its carp passions, and apparently unable to recognize the delusion in such thoughts.

Look, I’m generally a fair guy, open to new ideas and at least reasonably flexible in mind (given my age). But carp?… CARP?! Goldfish with glandular problems. Ugly tubular beasts with large unseemly scales, beady small-set eyes, and a fleshy mouth… no – a fleshy “sucker”! Bottom feeders! Signs of the Apocalypse! And I’m expected to touch these things? My pills. MY PILLS! Ack.

[There will be a short intermission to this article while the author composes himself]

Ahem. There are, of course, counters to my position on carp that deserve consideration. As a fair guy, and that I might share some thoughts on the matter with our gentle readers, these include:

1. Good trout fishing is at least three to four hours away, whereas GREAT carp fishing may be found across the street.

2. Carp are more selective than trout in what flies are used, and require a more careful presentation.

3. While a five-pound trout is a trophy, even your average carp will exceed 10 pounds.

4. Carp fight. Like tarpon, they fight.

5. If you squint, carp kinda look like trout.

6. Carp fly fishermen are rarely accused of being elitist.

OK. Fair points, but there’s still that sucker… Nonetheless, and after thoughtful consideration, I’ve decided to give carp fishing a try (my father, a purist trout fisherman, is now a whirling dervish in his grave). Other members of our club have also expressed very, very cautious optimism on fly fishing for carp (I still have trouble saying those words). So, wish us luck, withhold judgment for now, and look for future installments on this new direction.

If you are interested in fly fishing for carp, please seek the professional counselling you so desperately need. Or, you may wish to join our club. For some reason, we continue to meet twice each month for breakfast and swapping lies at Stone & Barrel, and you are welcome. And, yes, we will still fish for trout and bass no matter how this works out. For information, please contact Randy Smith at [email protected], telephone 480-371-8406, or visit our website,

Carpe diem! Or carpe carp… I guess.