Spotlight: Mike Exl

Mike ExlThis past February the Indianapolis Fly Casters had Mike Exl of Wildcat Creek Outfitters present a program about Carp fishing in and around our own local waters. It was our meeting of the month and I had a window and was able to attend for a change.

It peeked my interest since I have not really made an attempt at this species which has grown ever so popular in recent years.

Mike gave a great program, especially for me not really knowing much about fishing for them or for that matter even approaching them. Very spooky in my limited experience.

The first thing he talked about were the three types of Carp. The first being the Common carp, secondly the Mirror carp and lastly the Leather carp. After his program I decided to write a little short note on the subject about what I learned. The Common Carp have rows of scales and a snout with its mouth at the bottom and barbels on its top and bottom jaw. They are quite sensitive and have an acute sense of smell. Mirror carp have the same attributes but rather large scales resembling a large plate mirror hence the name, Mirror. Leather carp on the other hand have almost no scales at all as the name implies. To know more about the species, check out the internet and chat rooms. Makes for some interesting reading.

Carp thrive in many rivers, streams, natural impoundments as well as some farm ponds. They also thrive and survive in a number of environmental conditions and habitat types throughout the geographical US.

How sensitive are Carp?  Well for instance, say you entered a stream or river, in our case the White river. You are downstream, the minute you step foot in that area they already know of your presence. So, when spotting your quarry be prepared to do a lot of roll casting. Teaching casting in my own classes that means: practice, practice, practice. Mike made particular reference to the importance of accuracy, say 18 to 24 inches. Carp have a visual window of about a foot by 2 ft. visual rectangle. So, in essence drop that fly right in front of that puppy!

Mike recommended leader set up is a 9’ to 12’ foot 2x or 3x leader with the ladder 2 ft. or so of fluorocarbon, so make sure you tie your knots well. Also some productive flies he recommends are Zimmerman’s backstabber, Befus’s swimming nymph and Whitlock’s rubber leg squirrel nymph. Of course there are others such as the Mulberry fly or something resembling a bread crumb.

All in all Mike gave a great and informative presentation, but don’t take my word for it. Seek him out at Wildcat Creek Outfitters and book an afternoon or even a full day with a buddy and see for yourself. There you have it, we here at Warmwater Chronicles welcome all Guides , fly fisherman and women to write us and tell us of your flies , fish you caught , pictures and articles. We Love warm water!!

Remember “A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work!” Period!

Cecil Guidry –aka – The Ragin Cajun