Carp Diem! Where to Try and Catch Texas’s Most Underappreciated Fish
“Three good spots around the state of Texas to fly-fish for Cyprinus carpio.
Common carp are nearly ubiquitous in Texas fresh water, from the clear streams of the Hill Country to the muddy bayous of Houston. They can be caught in ponds, lakes, rivers, and, yes, even ditches. Here are a few of the best spots to try your luck at fly-fishing for this species.
The popular Pedernales Falls State Park, west of Austin, provides a blissful setting—and some of the best carp fly-fishing in Texas. Seat yourself on the knobby knees of a cypress tree and wait for the fish to come to you, or traverse the shallow waters in search of feeding carp. Pro tip: “The section downstream from Trammel’s Crossing has the advantage of easier wading and lots of bank access and—especially—shade,” says Aaron Reed, author of Fly Fishing Austin & Central Texas.
The nine-mile portion of the bayou from Loop 610 to MacGregor Park offers a true urban fishing experience. Here, Brays is a concrete-lined stream crisscrossed by highways and pipelines. But don’t let this unassuming ditch fool you: relatively clear water offers excellent sight-casting opportunities for common and grass carp. Fun fact: Locals call this strip of bayou “concrete flats.”
Elm Fork of the Trinity River
At the 2,000-acre Lake Lewisville Environmental Learning Area, northwest of Dallas, Elm Fork runs swift and cool below the lake, fed by controlled releases from the dam. Large schools of carp cruise the shallow stream, feeding along the cobbled bottom. “Sight casting to groups of fish can produce some major excitement,” says Greg DeMars, a Dallas-based fly angler. Bonus: LLELA offers a verdant urban wilderness in which to try your luck.”
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Photo Credit: Original Author