It all started a couple of years ago, after reading an article in a popular outdoor magazine about fly-fishing for CARP. After living in Iowa and central South Dakota for a combined 38 years it was as if a whole brave new world had opened up before me. Carp on a flyrod! Could it be true? Was it possible ? After all the countless hours of reading and hundreds of dollars in yearly subscription fees I had stumbled on to something new something I had never read about before, something I had never even heard of, or thought of before. It wasn't so much the details of the article that were important. No, it was the concept that mattered. The concept, the very idea that carp might take a fly that's what mattered. As I lay in bed reading the article for the third time I remembered back to my carefree youth in Northern Iowa where at the ripe young age of twelve I walked into the local sporting goods store and laid down a hard earned fifteen dollars for my first fly fishing outfit, an Eagleclaw combo, it even came with line and a couple of poppers. You might ask yourself, why in the late 1960's a kid living in Iowa would need or want a fly fishing rod and reel? It was those damn outdoor magazines they had convinced me it was the only way to fish, and they were right at least it seemed that way to me while I battled one of the thousands of bluegills I caught out of the local lagoon. I had long since put the old Eagle Claw away and replaced it with many medium action spinning outfits used to harvest countless walleyes out of the Missouri River near my present home in South Dakota. You could say that catching walleyes had become routine you might even say boring. Yes reading the article had brought back some great memories, but it wasn't the memories of scrappy bluegills I was thinking of now. It was the memory of carp hundreds, no thousands of carp, all sucking air on the surface of the river. Well I always thought they were sucking air it looked like they were sucking air, it never occurred to me that they might be feeding. Well it was occurring to me now. I jumped out of bed and slipped on some clothes and a coat and headed for the shed with a flashlight. It was there right where I left it years ago the old Eagle Claw. There was only one problem it was December. Most of the water in South Dakota is pretty hard in December. But I could wait and I did. The first carp appeared on the surface around mid May. I slipped in amongst them with my electric trolling motor. The first fish ignored my fly. The second fish I cast to swam over to it and sucked it down. It was an average carp say about 10 pounds. When I pulled back on the rod my fishing life changed forever, all hell broke loose. First the fish went on a dead run that any salmon would be proud of then he went under the boat and just hung there. My rod was bent like I never thought it could or would be then the fish went on its second run, thank God for that new backing I but on, the fish was a good 50yds. From the boat and still stripping line. This is what I had been waiting for my whole life, the Holy Grail of fishing, no bonefish could have performed better. After twenty minutes the fish lay heaving at the side of the boat a small black fly stuck in the corner of its mouth and a smile on mine. I gently released the great fish, stood up and watched a walleye fishermen heading down the river no doubt on this way to some secret spot full of 14inchers. Then I scanned the surface of the river around my boat I could see no fewer then twenty carp. I selected another fish and dropped the fly a few inches in front of its protruding lips. The carp moved forward and inhaled the fly. I was hooked up with another good fish and the battle was on. Two hours latter I had hooked and released 11 carp. My arms and shoulders ached from the nearly constant struggles. This had been my first of many wonderful days of fly-fishing carp throughout the Missouri River Reservoirs. Since that first experience I have found out that carp are seldom caught as easily as they were that day. I have discovered different techniques that work at different times throughout the spring , summer, and fall. I have also learned where to locate feeding carp when they are not on the surface. In fact it seems that I am always learning something new about these wonderful fish, like the day when I was salmon fishing on Lake Oahe and discovered huge carp feeding like bulldozers on the surface in over 200ft. Of water, on what you ask? Grasshoppers blown onto the river the night before during a wind storm. And another time in November while fly-fishing for trout in the back end of a shallow slough when I discovered a carp cruising and feeding on nymphs in 8inches of water with its back fin sticking out above the surface. Boy did that fish ever come unglued when I set the hook into his soft lip. It was the first time I had a carp leap completely out of the water and by the time I led him to my hand I was sure that that slough had never seen such a battle. Yes carp have taught me a lot about fly-fishing. I would have to say that the most important thing I have learned from them is to enjoy fishing again like I did when I first started fly-fishing many years ago. No depth finders, or down riggers just the simple pursuit of a simple fish with real tackle bustin strength. And best of all, I've got them all to myself. I am 40 years old. I live in Pukwana South Dakota. I am a middle school special education teacher and have worked for the Chamberlain School for 10yrs . I enjoy fishing, and hunting in central SD. Steve Toepfer Box 54 Pukwana SD 57370