The world record for Common Carp caught on a fly appears to have been smashed. Kurt Gutormson of South Dakota caught a behemoth specimen on May 12th, tipping the "scales" at 43lb 2oz. While he knew the fish was mammoth, after contacting the IFGA, Gutormson was advised his report was something special.
We caught up with Gutormson on Facebook and he graciously submitted to an interview after we demanded answers.
FF: Where did you catch your fish, and did you target the area
KG: I caught it on the South East part of Lake Poinsett in Brookings
County SD, and yes -- I was targeting carp that day on the fly rod.
FF: What fly, tippet and rod did you use?
KG: I was using a purple and blue flashabou tube fly that I tied myself with 10lb mono as my tippet material. I was using my 10 wt Echo Ion XL 9ft fly rod with a Redington Behemoth reel.
FF: So, how did you measure the fish, and were you able to release it? At what point did you contact IFGA?
KG: The fish was officially weighed at Gas N Mor in Brookings and measured by a fisheries biologist and undergraduates at South Dakota State University. I was not able to release the fish, but with the help of the biologist and undergraduates we were able to harvest the otolith to be able to age this fish. I contacted Jack Vitek the World Record Coordinator at IFGA where he told me that it would not only beat the current record for the line class but also be the largest common carp ever caught on a fly rod that has been recorded.
FF: Wow. So, what is your background as an angler, and how long have you been fly fishing? Carp may not be considered fly targets by most people in your neck of the woods -- are you considered an
KG: I have been fishing for most of my life. I started fly fishing last summer and the first fish I ever caught on my fly rod was a common carp and I have been hooked on fly fishing ever since. Carp are not a well liked fish in our area, in fact, I didn't like carp until I started fly fishing for them and since then I have gained a lot more respect for them.
There is very few people that fly fish in Eastern South Dakota and I would consider myself an oddball by the look on some landowners faces when I ask to fish their sloughs along with when I tell people I
fly fish for carp.
While Carp fishing with a fly rod is gaining in popularity in the US, the species has long been on the radar of anglers in Europe and the UK as a sport fish, but is typically pursued with conventional tackle and soft baits. The all-tackle world record currently stands at 75 lbs. 11 ounces.
I've spoken with European carp anglers who have traveled to American Carp tournaments such as are hosted by Trout Unlimited just to see Carp caught on the fly, which is apparently considered almost impossible on the other side of the pond due to fish being too educated.