Al Q and Conway Bowman
Al Q (left) and Conway (right)
Photo by Michelle Woo-Bowman

Conway Bowman tournament director

Some years ago, I was turned on to fly fishing for carp by my good friend, Johnny Hendrickson. Little did I know at the time, 70 miles to the north of me, in Los Angeles, another good friend, Al Q, was targeting carp on the fly in the LA River.

Our rivers converged, so to speak, over a conversation at a Southern California fly fishing show about how great carp were to catch on the fly, and the rest is history. So, I'll blame John and Al for sparking my carp flame, and for the countless hours I've spent chasing these wonderfully goofy looking kings of the warm water, from Southern California to Lake Michigan.

Some fly fishers ask "Why carp?" with puzzled looks, but then I bring up the virtues of casting the fly to tailing or surface slurping carp. Believe me, I totally understand their bewilderment. It does not make sense right? Casting a fly to a fish that we've been fooled into believing would rather eat a Cheeto then a well presented foam hopper or crawdad fly.

This is far from the truth of the matter. For those who have "seen the light", "crossed the forbidden tracks" and "come out of the closet" (so to speak) to join the ranks of a secret society of fly rod carping connoisseurs, we have all found that fly fishing for carp is hands down the most challenging, fulfilling and gratifying warm water fly fishing of all.

The Carp Throw Down is for fly fishermen who are not limited by boundaries and have fun fly fishing for any fish who is willing to take a fly. Come join the fun! It will change the way you look at carp..I guarantee it.

Al Q tournament coordinator

When Conway asked me to be involved in a sight casting for carp event that was to be held on Lake Henshaw, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Conway and Michelle are supporters of my annual One Surf Fly events along our coast, and have been great friends over the years.

I am primarily a salty guy but I have to admit I have a little carpness in my blood. Carp are very under-rated warm water fish that are awesome to catch on the fly, especially when you sight fish for them in skinny water. What they lack in looks, they easily make up in attitude and a hard fight.

Lake Henshaw is the perfect theater for serious carp anglers to show off their skills, and we anticipate a great turnout for this new adventure. With a little luck, as we have seen in the past, we might get a June hopper hatch and that will make things very interesting.