Even with fast reactions, by the time the rod has flexed and the line picked up, the smaller coarse fish have often been and gone! Very difficult to hook 'em if the first sign of activity is the rise itself.
I have found, if the water is clear enough, and you are near enough, for roach, rudd, dace and bleak , if you begin the strike as soon as you see the fish begin to go for the fly, then very often you hook it.
Unlesss you are an out-and-out purist, you can simulate a "hatch" and get the fish rising if you take a few floating casters with you.
(No - do NOT sneak one on the hook )
but chuck a few on the surface and fish a small dry. Quill body in reddish brown if you believe in close imitation.
Alternatively, a few maggots now and then, and use a wet fly with a light body, such as a Peach Doll.
It was with a Peach Doll that I experienced a once-in-a lifetime miracle. My fly arrived at the surface at the same time and place as a four pound mirror which had risen and opened its mouth to engulf something at the surface - the fly went in without touching the sides ! Unfortunately I was fishing alone, so there was no witness to my "skill". (Dick Walker once told me "If ever you fluke something, never let on that you were surprised - behave as if you meant it")
Anyway, a good fight ensued, although carp are not as good fighters as brownies of the same weight.