Carp Fly Fishing in Denver Colorado

Carp Fly Fishing in downtown Denver Colorado? So I’ve heard! The prospect of stepping out of a downtown happy-hour and casting for a hard-to-catch specimen, truly appeals to me. And it’s for a good cause – restoration of the South Platte River!

Carp fly Fishing

Denver Carp Slam

Date set for the 2009 tournament! August 22nd - register now!

I attended last year; Denver Trout Unlimited Presented the 2nd Annual South Platte Pro-Am Carp Slam Saturday September 27th, 2008. You know you had a good time when at one point in the event you were up to your hips in poo-sand, (much like quick-sand but smellier), and yet you still had a blast!

The tournament starts with the pairing of amateurs to pros, by random drawing. This worked out well for me. The day prior I stopped into Front Range Anglers of Boulder Colorado to pick up some carp fly fishing gear – a heavier leader, some sturdier tippet, and some big bugs. I was greeted by Jay Zimmerman, carp guide extraordinaire and author, Rob Kolanda – who ended up winning the whole shootin’ match, and Frank Smethurst, celebrity angler and tournament philanthropist. (Frank donated about half the stuff they gave away including Scott rods.) I couldn’t have asked for a better line-up to give me the carp scoop and outfit me with the right gear.

By luck of the draw I was paired with Zimmerman! I got the impression that any pro would have been great but I did notice that a couple of them were extremely competitive and since this was my first attempt to hunt a carp, ever, I think I would have asked for a re-match if I had drawn one of the intense few. One guy was quoted as saying, “Don’t look at the carp – they don’t like you to look at them!” Awesome intensity.

There are actually several nice beats on the South Platte River. The water is so clear you can see the monsters stacked up on the banks and cruising the sandy bottom sucking in bits of “food”. These carp average about 27” – 10 lbs.

Jay and I worked that water up and down – planning our execution, switching up flies and techniques, ditching our plan of execution. Jay actually had one on but it swam into the rocks and busted his line. Me? Not one bite. Not one look. Not one opportunity! It was far tougher than I had imagined – and I’m still glad I did it! Rob won with three fish and I think half a dozen carp were caught between all 26 anglers. Did I mention it was tough?

The next day I went out with my good friend and found a cool spot under a bridge to learn his technique. He had me cast right into the middle of them, let the bug settle, and then give it a small strip and VICTORY! My knee-jerk reaction? Grab the line. I didn’t mean to – I didn’t even know I was doing it. Apparently one of the first things my right hand does when I get a trout on is to clamp down on the line to set the hook. Bad idea. I burned a hole in my index finger from the friction of that fish taking off and it quickly busted off my fly. Carp fly fishing lesson learned – the hard way.

Video - My First Carp!

WARNING: Serious Carp Porn

Trout Unlimited

Take me to that hot video: Leave Your Hat On!

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