Fishing for carp – be it commons, mirrors, or grass – has been a popular pastime for quite a while. Denver Trout Unlimited, however, has captured the recent movement and made it into one of the best fly-fishing tournaments in the country with its annual South Platte Carp Pro-Am.
In its sixth year and held annually every summer, the event takes place throughout the urban South Platte River in Denver, Colorado. With a DTU party the night before, Pros and ‘Slamateurs’ are paired and assigned one beat in the morning and another for the afternoon. It’s a fun event in Olde Town Arvada,an annual summer highlight.
The first day started early with a bit of overcast, and produced some large numbers. However, as the day warmed, and the sun began to beat down on the city’s concrete roads and sidewalks, things got tough. Oh well! All said it was a great day to be on the water for a good cause- and the conditions were better than the year before.
That evening, DTU held its 2nd annual “Evening on the South Platte” at Confluence Park in the heart of Denver, a beautiful setting at the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River. With pros and slamateurs in attendance, along with many more guests, the night started with unique appetizers, wine, and beer. In addition, there was a silent auction featuring gear, outerwear, and other welcome libations. Finally, the winners were announced: a personal congratulations to Clint Packo (his 2nd championship in a row) and Will Rice with over 80 inches of carp caught in both the morning and afternoon beats.
However, this story is more than just a great tournament, it’s about what DTU has done to work with groups and help ensure the continued re-development and preservation of the South Platte through Denver. Well Fargo donated a $10,000 check, and along with participant donations, auction sales, etc., DTU raised a good bit of money to help our river succeed in the near future. Cory Stansbury, of DTU, said, “Wells Fargo has been a corporate sponsor of Carp Slam for four of the six events and has donated $10,000 each of the last two years. That is incredible corporate support and goes hand in hand with the grass roots efforts. Individual donations to the Urban South Platte topped $11,000 this year, and I am very proud of that.”
In addition, the Hero of the South Platte award was given this year to Joe Shoemaker, head of the Greenway Foundation. Sadly, Joe passed away less than a week prior to the event. His son, Jeff, who is now the director, accepted the award in honor of his father. Stansbury said, “The foundation is the major player in Urban South Platte restoration projects. DTU works very closely with Greenway to make sure that river users who actually get in the river are represented. Our ability to fundraise gets us a seat at the table when plans are being drawn up and allows us to advocate for the fishery, macroinvertebrates, channel improvements, etc…” My thoughts go out to Jeff and his family. Please keep up the good work!
Overall, I’m very proud to live in a city that cares about its water, its fisheries, and its people. This has become a huge event with anglers from across the country, and it’s only going to improve from here. See you next year.
Mr. Jeff Shoemaker