It’s a fly fishing tournament where the finest professional and amateur anglers in the region (and beyond) match wits with the wily and elusive common carp. Carp are one of the most difficult freshwater fish to pursue on fly – meanwhile the urban South Platte River running through downtown Denver is one of the finest carp fisheries in North America.
The purpose of the tournament is to raise money for the reconstruction / rehabilitation of the Urban South Platte River below Chatfield Reservoir and through Denver.
You’re raising money for what!? Who cooked up this wild scheme?
Actually, the Denver Chapter of Trout Unlimited has been working with the South Suburban Parks and Recreation District for over several years studying how the Carson Nature Center’s reach of the South Platte can be enhanced to support a better native fish population, recreational fishery and riparian habitat. In 2011 the city of Littleton and the board of South Suburban Parks and Recreation approved the design and funded the first phase of restoration which is slated to begin in 2012. Denver Trout Unlimited has committed $10,000, raised primarily through the Carp Slam, to the project and has leveraged that money into a Fishing is Fun grant of $80,000.
DTU has also worked with the City and County of Denver and the Greenway Foundation on a South Platte Restoration plan, committing $25,000 to the project which is still in the design phase. Ultimately, at least $4 million will be spent to improve several miles of the Urban South Platte.
What do carp have to do with Trout Unlimited and the urban South Platte River?
Well carp are plentiful in the waterway running through downtown Denver, but trout are not – Trout Unlimited wants to change that. Through the upper section’s redevelopment, the South Platte can become a prime trout habitat within minutes of downtown Denver.