Help these kids

Denver School for International Studies Students - Trout In the Classroom Release

These kids raised the fry.

Now it’s your turn to raise some cash for the Denver South Platte aquatic habitat.

Carp Slam proceeds fund studies and help fund excavators in the Denver South Platte to restore a healthy aquatic habitat for bugs and fish. The Carp Slam also funds our Trout in the Classroom project which for the first time allowed these kids to release their fry into their home river.  Habitat restoration was recently completed at Carson Nature Center also thanks in part to Carp Slam funds.

So do your part!  Buy a Carp Slam Afterparty Ticket (Only $25 bucks) or better yet attend and buy an auction item. Or still better, donate to a Slamateur’s fund raising campaign.  Just click here to check out the options. 

… read more on Trout in the Classroom

All the Trout in the Classroom photos from the Denver South Platte Trout Class of 2014.

RU fishing in the street?

Fish in the stream, NOT in the streets !

by: John Davenport, editor of The Drift. 5/2014

Popup Mist sprinkler head. 1.5 inches of water an hour is TOO MUCH. After 10 minutes in Denver It will run off before it reaches the roots.

  • Denver soils absorb water at .25 inch per hour.

  • Traditional popup mist sprinklers soak them at 1.5 inches of water per hour. So if you run your sprinkler for more than 10 minutes, you are actually moving fishable water from the Fraser, Blue, and S. Platte to the Denver Streets.

  • Rotator Head
    A rotator head pumps out only .5 inches per hour so you can water for 30 minutes and get water deep encouraging your grass (RTF of course) to send down deep roots.

    But you can easily swap out to popup rotator heads (.5 inch per hour), plug unneeded heads with a 3/16 in washer, and water for 30 minutes 2x/week and keep the fishable water where it belongs.

  • Check out this slide show to see how easy it is to do. 

  • Questions? email me  

Save the Date – Carp Slam 8 – Sept 6, 2014

Put Yourself in This Picture

Scott Demoss at Carp Slam 7


Registration for the 15 amateur spots in Carp Slam 8 will open  May 1, 2014 at 10:00 AM  on

Click here to practice for this registration event.

Click here to REGISTER on 5/1/2014 after 10:00AM.

Your donation (any amount) will go toward restoration of the Denver South Platte and our “Trout in the Classroom” projects.

Save the date of Saturday Sept 6, 2014, for all day and into the night fun on the Denver South Platte.

  1. You can watch the masters and slamateurs cast and catch the most elusive and intelligent fresh water quarry ever stalked with a fly rod. Maps and viewing guide can be found on Cost is $Free. Bike rentals available behind REI. This is the most outrageous fly fishing contest in the world, but please don’t cheer, shout, wave, stomp, or whistle until the carp is in the net.
  2. You can compete as a pro (if you are lucky enough to be recruited) or a slamateur (if you are lucky enough to get your paypal payment of $400 registration posted in time. Last years event sold out by the end of April.) Watch this space for the announcement of the opening of registration.
  3. As a supporter. A fierce fund raising battle will ensue among the slamateurs as they vie to show their love for the Denver South Platte and Trout in the Classroom by raising money from their friends, co-workers, probation officers, ex-wives, ex-husbands, facebook friends, Linkedin network, twitter followers, and relatives. Make an easy donation on for your favorite.
  4. As a corporate sponsor. A limited number of corporate sponsorships are available for those that love the Denver South Platte and could benefit from the exposure of this world class event (mentioned in numerous publications and carried by many media outlets.) Contact DTU President and event chairman Clem Rinehart ( to reserve your spot.
  5. Come to the after-party for great sounds, mixing with the best fly casting carp anglers in the world, fine wines, great snacks, and great values on what you need at the silent auction.

    Thanks to all our past Slamateurs. Hope to see you again this year.

Fraser is Happy

Fraser accepts a drop of water from a family overwatering their lawn in Denver. From the Colorado Trout Unlimited “Defend the Colorado” campaign. Click for full video.

Fraser is Happy !


    Last fall a big greenback was seen hiking along the highway from Winter Park to Denver looking for his water. It seems a major water company had been diverting his home water to grow Kentucky Bluegrass lawns. In interviews Fraser seemed confused by how and why this was happening and set out for Denver to track down his water.

Fraser’s looking for his home water.

Hiding under the conference table Fraser heard some good news. Denver Water,  TU, Grand County, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado River District, and Middle Park Water Conservation District had reached an agreement on Feb. 13, 2014 that would actually improve his habitat over what it is now. All they need is Army Corps of Engineers approval expected in early 2015 to get started on it. Here’s what he heard:

High water temperature will be monitored at Tabernash, Fraser, and below Windy Gap Reservoir. When the temperature gets high than 70F in the Fraser River or above 74.8 in the Colorado, Denver Water will give back 250 acre-feet of water at up to 4 cubic feet a second to bring it back down.  If after 20 years of “learning by doing” this doesn’t work, then Denver Water will contribute $1 million dollars to design and construct project for the sole purpose of addressing these temperature problems.

Flushing flows for a minimum of 72 hours to improve channel stability and transport sediment will be provided by Denver Water  3 out of every 10 years. Flushing flows committed to are 80 cfs (cubic feet per second) in the Fraser, 70 cfs in St Louis Creek, 50 cfs in Vasquez Creek, and 40 cvs in Ranch Creek.  If after 20 years this doesn’t work, Denver Water will contribute $1 million for projects to address channel stability and sediment transport.

Fraser, the wandering greenback cutthroat is particularly happy that Denver Water will be funding a $72,500 barrier to restore cutthroats in a CPW selected headwater stream. Denver Water is already collaborating with the USFS, ACE, USFWS, and CPW to protect the greenback cutthroat trout with an eye to expanding habitat on the Williams Fork and St. Louis Creek.

Fish Habitat restoration projects using $750,000 from a Denver Water escrow account will be used to compensate for reduced flows caused by the Gross Reservoir Expansion (named the Moffat Project for some reason.) See the interview with Stoney, the homeless Denver South Platte Stonefly, in the March 2014 DTU Drift, to understand how changing a stream channel can actually make a river trout habitat better when the flows are reduced.

Stream conditions, water temperature, channel stability, sediment transport, macro invertebrates, riparian areas and wetlands will all be studied to provide a baseline for action should problems occur during the construction or operation of the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project.

Development of an annual plan to coordinate operations of diversion structures and reservoir releases to maximize the effectiveness of temperature, channel stability, habitat restoration, and cutthroat restoration.

Denver Water and Norther Water will contribute $6 million  for Habitat Improvement in the 17 miles of Colorado River from Windy gap to the confluence with the Williams Fork River.

Denver Water will provide $1 million for flow related projects to protect wild and scenic river values.

Denver Water will turn over 1.25% of West Slope Fund surcharges to be dedicated to reforestation and aquatic improvements  in Grand County.

After the project is operational in 2021, $2 million for environmental enhancements, and $1 million for pumping water from Windy Gap to Grandby Reservoir for subsequent release to the Colorado below Grandby. Denver Water will dedicate 1,000 acre-ft each year from the Fraser Collection System and 1,000 acre-ft from the Williams Fork Reservoir to be used for instream minimum flow and aquatic habitat improvement.

Denver Water commits to by-pass and additional 2-3,000 acre-feet of water from diversion as required by USFS and Bureau of Land Management, unless it has implemented a ban on residential lawn watering.


(Read the details for yourself. I’ve translated this from legalese and may have made some untoward assumptions. .ed)

 TU Press Release:  

Fraser is going to stick around in Denver until the Corps of Engineers approves this mitigation and Enhancement Coordination Plan and Denver Water gets its permit to expand the Gross Reservoir. Then as the work on the project starts he’ll return home to keep an eye on and enjoy the improvements being made. He’s one happy greenback.

Don't Suck the Upper Colorado Dry

Don’t Suck the Upper Colorado Dry – Photo by Cory Stansbury

Bringing Stoneflies and Trout back to the Denver South Platte

Bring Stoney Home !!

Why won’t Stoney come home? Exactly how much water do we need to bring trout and stoneflies back to the Denver South Platte?

Stoney as a zombie, far from home.


Catch this interview with Stoney, the Denver South Platte homeless stonefly, forced from his home water by flood control projects, water pollution, high temperatures, erratic flows, poorly treated water, run-offs and just plain human meanness.   


Ronnie Gets Reel

By Ronnie Crawford – S. Platte Riverkeeper, Riverwatcher, Riverhead. 1/25/2014

Ronnie’s Hardy Reel

Several years ago, my nephew Shawn, called and said that he would be coming to Colorado to visit a client. He asked me to set up a fly fishing trip for us. Then he said, “Ronnie, I’m going to bring your reel back.” What the heck, I don’t remember loaning him a reel, so I asked him what he was talking about. “Well, I have your first reel and I want to return it, for you to enjoy.” This all seemed so nuts. What reel?
He went on to explain that when I had gotten older (college age) that my father, Shawn’s Grandfather, had given him the reel as a hand-me-down and would be Shawn’s first reel. Shawn has fished with this reel from the early 70′s thru the 90′s, before he updated to the newer equipment.
A few months passed and Shawn visited and walked up to me gave me a big hug, stepped back and proceeded to hand me the reel. As he held it in his palm, it was shining in the afternoon sun. I stared at it… picked it up… and felt like I had been united with an old friend. I remembered that damned old reel. He told me it was very valuable now and for me to enjoy it as we both had years ago.
Several years have passed and I wanted to know more about that reel. The Fly Fishing Show 2014 was on the horizon. I put the old reel in my pocket and headed to the show. It was burning a hole in my pocket, so I skipped a bunch of booths an searched for the Hardy booth. I walked up to the booth with the reel in hand, to talk to the Hardy rep. John Shaner. He was just finishing a conversation, saw the reel and politely excused himself from that conversation.
I told him that it was my first reel and handed it to him. He smiled like someone had handed him some gold. He looked down at it, looked at me, looked down at it again, and then with the biggest smile, looked me square in the eyes…he was almost speechless, “you were a very fortunate young man.”

Wow, the biggest smile yet. Inside were the stamped initials, JS. He explained that JS was the old master reel maker at Hardy Bros., Jimmy Smith. He told me some Jimmy Smith stories and spoke of Jimmy’s expertise. He coveted my reel and gently said that it was, with those initials, one of the most highly sought after Hardy reels around. I told him that I would send him quality photos of the reel, ’cause he wanted to show his friends. John and I had a great conversation about my old reel and his excitement and enthusiasm were infectious. He cleaned the reel and lubricated it before handing it back to me.
I think that I’ll use the reel this season. I might even pull my original Orvis Battenkill out of the closet and reunite the rod and reel and act like a kid, fishing in Ohio, again.

Cast the Carson Riffle

Cast at Last in the Carson Riffle.

Stage 1 of the 1st Denver South Platte River habitat restoration is completed.

With the help of $10,000 of Carp Slam seed money from DTU,  Urban Drainage and Flood Control, South Suburban Parks and the City of Littleton dug into an initial study for this restoration and then in a quick 60 days created a fantastic 2,000 feet of perfect trout habitat. At a walk thru on 5/29 we saw trout rising to tricos in the newly constructed run. Truly AMAZING. Carson Nature Center will be offering Fly Fishing Classes at the site. This is exactly what we [and a big thanks to former DTU Presidents Todd Fehr and Mike Hobbs] are working for on the entire Denver South Platte. This project will serve as a model for what can be done and what should be done on the Denver South Platte.

Mike Hobbs and John Davenport fished this section a week after water had been reintroduced from the diversion. They were astounded by the number of trout feeding in every hole. There was a massive trico hatch as the wind died down and a trout landed by John opposite the observation deck had an osprey puncture wound in its side. Nature took less than a week to get back on course. THIS is what can be done for the whole Denver South Platte. SUPPORT THE CARP SLAM.


…read more from Will Rice at Trouts.

Carson Nature Center


Now, on to the next 26.1 miles.

 Read the entire issue of the May 2013 eNews  The Drift.