About John Davenport

Editor - Denver Trout Unlimited eNews, Secretary 2012-2015

Silted Sensor Study validates DSP/DTU Temp Data.

What’s it feel like under 4 inches of Denver South Platte mud and silt?  Ben Cole, Ben Johnston, and Christen Luskey find out. Denver Trout Unlimited temperature sensors are often buried in silt after 6 months chained to the bottom of the DSP. Does this invalidate their temperature readings? Are the temperature reading close to those from the scientifically accurate USGS sensor on the DSP at Englewood? These intrepid high school seniors risk all to find out.

See their graph: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1LQMO8mmEWdSlkwN25CYzhyRXM

See their report: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1LQMO8mmEWdMkYtZHVYTURoNVU

See their data: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ErSvcZP7PDSLMSr2L9Jj6_YAbNG77cYgLqx-yz_TQ2E


LUNKER pipes are coming.

Little Underwater Neighborhood Keepers Encompassing Rheotatic Salmonids (LUNKER) Pipes.

To solve the problem of lack of habitat shelter from undercut banks, sweeper logs, or big boulders in the Denver South Platte, the DTU River Run Habitat Committee, Ben Neilsen (RiverRun Phase II designer), and Paul Winkle (CPW DSP Aquatic Biologist) have designed and located for experimental placement, of ten 18-36 inch diameter 8 foot sections of concrete pipe with rectangular windows below the water line to simulate the kind of shelter we hope the fish of the DSP will love.

Keep current with our progress here.

Update 11/3/2017.   Ben Neilsen, project manager reports:

” The first LUNKER will be installed in the next 3-4 weeks.  I’m very excited too about these for a lot of reasons.  Particularly I see real promise for reaches that have vegetation restrictions or limitations due to urbanization and flood conveyance. We will vary LUNKER alignments and angle of windows (rotation). “

River Run Project Status by Brandon Parsons

River Run Project

By Brandon Parsons  2/8/2017

New Habitat Equals Better Fishing at River Run Park

DTU is actively working with McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group (Merrick & Company), Urban Drainage, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife to design and improve fish habitat downstream of River Run Park. McLaughlin will be redesigning current drop structures in this reach in order to better support recreation and habitat.

These drop structures will include deep pools that more than double the current depth of the river. Each pool will hold cold water throughout the year sustaining DSP Trout during the hot summer months.

The height of the drops will be dramatically reduced and the slope will be decreased improving the potential for fish passage.

DTU is also working with McLaughlin to design L.U.N.K.E.R. Boxes around each drop. Designed to mimic the overhanging banks you might find on the Dream Stream or big Montana Rivers, Lunkers provide fish with a calm place to hang out before striking at food pushed into the pool by the drop structure.

Lunker Boxes as designed for Michigan

LUNKER BOX ideas and placement suggestions for the DSP River Run Park

When fishing this area in the future keep this in mind. Throwing deep nymphs will help you cover the new depth of the pool, while Wooly Boogers or streamers thrown at the bank and ripped across the pool may entice the big boys out from the box.

For more information on L.U.N.K.E.R. Boxes please click HERE

December on the Colorado River

December Fly Fishing the Colorado River


Ben Johnston

Fellow fly fishing addict


It’s not just about the fish.


The streamer bite on the Colorado river has been on fire this fall into the early winter, and if you are thinking about going out, I highly recommend driving a little further, ditching the crowds, and experiencing this amazing fishery. No need for a drift boat, as wade fishing has been great from Pumphouse down to Two Bridges. As the weather continues to get colder, the fish will become concentrated in the slow deep pools where nymph fishing under an indicator with stoneflies, eggs, and smaller midges and mayflies are my go to nymphs this time of year. Remember to wear your favorite pair of fishing gloves, and to take them off while handling fish, as this not only protects the fish’s slime coat but also leaves you dry and warm gloves to put your hands in after the release. Until next time stay dry, warm and tight lines!




pumphouse-2 It’s about the walk to the river in that pristine Colorado air. It’s about not being at work on a Tuesday.  It’s about hearing the California Zephr coming through the tunnel and the travelers in the Vistadome cars wishing they were out with you on the Colorado.


OK. It’s also about the fish.


Streamer Fishing on the Colorado

Streamer Fishing on the Colorado

Ben Johnston

Fellow fly fishing addict    October 2016


I don’t usually throw streamers, but this fall they were the go to bug for me. Like most anglers, when I get to any river I start with a nymph rig because I know it will catch fish. I can see the stoneflies mayflies under rocks on the bank, and when I throw my first cast I have confidence I need that the fish will eat my rig. This was never the case with streamers for me until this past October.

I had invited two fishy friends to come on a float on the Colorado River with myself, and when we finally got in the boat early on a cold and cloudy morning both of their rigs surprised me. Large streamers dangled off the ends of their lines, and despite my best efforts, I couldn’t convince them to switch to the tried and true nymph rig. Its a good thing they are stubborn. As I rowed away from the boat ramp, a excited hoot came from the front of the boat, I looked out, and a 20 inch brown was thrashing on the end of his line. We landed the fish, got a quick picture, and watched it swim back to his former ambush point.

That day, I never got off the sticks, but this was due to the insane streamer bite my buddies experienced. When I pulled us into the take out (in the pitch black night) I had the epiphany: fishing with confidence is everything. I had never had a good day throwing meat, so when I did put on my minnow imitation of choice, I tended to not fish it as hard as I should, and never give it a chance. This single day changed my opinion of streamers completely. And for the next 7 weekends we floated the same stretch, throwing a green and silver sparkle minnow every time, and having some of the best fishing of my life.