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Discussion Starter #1
I know some of you have posted on catching carp in the Platte here in downtown Denver. My initial reaction is EWWWWW!!! I've heard it can be a lot of fun though. I just cashed im my Bass Pro gift cards from XMAS and got myself an 8 wt rod for steelhead when I visit my parents in Oregon, as well as pike. It might be good for carp on the fly.

My thought today was, does anyone know of a productive location for carp on the South Platte here in town? Somewhere where I would have a decent chance for early success. Otherwise I'm gonna give up because I think they're gross and I don't want to look ridiculous fishing in a stretch of the river where everyone thinks there aren't any fish.
 

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I watched a video from a link I got on this site of a guy on the South Platte. He didn't say, but the area - the condos across the river especially - looked like the stretch downriver from Confluence Park and REI - I think past the next bridge, but I don't know the name of the street.

I tried a couple times at Soda Lakes (the two small lakes in Bear Creek Lake Park by Morrison) but didn't have any luck. I've been told by several people that the carp fishing there is good.
 

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I saw that video on the flyfisher's website. It was awesome. They pretended to be bonefishing. I had the chance last summer at Cherry Creek along the dam when I came across a school of carp feeding on anything that moved on the surface. I could have reached out and grabbed them. I thought they were too disgusting at the time. My loss. I'll be smarter next time.
 

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What's disgusting about carp?  They eat much of the same food as do trout, they can live in the same waters as many trout, and while they can also live in lakes and rivers that are too polluted to support trout (or most other fish), if given a choice, they'll go for good water quality. 

Carp get a bad rap, but I think they are a much undervalued fish in Colorado, and are as "game" as many others.

Let's compare them to the much vaunted trout.

Characteristic         Carp     Trout
Lives in rivers          Y           Y
Lives in lakes           Y           Y
Takes wet flies         Y           Y
Takes dry flies          Y          Y
Takes streamers      Y           Y
Feeds on nymphs    Y           Y
Feeds on surface     Y           Y
Feeds on small fish  Y           Y
Feeds on fish eggs   Y           Y
Feeds on plants       Y           N
Can be selective      Y           Y
Can be skittish        Y           Y
Fights hard             Y           Y
Commonly >10 lbs Y           N
Found everywhere  Y           N
Easy to catch         N           N

In my book, carp are a worthy opponent...what other fish can you find on the Front Range that is everywhere, eats flies, regularly grows to over 20 pounds, takes as much skill and technique to hook as a bonefish, takes even more skill and technique to land (and a healthy dose of luck), reacquaints you with your backing again and again, and is under-exploited (I've never seen a crowd of anglers on my favorite carp waters)?

Give them a try...if you can overcome the prejudices many have towards the fish, I bet you'll find yourself quite pleased with their performance as a sport fish. Just one word of warning...you may find yourself addicted after you spend an afternoon carefully stalking a 15-pounder, you make only three casts, and the fish smokes your drag on the first run!
 

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Hi, Guys,
I'm new to the forum and found the topic interesting.
I've always wanted to try carp fishing in Colorado, specially, some where around Denver metro area.
There's a news last year or two years ago that two flyfishermen found a dead body in S. Platte around S. Santa Fe drive while hunting for carp. Does anyone has any idea where that is? :)
 

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through out my childhood I chased carp on the fly at a small lake by my house in Parker.  AS I grew up, I became very occustmed to their locations and feeding patterns.  A great book that describes what I whitnessed through out my childhood is entitled Carp on the Fly by Barry Reynolds.  You will begin to notice various feeding behaviors, and from these behaviors you will learn which fish are worth a few casts and which should be passed by.  If you see a carp tail up rutting its nose in the mud, it is actively surching for watever aquatic insect is present.  If they are in a cruising mode actively patroling one area then they may be looking for something a little more plentiful like a cray fish.  Just keep in mind however, that in my experience with carp I have seldom had one vigorously chase a streamer.  Instead, I watch their patterns of patrol and try placing a crayfish on the bottom right where they are likely to pass by.  A little trick I picked up on was to place a fairly heavy split shot about 14 inches up from my crayfish. Just make sure it doesn't go "KERPLUNK" when it hits the water. When the carp cruses by, slowly begin to drag the crayfish.  The split shot ahead of the fly will stir the mud drawing the fishes attention.  This is my best advice for the crusing variety.  If there is a a group of carp some of which feeding the others not, don't flock shoot the bunch.  Instead pick out individual fish to cast to. The tricky thing with "groupies" is if you spook one you often spook them all.  The fish worth passing are the ones sitting up on the surface unless you see them sipping something off the top  Carp like a good tan, and will often sit up by the surface.  It's tempting to cast to these fish because they are so obvious and don't spook that easy, but believe me...they aren't feeding.  However, if they are nose up to the sky, they may be pulling whatever they can find off the surface...although this is seldom the case.  On occasion at my neibhorhood lake, thistles from the willows will blow out onto the surface and when this happens its like the arkansas river caddis hatch.  I have a pattern which features some white maraboo and a lot of floatent that works well at these times.  For the most part, the majority of carps feeding takes place on the bottom.  The better you know, what lives in a particular body of water...the greater your chances for success.  I would also suggest days where you dedicate most your time to watching their behavior, this will help you alot when its time for the catchin'. Yes they are finicky at times, but with enough time perusing them you will seldom get skunked.  When I get back this summer, if anyone wants to go catch some carp I'd be happy to go chase em with yall.  Also, if you frequent grey reef, possibly give Alcova a try.  There is a place known as black beech which is the meca of carp fishing!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the carp primer. I saw that book the otherday. I don't read anymore, though, so you gave me a good summary.
 

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PD4, That was a great description of flyfishing for carp. You've renewed my enthusiasm for catching them! John
 

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I have an associate who guides exclusively for carp who swears by his Sucker Punch Fly. He almost always sight casts to carp in shallow flats of reservoirs. One key is to not be standing well above the fish when you cast. Carp spook easily and are often wary prey to take on a fly.

Long Haired Dave's Sucker Punch Fly:

 
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