The South Platte Pro-Am Carp Slam is now over. It was hot as hell, the fishing was tough as nails, but the booze was flowing afterwards in a lot tastier condition than the water we tromped through. James Snyder’s Broken Holmes played some serious funk during the post-game festivities, and a big, fun crowd ate, drank, and generally made merry well into the evening and beyond. Everything went off without a hitch, and a pile of cash was raised to benefit restoration of our beloved South Platte River.
First and foremost
Congratulations go out to Rob Kolanda and Patrick Stewart, who ripped the afternoon session to pieces and took home first place by a wide margin. Rob told me they got lucky with the beat – “the fish just so happened to be there and feeding hard.” I’m throwing the bullshit flag as it is Rob’s second win in as many years. Once you’re lucky, twice you’re good, and when it comes to these carp…damn good. Excellent job, gentlemen!
We hooked some fish, but more importantly we lost quite a few early and that fact kept the pressure on all day. As the afternoon progressed, Barry could see I was growing a bit weary in the sweltering heat, missing casts, switching flies without rhyme or reason, tangling my line…generally falling apart. So he carried me. With just a few minutes left in his second turn, I spotted a pod of sizable feeders and waved Barry over for the attempts. It turned out to be a good decision – with just a minute left in his turn Barry hooked up. I knew this could be the difference between placing and just drinking, so I dove into the river to net the fish while it took repeated dives towards the rocks. The effort paid off. Thank you Barry – it was a pleasure fishing with you.
The best part about Carp Slam…a legacy is born. Literally.
Tireless director and host Tim Emery was making speeches, giving kudos to sponsors, and dishing out instructions. Then his phone rang. It was his wife…”Honey, my water broke.” A few hours later Mr. and Mrs. Emery were the proud parents of a happy and healthy baby girl. Tim spent the night at the hospital, and when mother and child fell asleep the following evening Tim came back for the Carp Slam awards ceremony, visibly exhausted and wanting nothing more than to return to his family. Lil’ Miss Emery will be elected National Executive Director of Carp Slam, in 2029. She’ll be competing in the 24th annual Denver event as well.
Giving something back
Second place scored me a beautiful Simms Headwaters hip pack and a pair of Simms Rivershed boots. I’m keeping the pack – after taking a good hard look at it compared the Mountainsmith Tour pack I’ve been using I think the Simms gear is going to do right by me. I love the Mountainsmith, but it isn’t built for fishing – the Simms pack is. As for the wading boots, I just picked up a new pair not long ago and am wholly satisfied with them. So I’m selling the boots I won at “auction” here, with the money going back to Denver Trout Unlimited’s South Platte restoration bucket. I’ve got a coupon good for the Rivershed boots at Trouts Fly Fishing – it’s worth $193 and change. Leave a bid in the comments section (or email me), and I’ll either go pick up your size boots for you and ship them to you (on my nickel if it’s within the 48 contiguous states), or just give you the coupon and you can grab them from Trouts yourself. The starting bid is $100, and I won’t be able to manage returns, complaints, etc. so please make sure you’re dead set on them and your size before you bid. As a bonus, the purchase will include an awesome lightweight breathable cap with the Trouts logo on it. I’ll close the auction at the end of the work week.
There are too many people to thank for a comprehensive listing in this post, and I had a few too many Jack & Cokes at the after-party so my memory’s still a little foggy and I don’t want to leave anyone out. But those folks know who they are (with particularly emphasis on the professional guides I roped into the event).
Big thanks go out to all.
MG signing off (until next year’s Carp Slam)