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Michael Gracie

Show the urban South Platte, and Carp Slam Pro Scott Wells, some love

My friend Scott Wells is a long-time competitor in the South Platte Pro-Am Carp Slam. He also makes these:

triple-alaska-1

Click to view Scott’s portfolio

That participation, along with those prints, of which Scott donates several a year toward the cause (and somehow finagled one onto the walls of my abode), has resulted in major renovations to the South Platte River around Carson Nature Center. Denver Trout Unlimited has eyes on continuing the march downstream and your donation on Scott’s behalf helps enable that.

Click here to show the Denver South Platte (and Mr. Wells) some love.

MG signing off (because love is in the air, even if the urban South Platte doesn’t always smell that way)

Carp Slam VI: Results and related bloviation

It is was it is, and it was a grand show…

1st Place – Clint Packo and Will Rice (83 inches on 3 fish)
2nd Place – Luke Bever and Scott Demoss (71.25 inches on 3 fish)
3rd Place – Cody Muchow and Tyler Stewart (54 inches on 2 fish)

Clint Packo and Scott Demoss took the prizes for the largest carp taken in the pro and amateur classes, respectively.

After last year’s first place showing, Clint Packo proves luck has absolutely nothing to do with it, while Will Rice showed us that persistence (it’s his ninth Carp Slam…this year alone) and obsessive team play definitely pays dividends. Luke Bever is more than worth the hype – he’s entered three Carp Slams and hit the podium as many times; with first time competitor Scott Demoss taking a fish too, we are certain they will be making future appearances. And finally, Cody Muchow and Tyler Stewart, who were rumored to have practiced for the Slam on saltwater flats with three-weights, are odds on favorites for next year’s triple aught side contest.

To the victors go the oversized beer mugs

Photo by Alex Landeen

The Evening on the South Platte pre-game party was the usual smashing hit – the ladies came in high heels while the men all wore flip-flops. In other words, the Confluence Park lawn needs no aeration service this fall, and nobody was labeled the “dancing fool”. The first place team allowed lesser beings to drink from their cups, and said cups runneth-ed over onto many a chin and chest. Special thanks go out to the wives of several of the more exuberant contestants, who agreed to trade their attendance for new living room suites, and kept the craziness in check; nobody was arrested.

Additional thanks go out to all the competitors who raised money for river restoration on their own, of which one Mr. Doug Long’s tally was well into the thousands. There are hip-hip-hoorays for everyone who won silent auction items, and a pat on the back to the Denver Trout Unlimited members who again pulled rabbits out of their hats to make the whole shebang a whopping success.

MG signing off (because the Carp Slam is hard work, and even though I barely did a lick of it I’m still kinda tired)

Calling all fly anglers: Carp Slam 6 is a go

The date is August 25th, 2012 for the 6th Annual South Platte Pro-Am Carp Slam. And the slot pickins are already starting to get tight.

We have a dozen confirmed professionals, a list of which will be distributed via CarpSlam.org the moment the remaining three swamp donkey jockeys are in place (although I can disclose now that there are some truly bad agents coming in from afar for this year’s event). As for the amateurs, well we’ve already received enough inquiries that we’ve decided to make a race out of it.

Instead of posting signup on the web, we’re going with mail-in entries – this means less transaction fees, and hence more money for the South Platte River. And, since yours truly is responsible for the website this year, and the same is a lazy assfishes too much to write code…is buried at the moment, this course of action means I can go back to taking afternoon naps in the office we can get people in earlier, thereby allowing competitors more prep time.

The entry fee will be $250 through May 31st – the same as last year. You are in if you are one of the first 15 to fill out this form and send it along with your check payable in the name of Denver Trout Unlimited to:

Denver Trout Unlimited
c/o Todd Fehr
5668 South Geneva Street
Greenwood Village, CO 80111

As of June 1st, the entry fee will go up to $350, and any entries received after May 31st and/or the slots are filled will be promptly returned to their senders.

Fill out that form! Send in that check! And be a part of history a damn good tourney for a damn good cause!

MG signing off (to take that nap)

Thank you, Sage

The last of the Carp Slam prizes arrived on my doorstep yesterday. Which means Mr. Trevor Tanner, the contestant who took first place in event, can now fish the urban South Platte in grand style…

sage one carp slam

That’s right, Sage’s new ONE fly rod. Despite knowing that they would be short on these fabulous fresh sticks – the rod is flying off the racks right now, and for good reasonSage offered up a ONE for first place. And then delivered.

Extremely generous, and brilliant business thinking. ONE…first place…get it? Sage got lucky too – not only did they get slotted as a banner sponsor of the event, but the Carp Slam itself was the biggest and baddest ever. In fact, the ONLY downside to their participation…they’ll eventually get sore ears from hearing all the thanks.

MG signing off (thank you Sage thank you Sage thank you Sage thank you Sage thank you Sage thank you Sage)

Editor’s note: the same thanks goes out to Kara Armano of Backbone Media, who quarterbacked the Sage participation. Thanks again, Kara!

Carp Slam 2011 unmasked

Fly-fishing for carp in Colorado isn’t all fun and games. Ok, maybe it is. But it’s got absolutely nothing to do with clear mountain streams.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Ok, maybe there is.

carp slam

The behind the scenes story and photos compliments of Mr. Alex Landeen.

MG signing off (to resume my beauty sleep)

The Pillagers and Plunderers

Without further ado…

1st Place – Clint Packo(1) and Trevor Tanner(1) (111 inches on 5 fish)
2nd Place – Barry Reynolds(2) and Yours Truly (81 inches on 3 fish)
3rd Place – Luke Bever(3) and Nathan Davis(1) (72 inches on 3 fish)

NOTES:
(1) First time participants in The Slam
(2) Reynolds has taken second place three years in a row across six different beats, meaning the man proves beyond a shadow of doubt he can catch fish no matter the conditions. And even though he’s drawn me as a partner twice.
(3) Luke Bever has competed twice, catching the Carp of the Slam on his first pass and all three fish that brought his team to podium on the second. In other words, he’s a force to be reckoned with.

The real winners of the whole shebang, however, are the donors of prizes, the attendees at the after-party, those who forked out cold, hard cash donations, and of course the urban South Platte River itself. Denver Trout Unlimited has preliminarily reported a 50% increase in revenue from the event, and the budgeted net, which goes directly to river restoration projects, should be right on target. Clem Rinehart, Cory Stansbury, Todd Fehr, and the rest of the DTU Board deserve major kudos for knocking this one out of the park.

MG signing off (to retire the carp gear, for at least a few days)

The Lineup

Introducing the pairings for the 2011 South Platte Pro-Am Carp Slam (am – pro):

Will Rice – Tyler Kendrick
Trevor Tanner – Clint Packo
Tim Romano – Kurt Olesek
Nathan Davis – Luke Bever
Jon Emert – Gifford Maythem
Nate Taylor – Tim Marek
Phil Beranato – Theo Anset
Josh Fiester – Scott Wells
Aaron Kindle – Bruce Smithhammer
Stephen Sparks – Ty Clifton
Sabrina Stratford – Chris Barry
Michael Weed – TK Conner
Rick Mikesell – David Luna
Robert Bibb – Rob Kolanda
Dzifa Glymen – Chris Galvin

And last but certainly not least…

Michael Gracie – Barry Reynolds

The odds of pulling that last pairing for a second time is about half as likely as getting struck by lightning. Carp Slam senior management declined all requests for interviews on the matter.

MG signing off (because luck has got everything to do with it)

Training Grounds

To catch the carp, you must be the carp. The only way to be, however, is through total immersion…

river warning

Seeing as fishing grounds have been significantly restricted prior to the main event, improvisation was in order.

MG signing off (to step into the decontamination chamber)

Carp Slam Pre-Game

Mono a mono…

Will Rice - Pre-Game Carp

Two amateur competitors in the upcoming South Platte Pro-Am Carp Slam duke it out before pre-game fishing restrictions rear their ugly head.

Gracie Pre-Game Carp

Twas a damn fine grudge match.

MG signing off (to get my hands wrapped before the main event)

Alex Kong vs. Smithzilla

Hollywood has run out of ideas, so fly-fishing compadres are picking up the slack. As if competing against a bunch of gangsters during Carp Slam wasn’t enough, I am now forced to contend with bonafide monsters overtaking my humble abode just a few short weeks from now.

It’s a clash that is sure to wow theoretical physicists, the paparazzi, and dogs and cats alike:

Alex Kong

King Kong

…versus Smithzilla.

I thought about buying a catastrophic insurance policy, but instead I’m just taking bets on who gets the sofa.

MG signing off (because the house is supposed to always win, although in this case it’s questionable)