Early March South Platte Carp’in
by Tad Howard
The buzz around Denver has turned to Carp. As the trout fishing in the Colorado mountains is still warming up. Denver’s year round carp fishery on the South Platte has been an area where the guides have been fishing on their days off. These tanks have been averaging 5-10 pounds with 15 pounders being a very real possibility. Some up to 20 pounds have been reported. A 5-6 weight rod is fine for even big carp and the bulldog runs on a 5wt are incredible.
Techniques for these brutes can vary greatly. Nymph fishing with an indicator will put fish in the net. Small leaches, soft hackles, and crustacean patterns have been hot. Old torn up trout flies work very well too. Make sure your flies are on the bottom and in front of the fish.
Carp get wary much faster than other game species, often anglers can get away with 2x tippet, but once there is much fishing pressure anglers may have to use lighter tippet.
The South Platte in the Denver area is very accessible. There are bike paths all along the river. Watch for big carp near the bridges and in deep water. When they move up into the sandy flats they feed very actively and are especially wary. That is my favorite time to target carp. The strike or “suck” is very visible to the angler and somewhat reminiscent of saltwater fishing. In deeper water watch for the tail to come up in the water column as they suck the flies off the bottom. Sometimes you have to guess when they have eaten the fly.
You can catch carp in the South Platte 12 months out of the year. Make sure you watch the stream flows, if the water is off color or too high it makes targeting carp much harder.
This is a kick in the pants for anglers itching to get out and fish before they hit the high country.
If you go:
Tad is head guide and owner of Colorado Trout Hunters. For more info....
Book a great Colorado guided fishing trip!
Buy South Platte Digital Fishing Maps Click here for info or to purchase. Covers the South Platte from headwaters to Chatfield Res. Available on cd, or as download.
Buy Colorado Fishing Maps and Books