Slamtastic!

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Denver Bone Fish

Here are three reports from last weekends Denver Carp Slam. Ummmmm, tasty!

The Denver Carp Slam, This Is Not Your Father’s TU

Carping on the South Platt

When was the last time you attended a Trout Unlimited event where a bottle rocket fight broke out? That was the scene last weekend when I attended the Denver Carp Slam, as an observer, not to fish. The Carp Slam is a carp tournament started five years ago by the Denver chapter of Trout Unlimited. It takes place on the South Platte in downtown Denver and the proceeds pay for stream improvements on the river. The Platte, at least the stretch that runs through Denver, is truly a challenged river. OK, that’s too polite. It’s severally F’ed up. Full of trash, dead animals, murder weapons, and amazingly, fish. Carp of coarse but also walleye, smallmouth bass, catfish, and to my surprise, trout. Not in big numbers but pretty good size. That’s where TU comes in. They’re using the carp, to save the trout.

It’s a great cause and a great time but most of all, a great bunch of guys. The group is young, energetic and energized about their mission but not taking life too seriously. The experience renewed my faith in TU. I am particularly interested in a group who call them selves The Greenbacks. A group of young TU members on a mission to preserve Colorado’s native fish, and have a good time doing it. Their enthusiasm is contagious. It’s awesome to see a great old institution alive with wish youthful vigor. Hats off to the Denver chapter of TU.

Natural Born Carper

Cody Moreland

While photographing the Denver Carp Slam I witnessed something strange and wonderful. The slam is a “pro am” event. Sixteen teams consisting of one pro and one amateur compete to put the most carp, by inches, in the net. If you’ve tried it, you know that carp can be brutal little bitches and the day of the slam was no exception. By lunch the team in the lead had two fish, and they were way out front. During the morning session I watched some of the best anglers in the west, if you take their word for it, get totally dismissed by the local fauna. But wait, just fifty feet outside the beat something entirely different was going on. A lone angler, not competing in the tournament, was catching carp seemingly at will. In two hours he landed seven fish! While the best of the west were getting skunked. I decided I needed to meet this dude, so I waded over to introduce myself. Imagine my surprise at meeting fifteen year old Cody Moreland.

Puttin' the Smack Down

This young man was putting on a clinic. Obviously self taught, this guy’s moves were as unorthodox as they were effective. Cody is just my kind of fisherman. I’ll bet he’s never seen a hatch chart. He fishes completely from the id. An honest to God natural. I watched him land carp with out a net. He would get them close, lift their heads, then give them a gentle slap on the head. He explained, “see how he freaks out and runs hard? That burns him out. Now I got him.” And he was right. You think this is a fluke? Beginners luck? Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn, right? Google Cody Moreland. He holds the CO record for biggest fish caught in the state…twice! That’s right, he broke his own forty pound record with a fifty-one pound grass Carp. I can not tell you how happy it made me to see this kid kicking righteous ass. There’s the future of our sport. I was pleased to see the TU guy extend the hand of friendship to Cody. He joined us for lunch and I have a feeling we’ll see him at the Carp Slam next year. I can’t wait.

It’s just great to be out here

What a View!

That’s Bruce Smithhammer enjoying the sights and smells of the South Platte, in downtown Denver. Not the best afternoon of fishing. Bruce’s beat was a total disaster. Kids throwing rocks at fish, dogs fetching tennis balls, rafters paddling in circles. Some days you just head to the bar. It could be worse. On Michael Gracie’s beat an Asian family was spearing fish, which is apparently legal. Well, it’s just great to be out here, isn’t it?

 

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
www.ginkandgasoline.com
hookups@ginkandgasoline.com
 

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24 thoughts on “Slamtastic!

  1. lol, wow… great article. That’s amazing. Spearfishing? Maybe I don’t want to move out west… I thought I hated most of the people on the rivers out here, I would have flipped my lid out there.

  2. That was a helluva fine time. I don’t know of any other event quite like the Denver Carp Slam. And next year, I’m moving into a riverside cardboard box shanty town on the DSP, till I know that river like the back of my hand…

  3. Funny How that Cody Moreland went from slinging 2 ounces of lead attached to giant snaggin hook at a local pond to a fly fishing guru on the South Platte in less than 3 months. That’s amazing! Child prodigy what happened to the new record he caught? It just kind of came and went eh!

  4. The story of this boy and his witness recently was found to be a lie by the DOW, because of that his name and 60 year old waste of a slab, where took off of the record books for this year 2011,so sorry don’t believe your story ether…

    • Thanks for commenting. We appreciate you as a reader. I will answer your concerns as best I can. First, I have no first hand knowledge of Cody’s record other than the CO DNR page that I linked. If you want more info on that I’d talk to the DNR. As far as what I witnessed that day, that’s what I saw. What’s more, that’s what you are looking at in the photo. I’m a good photographer but not good enough to get photos of fish that were not caught. You can clearly see the wooly bugger in the fishes mouth. I can not imagine what possible motive I could have for fabricating this story. But don’t take my word for it. Ask anyone who fished the slam. It just, actually happened. Sorry if that pisses you off. Lastly let me say this. The greatest men who ever lived started as foolish children. The first carp I ever caught, at age 6, I killed with a croquet mallet. I don’t care if the kid started out snagging fish. What I do care about is that we as fly fishers are good stewards to our youth. We should support them and teach them and that’s just what the Denver TU is doing with Cody. Bashing a 15 year old on the Internet is not helpful. Soon I will provide you with content that will make you madder than this so stay tuned.

  5. Louis,
    If you’re speaking for the Denver Chapter of TU taking this kid under their wing I am saddened. For three years now he has killed 3 fish that have lived a very long time and received positive recognition by media outlets such as yourself for having done so (there is no merit in what he has done) and those who fish for these fish no that. I realize you are just there to report what you see, but others , many others, have seen something very different. This isn’t about hating some kid for catching big fish, this is about preservation of a fish and a sport and someone needs to drive that home. I hope that is what he is learning, because he seems to thrive off all the positive attention he gets from people who boast of his angling skills which is exactly what has been done here. Look forward to your new content.

    • Thanks for considering us a media outlet! I’m very happy that we are having such a lively discussion. I am also happy that the tone of your late comment suggests that you are no longer accusing me of reporting untruths. That would be my biggest concern. I assure you that nothing you read here is untrue unless it is clearly set out as a work of fiction or humor.

      For the record, and again I have no agenda here, Cody released every fish I saw him catch. You will be hard pressed to find a more vocal proponent of catch and release than me. Regardless of the species, trophy hunting is a serious problem. A much larger problem in saltwater fisheries but a problem in fresh water too.

      Where I disagree with you is that I believe TU is just the place for this boy. Where better for him to learn the value of conservation. What better group could he find to teach him the value of the resource. I don’t know if you have children of your own, but I think it’s important to remember that we are talking about a child. Children need guidance. TU can provide that guidance. You and I can and should provide that guidance. It’s part of our responsibility as anglers.

      Of coarse Cody is excited and prideful about his fishing, but from the little time I spent with him also seems to be a polite and well mannered young man. He is passionate about his fishing and damn good at it, so he will be out there catching a lot of fish for a long time. Don’t be sad that TU is reaching out to him. Be glad! That’s exactly what he needs. Today’s 15 year old fish snagger could be tomorrows stream biologist. Every kid has the potential to be a great adult. If they do not reach that potential the blame falls on us. It is our job as adults to lead by example.

      Again, and sincerely, thank you for you comments.

  6. Im glad you are taking this kid under your wing,from what i have witnessed personally he needs all the guidance he could get,Im not saying he can’t and doesn’t have the potential to become a fly fisherman,Im just stating that my self and others as well,are disappointed in Cody’s past fishing tactics, that we all have witnessed first hand,not only that but the undeserving recognition and publicity that he has received while practicing these unorthodox tactics,yes he is just a child but if my child has done something wrong i wouldn’t pat him on the back and say its ok,”Todays SNAGGER could be tomorrows stream biologist”,Rather i would make sure he completely understands his wrong doing (Lying to the DOW and the State of CO) and ask that he use’s his new found knowledge of right and wrong and if he is ready to turn it in to wisdom (knowledge is knowing and wisdom is applying that knowledge)making sure he knows cheating is not acceptable in life,if he works hard and achieves something with that knowledge its that much better when accomplished…

    Respectfully,
    D.

    • I’m glad we have reached an understanding. I hope you will continue to enjoy Gink And Gasoline.

      Cody, if you are reading this, and I hope you are, you are a hell of a fisherman. I hope you will take what has been said here as constructive criticism. I would love to see you reach your full potential. You could be a real asset to this community. As you mature as a man and a fisherman it will be your responsibility to be an example to the next generation. I hope you will take this responsibility seriously.

      As for the state record, I feel that records encourage fish killing and and consider them a dubious honor. I would not cry if they were done away with all together.

      Share the love brothers!

      Louis

  7. @ Louis- Nice blog, glad I found it, great pictures man!

    @ Snagger(s)- I saw that he has the state record Grassie, is there a story about him snagging it on the internet somewhere or did you see it firsthand? I only ask because I saw a post on fishexplorer saying that state biologists inspected the catch and concluded it was not snagged.

    http://www.fishexplorer.com/co/fxrforum.asp?action=det&pid=225563

    At any rate, great post and an even better job by TU and the people who helped put the event together. A good time was had by all!

  8. Hmmmmmm……. So as I read the string of comments I begin to wonder if someone either has WAY to much time on his hands or maybe a tad eat up with envy?? Seriously you are not bitching about a KID catching a CARP!! Personally I dont care how a kid caught a fish 2 days ago much less months ago…. what matters is how he caught fish today! He’s obviously learning that fly fishing is much more fun… Not only that giving a clinic on how the shits done! Good for him.. Now carp snagger have a cup of stfu. Not only about the snagging but I also find it funny how you describe a very destructive invasive species as a resource just cause they are fun to catch on fly… I mean its not like these fish are limited in numbers and easily introduced into an environment… In some streams and lakes there are actual “bountys” on these fish cause they want them the hell out because of what they do to the species that are native to that body of water.. Are you going to be complaining about a KID none the less snagging a damn snakehead?? Or are they a resource too because they aggressively eat a fly and fight well?? Also I read that the CO DNR determined it wasnt snagged so be a man and apologize to Cody! Not to mention focus your conservation efforts on something that actually needs help say stream cleaning efforts, stopping pebblemines, bonefish, tarpon, and permit conservation… just a few that could use your diligence…

  9. To:Nate, i saw it first hand along with three other fly fisherman, that where there that day,I reported him to the DOW, i still have the e-mails sent and replied,by the DOW stating,” we where not the only ones who have witnessed Cody’s unorthodox tactics”,that is the reason they sent the fish to the bio.& interrogated him in the first place,@:Hellyeah,I have no envy, at the current time i hold the world record for grassie’s on a fly for length, Rather just disappointment in my peers for the continued support & encouragement, of Cody’s disheartening past acts,your comment also shows your lack of knowledge of these important species,they are put in lake’s rivers and streams to to help the waters thrive,the only problem is there ability to multiply very quickly,at the lake he has been snagging, they stocked it back in the 50’s and again in the 80’s so ether way you look at it these fish are very old,and have earned the right to continue to swim,and/or to be caught in a humane manner,as i a 8 year vet with 3 tours in Afghanistan have earned the right of my & your freedom of speech,the diffidence between the snakehead is that they where introduced illegally by a Asian restaurant unknowing there ability to crawl across land,& withstand low oxygenated waters,Cody should apologize to the whole state of CO for his undeserving fist fish reported to the DOW,for his second fish witnessed by my self and others & this most resent one fabricated to the DOW,& my time in this manner has only taken all but five min. leaving me plenty of time to be diligent in other matters,such as the warm water being introduced to the south platte,if you wish to dispute with me in the future,please do your homework and come at me with some intelligence….

    Honorably,Sargent First Class of Special Forces,
    D.

  10. @:Nate, i saw it first hand along with three other fly fisherman, that where there that day,I reported him to the DOW, i still have the e-mails sent and replied,by the DOW stating,” we where not the only ones who have witnessed Cody’s unorthodox tactics”,that is the reason they sent the fish to the bio.& interrogated him in the first place,@:Hellyeah,I have no envy, at the current time i hold the world record for grassie’s on a fly for length, Rather just disappointment in my peers for the continued support & encouragement, of Cody’s disheartening past acts,your comment also shows your lack of knowledge of these important species,they are put in lake’s rivers and streams to to help the waters thrive,the only problem is there ability to multiply very quickly,at the lake he has been snagging, they stocked it back in the 50’s and again in the 80’s so ether way you look at it these fish are very old,and have earned the right to continue to swim,and/or to be caught in a humane manner,as i a 8 year vet with 3 tours in Afghanistan have earned the right of my & your freedom of speech,the diffidence between the snakehead is that they where introduced illegally by a Asian restaurant unknowing there ability to crawl across land,& withstand low oxygenated waters,Cody should apologize to the whole state of CO for his undeserving fist fish reported to the DOW,for his second fish witnessed by my self and others & this most resent one fabricated to the DOW,& my time in this manner has only taken all but five min. leaving me plenty of time to be diligent in other matters,such as the warm water being introduced to the south platte,if you wish to dispute with me in the future,please do your homework and come at me with some intelligence….

    Honorably,Sargent First Class of Special Forces,
    D.

  11. A reply for Mr. Nate Taylor. I assume this is the same Nate taylor that fished the Carp Slam (http://nateotaylor.com/). I found your blog and it seemed well done. Although I found something extremely ironic in your writings: Please see post dated 7/22 in regard to killing carp. It states the following:
    “Leave My Capr Alone
    As I continued training this week in preparation for the 2011 Carp Slam (details of which will be contained in a later passage) I stumbled upon someone interfering with my training. It appears as though some of the northern beats have already been scouted by our friends yielding bow and arrow. I would ask that if you are one of those people reading this you cease and desist immediately based upon the following observations.

    1. Shooting fish is pretty lame, even by my lowly standards.
    2. If you are going to do that, please remove your prized game animal from public view, it is rather disgusting and sets a poor example for others.
    3. Killing things for the sheer joy of killing and not using the animal to eat or give to someone else will cause others to pass (often times correct) judgement about your character.
    4. As we live in a continually growing world with increasingly diminishing resources, destroying some of those resources for your own personal satisfaction unnecessarily deprives others.
    5. You kill animals for fun and leave them in the dirt.
    6. You kill animals for fun and leave them in the dirt.
    7. You kill animals for fun and leave them in the dirt.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with hunters in general, hell I’ve gone hunting several times. I just don’t quite understand killing a fish for no reason, even if it is a (grass) Carp. Maybe I’m totally off base on this one, but I know one thing, my boy Roughfisher most likely has my back on this one.”

    Damn how hypocrytical! I guess the means justifies the need. It’s okay for a 15 year old to do it illegally as long as you happen to be friends with him, and as long as it isn’t in your backyard eh! Well guess what he did this in our backyard with us as witnesses so we’ll make it stick. It’s the right thing to do and hopefully he is on the right path now! If I ever see him do it again I will report it, film it, and make sure he is held accountable. That is what DOW has asked us to do and that is what will be done.
    Peace out fellow conservationists!

  12. To Nate Taylor. Sorry I didn’t read the sub headings correctly. I thought you were hell yeah! So disregard the bashing I see you too would take offense to him snagging which he has done for the past two records. The latest carp recorded of 65 lbs was awarded and then taken away for some reason, one would speculate the DOW investigated he was lying about where he caught it or how he caught it! That said he has now killed 3 fish out of the same body of water, that are not ivasive and were put there over 20 years ago to control weed growth. They do not spawn successfully and they have recently become an amzaing challenge for the Fly fishers who frequent the area. There are at least 12 guys that I know of who would be as irate if not more than us, if they would have seen what we saw. So there, the horse has beaten, and beaten again, time to let it go! Thanks Louis for the ability to set the record straight. I hope you take our message in the intent that it was meant as this was not a one time encounter, and it needs to be driven home. I know people who know this kid personally and say he is headed down the wrong path. Some times learning the hard way is the only thing that sets them straight! I have had to stomach this for 3 years now. I have said my piece. Let’s fish!

  13. So this is my final say in this whole deal and most of it is for you nonsnagger…. YOU need to do your homework on the impact of carp to streams and lakes… Just take the time to google it you will find THOUSANDS of pages of content on how carp are DEVASTATING to native species in streams and local waters. Guys just cause you enjoy fishing for carp doesn’t mean that the fish is good for the region…. They are literally hoover vacuums eating and rooting up everything which has even been proven to make turbity worse therefore making the water quality worse. Whats positive about this?? NO disrespect either but the fact your a soldier has no relavence to this matter or makes you sound any more correct in your statement. With that said yes all appreciate what you do but no bearing on this subject. Also as far as your “world record in inches” umm that would have had to just happened because the IGFA has just literally in the past 3 mos started recognizing length of fish records and its an “all tackle” not fly fishing TO DATE. Not to mention they have only started taking applications so there are no actual records unless they have been recognized in the past few weeks none on the books though.. Last thing I dont care if CO put those carp in the lakes and rivers that doesnt mean it is working I can tell you thats just another one of the governments attempt to “fix” something without actually doing the work or spending the money to actaully solve the problem. There are lots of things that can be done to get the South Platte back in shape and carp is not one of them… By no means do I think Cody is right if he snagged the fish and reported it a legal catch but according to your Co DoW he didnt.. so for that I dont know what to tell you guys other than go catch a bigger fish if it bothers you that much.. Not to mention claiming the aurthor of the article lied about what he seen and then argueing about what you claim to have seen months ago. Really?? I also would take a look at myself in the mirror for bashing a 15 year old boy on the internet especially when the article was written on him fly fishing the way its supposed to be done… please… No wonder people look at fly fishermen in a negative light thanks for that.. All you do is hurt the fly industry even more.. It impacts your local fly shops, guides, and other businesses badly when you do this… Who wants to fish with self righteous pricks? Not many.

    Most importantly if you would like to read up on how your precious carp impacts our streams and lakes just google carp impacts on streams and lakes you will find THOUSANDS of studies and articles and laws being put into place thanks to these stank fish… But go ahead keep beleiving what you want just so you dont look bad on a fly fishing blog and because the fish in this discussion is fun and challenging to catch… When they totally devastate what CO is known for (trout fishing) you can answer to the all the fly shops and guides and tourism impacted by this….

  14. Last thing I promise…. Go in the local fly shops there in Denver ask what makes them more money trout or carp see what the answer is lol… Also ask what would benefit them more swimming in the S. Platte trout or carp…. you might not like what you hear…. Anyway great debate I hope you have enjoyed as much as I have..

  15. Hey Hell Yeah! Thanks for the comments and all the dialogue. FYI there are no trout in the particular waterways where Cody is snagging these carp so your rant has very little validity, the Grass carp are sterile, and they control the weed population. I have been fishing this area since I was 4 years old and the Carp have been there since then. It supports Largemouth Bass, bluegill, catfish, common carp, mirror carp, sunfish, perch, and grass carp. It is a healthier fishery now, then when I fished it when I was 4 and that was well over thirty years ago. That said let’s let the dog lie because we’ve got off on a tangent here and the whole point is that we as Fly fishers nurture our waters, report violations, and stick to what we believe in! I believe in fair take no matter how you fish, where you fish, or what you fish for. If you accidentally snag a fish I’d be the first to tell you it happens, but when you head out with the singular intent of snagging (which is what he did back in May of this year), then you should be held accountable for your actions and that is exactly why DOW took the latest record away. Olive Branch!

  16. Amen Carp Snagger,
    @ hell yeah,I mention my stature as Sargent first class of special forces and fighting for everyones freedom of speech because you told carp snagger,& I Quote “Now carp snagger have a cup of STFU!,” he has ever right just as much as you and I, to practice on his right of freedom of speech, with that being said,I new you where a spin rod fisherman from the moment i read your first comment,fly fisherman have more pride integrity and respect for life it seems,every year that goes by there are LESS and LESS RESOURCES in our own time,your sounding like the same people that said buffalo are problematic and are large enough in numbers to kill, now there are less then 50,000 buffalo in the U.S. when at one time there where an estimated 30 million,GOOGLE THAT!! if we treated ever thing the way you are we would have nothing left in no time,as for the record,YES!! it was caught recently, and put in the records even more recently! ;D!! and ya no? the government does and spends what is in the budget for that particular subject, they can’t keep hiring labors to come and scoop up all the filth and toxins in all of our lakes rivers and streams, filter 4 gallons of water per min. all day and night 24 hours a day 7 days a week,like carp can,so i think that was a very smart & inexpensive way to keep our waters life sustainable,as for bashing a 15 year old boy, just read my last comment im not going to repeat my self,as for the trout, big and old carp are a sign of a healthy and thriving habitat,with out carp of all species there wouldn’t be as old as big and as thriving trout population as we have,man im glad this is your last comment i would rather debate with some one with a lil more knowledge and experience under there belt,so i guess you could say it was hardly a debate,more of a teaching session, hope you learned some thing….

    P.S.
    As for Louis Cahill, he seems to be a pretty good talented & knowledgeable guy, thats why nothing else has been said…..

    signing off,
    D.

    • Thanks nonsnagger.

      It seems that everyone has had their say so I’ll try to end this on a positive note. Here are a few things I think we can all agree on.

      1. Fish in a responsible fashion that shows respect for the fish as well as your fellow anglers.

      2. Leave the water at least as good as you found it. Sometimes better.

      3. Be a good roll model. Teach the younger and less experienced anglers to be sensitive to the needs of the environment and the community. Help them to be responsible anglers.

      Thanks you all for your thoughts and your support.

      Louis

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