Local lakes offer some of best fishing despite conditions

Justin Edge, fishing guide for Western Anglers Fly Shop, gets in a few practice hours Thursday as he prepares for Carpocalypse 2014 on June 14. The carp-only fly-fishing tournament this year has attracted more than 30 competitors, nearly triple the number in 2013, the tournament’s inaugural year.

With streams and river at high tide throughout the state, an angler eager to scratch the fishing itch needs look no further than the local lakes.

Although the conditions may not be perfect, nearly every pond or lake in the Grand Valley right now offers the chance of catching your biggest freshwater fish of the year.

And what’s better, you can win prizes, get T-shirts and enjoy an adult malted beverage or two, courtesy of Edgewater Brewery and Western Anglers Fly Shop.

That’s right, it’s time for Carpocalypse 2014, the carp-only fly-fishing tournament set for June 14.

“This is a great time to fly-fish for carp, right now when the rivers are high,” said Matt James at Western Anglers Fly Shop, 244-8658. “Any of the local lakes will be good places to go.”

Last year’s tournament attracted a dozen carpoholics, including two otherwise sane gents who drove more than 1,000 miles from Minnesota for the local action.

“They were excited about the tournament and kept calling the shop weeks in advance,” Justin Edge, a fishing guide for Western Anglers, said after last year’s gathering. “When they showed with carp tattoos, we knew they were serious.”

The key is the high water and the way most lakes have an opening to allow the water to flow in without destroying the banks. That brings in oxygenated water and food, both of which enliven the carp fishing.

James said a handful of local anglers have been practicing the strokes on some local waters and found the runoff conditions challenging.

“Carp fishing is really sight fishing, and the muddy water makes seeing the fish difficult,” James said. “But who knows? In a week, the water may clear up and go down just enough.”

During last year’s inaugural tournament, with low water and temperatures near 100 degrees, local angler Ned Mayer caught the biggest fish, a 27-inch common carp.

“That’s our favorite guides-day-off trip,” Taylor Creek’s Kirk Webb said of chasing the once-scorned carp. “Once you get it, you’re hooked.”

If you’re daring enough, sign up for the Carpocalypse tournament
June 14. For information, visit Western Anglers, 413 Main St., in Grand Junction.


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