Grand Valley’s Annual Fishing Competition Returns: Carpocalypse 2018

Photography by TJ Smith 

Photography by TJ Smith 

Registration opens soon for the sixth annual Carpocalypse — happening on Saturday, June 30. This event grows in popularity each year, for good reason. But let’s be honest… Carp? Hey, we’re not out there to eat them!

    If you’re new to all this, you probably know of carp as “trash fish.” Untrue! (Unless, perhaps, you mean hooking something the size of a trash can.) We all love the allure of a 20-inch trout from one of our many western Colorado fisheries, but what about a 20-pound fish from right here in our Grand Valley? Though we never mind driving to the Gunny, the lower Colorado, or the Mesa Lakes for other catches, most of us can simply ride our bikes to a world-class carp locale. 

    The challenge of securing a carp on a fly says a lot about a fly fisher: 1) You’re good enough to catch one. 2) You like catching really big fish on a fly rod. 3) You’ve figured out what a great resource this event is. 

    The stealthy skills required to sneak up on a big trout pale in comparison to those required for outsmarting a large carp — meaning a day of fly fishing for carp is both fantastic training and fun. While all this is going on, chances are you’re also having a few tasty local microbrews and hanging out with some really cool ladies and great dudes.

    The Carpocalypse rules, you ask? Pretty simple: Only public waters are eligible. Only fly fishing. No boats, no bait. Show up at Western Anglers Fly Shop in Grand Junction on June 30 at 7am (The competition itself starts at 7:30am). End your day by 5pm sharp at Palisade Brewing Company, where you’ll trade in your score sheet (and aching arms, no doubt) for beer tickets and barbeque! 

    Western Anglers provides prizes from great sponsors like Costa Optics, Ross Reels, Scott Fly Rods, Umpqua, Fishpond, Smith, and many others. Prizes will be awarded for total inches, biggest, smallest, and best catch by a fisherwoman. 

If You Go:

The special early-entry price is $60 before April 15, and $75 after that (with registration allowed up until event day). To sign up, or for more info, check with the great crew at Western Anglers, 413 Main Street in Grand Junction, 970.244.8658,