I desperately want the South Platte River, through its urban corridor of Denver, to be a consistent, high quality fishery. I want to have the best of both worlds – the concerts, museums, sporting events, and culture of a city like Denver, with a trout river that flows through it. But in this instance, what I want and reality are still a ways off.
I’ve lived a few years in Arizona and New Mexico, and in the southwest there are mountain chains that rise to over 9,000 and 10,000 feet, commonly referred to as sky islands. They contain vastly different terrain than the surrounding desert, and above a certain elevation the desert flora and fauna are replaced by pine trees and mountain mammals. These mountains are pockets of uniquely different habitat surrounded by a vast, arid desert.
Fishing the urban South Platte in Denver is a lot like traveling between the sky islands of the desert southwest. In other words, there are some incredibly beautiful, high quality rapids, riffles, and runs, but they’re all at least a quarter mile apart. These little pockets of high quality water look as good as anywhere I’ve fished. I’ve seen caddis, tricos, and PMD’s in great numbers in these stretches. Take this one, for instance:
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