Clunn Story: Anyone Know Denver Waltham?

Check out the below, an old Bagley’s ad (now laminated) given to me by a buddy some moons ago at a tackle show somewhere. I’ve always been a big Clunn fan, and loved this retro piece.

Anyhow, on the ad it says:

“Rick credits a bite size chunk of balsa wood, given to him by his friend, Denver Waltham, with helping him to win the $50,000 Bass Masters Classic at Guntersville….”

This one was before my time, so:

Who’s Denver Waltham?
Where’s he from?
Is he still around?
I assume he is/was a stick?



> Over 3 days of competition (this was in 1976), he weighed 26 bass!

> Check Rick’s belt – looks like a Bassmaster belt and yep, I’d wear it.

> $50,000 in 1976 dollars is about $200,000 in today’s money.

Click to see this ad bigger.



  1. Brent Brody Broderick

    October 13, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I guessing that’s a mis-print on the persons name.
    I believe the person is
    Denver Jenkins Wathen Jr. | Denver Jenkins Wathen Jr. was born March 22, 1931 in Independence, Kansas to Denver Jenkins Sr. and Daisy Marie Wathen. He was preceded in death by his parents, his younger brother, Neil Preston and his eldest son, Irby Peter Wathen. Denver passed at home in the presence of his wife and family on September 15, 2011.

    He is survived by his wife, Wanda Glyn Wathen of Conroe,TX his children, Carolyn Denise Taylor of Humble,TX Vern Thomas Wathen of Conroe, TX and Juliana Marie Wathen of Houston, TX. Special acknowledgment is extended to Fred Martinez of Montgomery, Texas and his wife Olga, who came into the family later in life and was as much a son to Denver as anyone for over 25 years. Denver is also survived by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    He is best known for his television show “Freshwater Fishing-Texas Style” on KUHT TV Houston which launched in 1974. He left the show in 1977 and began working internationally as an American Resident Pro-Angler in Cuba, the Yucatan and Mexico. Denver spent his retirement years tinkering with military surplus sales, ceramics and restoring rods and reels.

    Denver even fished the bassmaster tour events in 1968.

    I believe this is your missing person.

    • Bill M

      October 13, 2011 at 10:10 pm

      Wow, that sure sounds like a winner. Nice work.

    • Juliana Wathen

      June 2, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      Denver Wathen was my father and he spent a lot of time designing and making lures, new worm & grub designs and molds and field testing for many lure companies in his time.

  2. Rich Arnold

    October 14, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Wow Brody! Nice detective work. I was also impressed with the hairdoo Clunn is sporting in the ad. Any chances that’s a Paul Mitchell or Vidal Sassoon cut? He’s was the original bassmaster men’s hair aficionado before Velvick. I thought the long hair with ponytail was cool, but the one in this ad is the best! You just can’t get hair cuts like those down here in Dixie.

    • Brent Brody Broderick

      October 14, 2011 at 9:17 am

      THANKS! RIP Denver Wathen….

      Rich, I will say that’s “Body on Tap” shampoo Rick was using.

      But don’t drink it……

      Velick has the Videl Look…
      I’ve been the Paul Mitchell Awapuhi guy for years. Believe it or not I was a runway hair model for John Paul DeJoria when I got out of college in the late 80’s. John Paul is now partners with Erwin Jacobs.

      Just take the Halloween Candy Bowl, place it on your head and have the wife trim the edges.

      Locate, Catch and Win

  3. Dan Roberts

    October 14, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Did you work for the CIA Brody?

    • Brent Brody Broderick

      October 15, 2011 at 11:05 am

      Now Dan if I told you the true answer to that, you know what I would have to do to you…………take ya fishing

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