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Big Thompson River

Starting as a mere trickle on the east side of the Continental Divide, inside Rocky Mountain National Park, the Big Thompson flows from Forest Canyon Pass near the top of Trail Ridge Road through Forest Canyon. As small drainages offer additional snowmelt, the Big Thompson picks up volume, turning into one of Colorado’s finest streams.

The Big Thompson becomes fishable at Moraine Park in Rocky Mountain National Park, about six miles downstream of its headwaters. It’s there at Moraine Park, where the river splits into numerous braids and channels, that fisherman encounter the river’s first public access. Trails leading up and down the river from that point will lead you to great flyfishing experiences.

Moraine is a wide-open area, but the Big Thompson’s banks are lined with willows. It’s typical small stream conditions, and the river is filled with, you guessed it, brook, brown, and cutthroat trout in the 6- to 12-inch range. They’ll readily take a variety of general attractor flies.

River description excerpted from Flyfisher's Guide to Colorado by Marty Bartholomew

River description excerpted from Flyfisher’s Guide to Colorado by Marty Bartholomew

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Latest Guide Report

Fishing Report Date: 06-26-2015

The current flow of 120cfs, which seems to be holding, is optimal. The water below the dam has cleared and the dry fly action from mid day on has been great! It appears that some of the missing insects are coming back.

Midday try using Baetis patterns and then switch to caddis after 2pm. Evening caddis hatch might be stellar and worth sticking around to see!

Brett with Brown on Big Thompson

First time fly fisherman Brett with a beautiful wild Brown caught on an Elk Hair Caddis in the Big Thompson!

Report Statistics
4/5Time on Water:
Number of Anglers:
Hoook Ups:
Fish Landed:
Weather Experienced

Clear
Temperature: 75
Wind Conditions: Light-Breeze
Precipitation: None
Water Observations

Clear
Water Temperature:
Flow Level: 120 CFS
Runoff? Clear
Wallace Westfeldt

Report Submitted By: Wallace Westfeldt


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Big Thompson River Water Flow Graphs