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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: 07-22-2016

Big T has also come down. Decent numbers of PMD’s, Caddis, BWO’s, Stones with a few Drakes coming off in the afternoon. If fish are not coming up make sure to get your flies down to where the fish are. Black and olive two bit hookers, PT’s, RSII’s, and Pandemic PMD’s have been working well in faster water. On hot clear days the fishing can be tougher, expect to get your flies down near the bottom for consistent action. Evening dry fly fishing with Rusty spinners and Caddis remains strong.

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Report Statistics
3/5Time on Water:
Number of Anglers:
Hoook Ups:
Fish Landed:
Weather Experienced

Wind Conditions: Calm
Precipitation: None
Water Observations

Water Temperature:
Flow Level: 375 CFS
Runoff? on
George Gumerman

Report Submitted By: George Gumerman

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Big Thompson River Water Flow Graphs