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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: 08-22-2014

The upper Big T and the Meadow at Olympus Dam have been finicky lately. Fish are hitting #22 Soft Hackle Sowbugs and #22 Copper Ribbed RS2s. We’re seeing occasional hits on large Brush Hogs or Electric Caddis. 7X is the rule right now.

After noon we’ve been seeing a BWO hatch that is so tiny that it might as well be midges. You can get takes up top, but it helps if the dry is #24 or smaller.

Terry's First Bow

Terry’s First Bow

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

Partly-Cloudy
Temperature: 80
Wind Conditions: Light-Breeze
Precipitation: None
Water Observations

Clear
Water Temperature:
Flow Level: 95 CFS CFS
Runoff? Clear
Wallace Westfeldt

Report Submitted By: Wallace Westfeldt


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Big Thompson River Water Flow Graphs