Rocky Mountain National Park
by Bill Leuchten
One of the great things about Rocky Mountain Park are the hundreds of small streams that hold trout. Just take a map, find a likely looking stream and begin hiking. You may find brook trout, browns or greenback cutthroat. Even if the fishing is slow the scenery is spectacular and your day will be a great success.

While some national parks offer large rivers and big fish, RNMP is a small stream paradise where it’s easy to find solitude – hard to come these days on most trout streams. Best of all, it is less than a hour from Boulder.


Prior to 1968 the park was heavily stocked with browns, rainbows, brookies, and Yellowstone cutts. Fortunately for us, populations of these species can still be found in many high lakes and small streams. With the cessation of stocking, effort shifted to restore the native population of fish. By the mid 1980's anglers were visiting the park to catch and release native trout in the small streams and lakes.

RMNP trout are not selective feeders; they're opportunists and will readily take a broad range of flies. A single box with a variety of drys, nymphs, wets, terrestrials, and a few streamers will do the trick. Here are the flies I'd put in my box:

Caddis: Elk Hair Caddis in #14-20. Caddis Pupa and Larva Patterns.

Standards: Pheasant Tails, with or without the Bead head in #16-20. Hares Ears and Princes in #16-20. Para Adams, Royal Wullfs, Quill body dry flies in #14-22. Barrs Emergers #18 and smaller.

Streamers: Woolly Buggers, Mini leeches, Swimming Prince.

Terrestrials: Ants, beetles, Hoppers.

Midges: WD-40's, Sprout midges.

You might also want to think about sizing down your equipment -- 2 and 3-weight pack rods are perfect for this water. With a matching reel, line, and leader plus a box of flies and a few spools of tippet material, you're ready to go. For this kind of fishing waders are unnecessary, but a good pair of wading sandals or shoes with neoprene socks are a good idea.

Have Fun, Bill Leuchten