Big Thompson River

Latest Guide Report


Report by: John Brown

Location: The Big T, below lake Estes.

Flies used: Dry droppers with sparkle caddis, and hi vis midges as dries, as for droppers jujubee midges, bling midges Spanish Perdigons, and ARs Perdigons.

Fishing Conditions: A beautiful day today with abundant sunshine, and very few clouds. Wind was a little tough at times, but it calmed about halfway through. Midges were hatching, which the fish were keyed in on. Otherwise one small caddis was observed. Water is clear with a temp of 61 degrees, and flows right around 68 CFS. Lots of moss on the rocks. Lots and lots of elk today in, and around the river.

FRA Guide: Daniel Hogarth

Guide Rating
Weather Experienced

Wind Conditions: Calm
Precipitation: None
Water Observations

Water Temperature:
Flow Level: CFS
Runoff? Clear

Big Thompson River Water Flow Graphs

About Big Thompson River Fly Fishing

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.