Big Thompson River

Latest Guide Report


Report by: Rachel Donati
We fished the Big Thompson in the canyon from 8:30-12:30.  Flows were about 230.  Weather and water temps were great.  Fishing was slow, maybe the recent fluctuations in the river flow are having an effect on the trout.  Midges and some caddis in the air, but not really a lot of bugs about.  Had hits on bead head Pheasant tails, as well as fish slashing at the indicators (chubbys/amy ants, etc.).  After 11, we also rose some fish on caddis and ant patterns, although we saw no rises at all.  The clients were making great casts, to the right places with good drifts, but the fish just weren’t cooperating.  I’d recommend staying away from the Big T below Lake Estes until they steady the dam releases.

FRA Guide David Steinberger

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.