Big Thompson River

Latest Guide Report


Report by: Madalaine McLaughlin

Big Thompson Below the dam in Estes Park and above the lake at the Fishermans nook

Flies used:

Sz 26 rainbow warrior

Sz 22 Slim shady

sz 20 walts worm

Sz 16 squirmy worm

Sz 22 olive RS2

Fishing Conditions:

A lot of water coming through the dam and the rain meant the water was around 150cfs below the dam and the water was off color above and below the dam. The fish were eating and bugs were hatching but there wasn’t anyone fly the fish were keyed in on. Overall a good day on the water.

Guide: Tyler Jaskey

Guide Rating
Weather Experienced

Wind Conditions: Light-Breeze
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.