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Big Thompson River

Latest Guide Report


Report by: Randy Hanner

As the weather starts to warm up, fish are becoming active below the dam. Rising trout can be seen throughout the late morning and afternoon on warmer days. However, small green zebra midges, as well as Blue Poison Tungs (size 18-20), were still the most productive flies throughout the day.  The middle to lower parts of the water column held many active, feeding fish. Focus on maintaining a slow drift in the deeper pools for plentiful strikes. Trout seemed to react best when given a gentle, slow presentation. Approach the pools with caution; many fish are easily spooked and will refuse flies if they feel pressured.

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

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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.