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Big Thompson River

Latest Guide Report

11-15-2019

Report by: Randy Hanner

It’s the time of year that rivers in canyons start to freeze over.  Your best option will be fishing in the meadow below Lake Estes at Olympus Dam. Midges in black and red will be your best options such as demon midges, black beauties, black and red zebras.

Guide Rating
/5
Weather Experienced

Clear
Temperature:
Wind Conditions: Calm
Precipitation: None
Water Observations

Clear
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.