Big Thompson River

Latest Guide Report


Report by: Madalaine McLaughlin

Location: Big Thompson River and Abell River Ranch

Flies used: sz14 prince nymph, sz16 thread frenchie, sz14 Guides choice hares ear, sz20 Juju Beatis, sz26 tan zebra midge, sz16 Chubby chernobyl, sz22 Antonios hi-viz quill midge

Fishing Conditions: Fall is here. We saw morning lows in the high 30s which made it take a while for the fish to wake up but once they did we were rewarded with fish. The right cast and right drift got a strike most times. Flows are coming into shape and the fish are getting comfortable in the slower edges. Fish deep in the morning and move up through the day. Abell was technical but with lots of rising fish we had a fun day.

FRA Guide: Tyler Jaskey







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.