Big Thompson River Report

Big Thompson River Report

4-15-2024

Flows have boosted from the lower 50's to the upper 70's. As a result, the fish are pretty happy. Fish have been spreading out with the warmer and longer days, so don't forget to fish the pocket water in addition to the deeper holes. 

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For dries, use a Chubby Chernobyl, Superman Caddis, Corn Fed Caddis, Mole Midge, High Viz Parachute BWO, Hi Viz No See Em Midge, AR's BWO, Parachute Adams, Purple Haze and a Mini Hippie Stomper.

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For sub-surface, use a SOS Nymph, Mini Flash Egg, Jig Quill Body, Zebra Midge, Sow Bug, Rainbow Warrior, Squirmy Worm, Pat's Rubber Legs, Sweetmeat Caddis, Tung Caddis Larva, 2 Bit Hooker, BTS Baetis, Barr Emerger, Glo Bug, and a Perdichingon.

Guide Rating

4/5

Weather Experienced

- Temperature: Upper 50's

- Wind Conditions: Gusty

- Precipitation: None

Water Observations

- Water Temperature: Mid to upper 30's

- Flow Level: 79.5 CFS

- Water Clarity: Light stain

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.