Big Thompson River Report

Big Thompson River Report


Flows continue a slow decline, but the fishing has still been good from the meadows down through the canyon. Clarity is great, so dry droppers have been a good choice to avoid spooking the fish. Fish continue to hold in summer type water, such as bigger pools and holes, as well as pocket water in the canyon. Observed hatches are Midges, BWO's, PMD's, and still a few caddis.


For dries, use a Chubby Chernobyl, Superman Caddis, Butt Head, Para Extended PMD, Griffith's Gnat, AR's BWO, Daniel's Humpy, Parachute Adams, Purple Haze and a Chubby Davidson.


For sub-surface, use a SOS Nymph, Tung Wonder Nymph, Zebra Midge, Sow Bug, Boroff's 2TM, Pandemic May in BWO, Sweetmeat Caddis, Aero Baetis, RS-2, Kryptonite Caddis, Barr Emerger, Balanced Leech, and a Spanish Bullet.

Guide Rating


Weather Experienced

- Temperature: Lower 70's

- Wind Conditions: Breezy

- Precipitation: none

Water Observations

- Water Temperature: Upper 50's

- Flow Level: 165 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.