Weekend Fishing Outlook – The Front Range

With the weekend almost here, FRA’s Weekend Fishing Outlook and Top 5 Flies is aimed at helping you pick where you will fish the next few days.  Here you go!!!

The Big Thompson below Lake Estes – 125 CFS

“The Big Thompson is hovering at 125 CFS which is a perfect flow for fishing in the Canyon.  Wading access is good and the water isn’t too fast.  Nymphing is the name of the game in the mornings.  Try double nymph rigs suspended under an indicator.  Best flies right now are Bishop’s Dynamite, Soft Hackle Sow Bugs, Poison Tungs, Rainbow Warriors, and Copper Ribbed RS2’s.  If it looks fishy, it probably is.  We found fish in tailouts, deeper pools and pockets, and in the faster water.  The fish are pretty spread out at this flow so work all of the water until you find a trend.  Each afternoon we’ve are starting to see some awesome BWO hatches.  Try parachute BWO patterns, sparke duns, film critics, and mole flies.  They should all pick up fish if you bump into a nice hatch. We should start seeing Caddis here any day as well.”  ~Craig K.

“We like to fish the Big T. from around 50 CFS to 250 CFS.  The higher flows make wading more challenging, but it can still be on fire as the flows rise.  Right now, it is about 125 CFS which is the sweet spot.  I would start with nymph rigs.  Fish are active in the longer runs, riffles, and pools.  Try fishing a variety of caddis pupa, jigged princes, smaller frenchie or iron lotus patterns, and copper ribbed RS’s.  We saw some caddis out, but not in numbers.  Awesome BWO fishing in the afternoons and evenings.  Definitely hang around as the light starts to get lower.  The fishing will turn on big time.  Favorite BWO pattern for me on the T is the film critic.”  Zach L. 

Top 5 Flies for the Big T this weekend

  1. Copper Ribbed RS2
  2. Film Critic
  3. Poison Tung
  4. Soft Hackle Sow Bug
  5. Bishop’s Dynamite


Boulder Creek – 84 CFS

“The Creek was good for us yesterday.  Dry dropper was the best way to go, but we also had some awesome BWO hatches throughout the day.  Roughly around noon, tons of flies started coming off and fish were feeding on the surface.  Small BWO patterns would work well, but are hard to see at the Creek’s current flow.  Try a larger parachute adams and the fish should take it readily.  For nymphs, try beerhead baetis, poison tungs, rainbow warriors, and smaller p-tails.  Fishing shut off for us around 4pm.  Still work on fishing above four mile and below the falls.  Above the falls is okay, just low and clear so stealth is a must.  Single dries above the falls is the best way to access these fish.”  Antonio R.

“Boulder creek is fishing well. Water has cleared below 4 mile, try throwing a dry dropper rig with a weighted worm or flashy nymph. Small terrestrial patterns have been seeing some fish. Water levels are great below the falls and above 4 mile, similar flies will work. Above Boulder Falls the water is still very low, proceed with your best ninja moves if you want a challenge.” George G.

Top 5 Flies for Boulder Creek this weekend

  1. Parachute Adams
  2. Beerhead Baetis
  3. Rainbow Warrior
  4. Pheasant Tail
  5. Egan’s Frenchie



South Boulder Creek –  15 CFS

“Although SBC remains low and clear, the fishing has started to pick up.  Fish are concentrated together in the better holding water, so they should be relatively easy to locate once you find one.  Stick to smaller bugs for now until the flow comes up.  Small tailwater tiny’s, cheesman emergers, pandemic BWO’s, black beauties, and smaller zebra midges should all produce sub-surface.  For dries, run parachute adams in 16-20’s, purple haze, parachute ants, hippy stompers, and parachute extended bodies in the shallower riffles.  We like SBC to be higher generally, but the dry fly fishing can be productiveat this low flow.  Expect SBC to bump in the coming weeks.  Once it hits 50, game on!”  Zach L. 

Top 5 Flies for South Boulder Creek this weekend

  1. Tailwater Tiny
  2. Cheesman Emerger
  3. Black Beauty
  4. Purple Haze
  5. Parachute Ant



Rocky Mountain National Park

“Moraine, Cub, Fall River, and Glacier Creek are all fishing.  The higher stuff still has snow and ice, but the lower elevation fishing is really turning on.  The Big T through Moraine has been good with worms, juju baetis, pandemic bwo’s, and two bits.  Nymphing has been the most productive.  Make sure you focus on the deeper pools and get those bugs down.  We have also seen some really good browns come out of Moraine already this season.  Black and Olive streamers should pull some of the bigger fish from under the banks.  Early mornings and evenings offer you the best chance at one of these fish.  Fall River is lower and clearer.  Fish are also concentrated in the deeper stuff here.  Lots of bug activity, but cold water is keeping a lot of the fish down.  Similar bugs as Moraine, but use less flash.  Glacier Creek usually wakes up a little later, but despite the frigid water temps, is fishing quite well.  Fish are pushed off to the sides so a dry dropper is a good way to get them.  Keep moving on glacier and don’t get bogged down in one spot, the fish are spread out.  With the nice weather this weekend, all of these should fish even better than they did this past week.” Nick D. 

“RMNP is fishing well, the higher you go in the water shed the colder the water. Fish will be more active in the afternoons. We have not seen runoff start yet but would imagine in the next few weeks levels will start to pump up. Try throwing soft hackle pheasant tails, worms, and zebra midges. Not to many fish are looking up yet so make sure your flies are getting down.” George G. 


Top 5 Flies for RMNP this weekend

  1. San Juan Worm
  2. Little Black Stone
  3. Juju Baetis
  4. Two Bit Hooker – black
  5. Prince Nymph

Clear Creek – 300 CFS

“Clear Creek is starting to hum through the Canyon and the flow is coming up from Idaho Springs down to Golden.  The fishing on the edges in the Canyon has been good.  As you drive up from Golden, the closer you get to Idaho Springs, the better the clarity gets.  I would focus on fishing above the fork for Blackhawk, it seemed to be the most productive.  Fishing by Idaho Springs isn’t a bad idea either.  Clear Creek is cold, very cold.  Later mornings and afternoons have been fishing better.  These fish are not afraid to eat a bigger dry fly.  Try dry dropper on the edges and then nymphing the deeper, faster stuff.” – Wallace W.

Top 5 Flies for Clear Creek this weekend

  1. Jigged Prince Nymphs
  2. Smaller Pat’s Rubber Legs
  3. Chubby Chernobyl or other Attractor
  4. Hippy Stomper
  5. Brush Hog

Blue River – 760 CFS

“The Blue below Dillon is flying right now.  760 CFS and climbing daily.  This is not a bad thing.  In fact, the big fish in this river are probably pretty happy right now.  A heavy dose of mysis shrimp should lead to some awesome days up there.  Be very careful wading.  This is a slippery river and anything above 500 CFS is challenging.  Work the edges and only wade in safe spots.  You should find all of your fish in slack water and in shallower stuff so concentrate there.  Make sure your flies are in the fishes feeding zone.  At this flow, they will have a lot to choose from so you need to be in their wheelhouse.  Mysis, larger midge patterns, worms, and weight should be all you need.  Ditch the traditional 6/7X and dial down to 3 and 4.  These fish will have zero inspection time so won’t have the luxery of being tippet shy.  Once again, be careful wading.”  ~Zach L. 

Top 5 Flies for the Blue River this Weekend

  1. Charlies Mysis
  2. BTS Mysis
  3. Epoxy Mysis
  4. Tung Bead San Juan
  5. Sz 16-18 Red Zebra Midges

Top 5 Flies

With all the Front Range options, there is no excuse not to get out on the water.  Come by the shop to load up on essentials and then get out there!  Send us some photos of your weekend excursions.  Also, don’t forget about our Hatch Day this Saturday.

See you on the shop or on the water!