Sunday, September 19, 2010

Big Thompson River: Colorado








We fished two different sections of the Big Thompson on our trip. We drove below Estes Park on Route 34 to fish the Catch And Release Section one morning. We ended up catching a few fish but were quite disappointed in this stretch. It got most of the hype from all media that we researched on the way out and our expectations were set pretty high. We saw some fish but not in the numbers that we had anticipated. Not sure if it was the wrong time of year or if it gets too much pressure. We fished for about 3 hours then decided to drive up to the Upper Big T in the park.

We drove up to the Fern Lake Trailhead and started fishing the Upper Big Thompson after we left the Catch And Release Section. The Big Thompson was much smaller here but had good depth and coverage in the stream. The bug activity was much greater and the fish populations seemed much higher as well. We slammed fish in the 9-14 inch range the whole time we were there. Browns, Rainbows, Cutthroats and Brookies were all in great abundance and ate dry flies and nymphs willingly. If you are looking for the ideal small stream fishing setting in the west (without hiking) the Upper Big Thompson will exceed your expectations. I would rank this as the third best stream/lake we fished in the park.

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