Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Big Thompson - RMNP - Colorado

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

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Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

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Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Mornings & Late Afternoons #18 - #22 Zebra Midges, Black Beauties
Blue-Winged Olive Mid Afternoon #18 - #20 BWO Nymphs, BWO Emerger
February Midges Mornings & Late Afternoons #18 - #22 Zebra Midges, Griffith's Gnat
Blue-Winged Olive Mid Afternoon #18 - #20 Rusty Spinner, Parachute Adams
March Midges Mornings & Late Afternoons #18 - #22 Griffith's Gnat, Disco Midge
Blue-Winged Olive Mid Afternoon #18 - #20 BWO Nymphs, Adams Dry Fly
Stoneflies All Day #14 - #18 Rubber Leg Stone, Prince Nymph
April Midges Mornings & Late Afternoons #18 - #22 Mercury Midge, Peacock Midge
Blue-Winged Olive Mid Afternoon #18 - #20 Dun BWO, Comparadun BWO
Caddis All Day #14 - #18 Elk Hair Caddis, X Caddis
May Midges Mornings & Late Afternoons #18 - #22 Brassie, Pheasant Tail Midge Pupa
Blue-Winged Olive Mid Afternoon #18 - #20 BWO Parachute, BWO Thorax
Caddis All Day #14 - #18 Green Caddis Larva, Tan Caddis Emerger
Stoneflies All Day #14 - #18 Golden Stone, Rubber Leg Stone
June Green Drakes Afternoons & Evenings #10 - #14 Green Drake Dun, Green Drake Cripple
Yellow Sally Stoneflies All Day #14 - #16 Yellow Sally, Little Yellow Stone
Caddis All Day #14 - #18 Tan Caddis Pupa, Olive Caddis Adult
Pale Morning Dun Mid Afternoon #16 - #18 PMX, Parachute Adams
July Midges Mornings & Late Afternoons #18 - #22 Griffith's Gnat, Black Beauty
Yellow Sally Stoneflies All Day #14 - #16 Little Yellow Sally, Crystal Stimulator
Caddis All Day #14 - #18 Elk Hair Caddis, X Caddis
Terrestrials (Hoppers, Ants, Beetles) All Day #10 - #16 Parachute Hopper, Foam Beetle
August Terrestrials (Hoppers, Ants, Beetles) All Day #10 - #16 Dave's Hopper, Foam Ant
Midges Mornings & Late Afternoons #18 - #22 WD-40, Zebra Midge
Tricos Mornings #20 - #24 Trico Spinner, Trico Dun
September Terrestrials (Hoppers, Ants, Beetles) All Day #10 - #16 Chernobyl Ant, Foam Beetle
Tricos Mornings #20 - #24 Trico Spinner Fall, Hi-Vis Trico Spinner
Midges Mornings & Late Afternoons #18 - #22 Tungsten Zebra Midge, Disco Midge
October Blue-Winged Olive Mid Afternoon #18 - #20 BWO Nymphs, Emerger BWO
Midges Mornings & Late Afternoons #18 - #22 Zebra Midges, Black Beauty
November Midges Mornings & Late Afternoons #18 - #22 Zebra Midges, Brassie
Blue-Winged Olive Mid Afternoon #18 - #20 BWO Nymphs, BWO Emerger
December Midges Mornings & Late Afternoons #18 - #22 Zebra Midges, Black Beauty
Blue-Winged Olive Mid Afternoon #18 - #20 Rusty Spinner, Parachute Adams

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Big Thompson River flowing through the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is an angler’s paradise teeming with rainbow and brown trout. Here are some of the best spots to consider for fly fishing:

  • Moraine Park: This stretch of the river offers easy access and abundant hatches of insects making it a hotspot for fly fishing.
  • Glacier Creek: Just below the Sprague Lake, this spot is excellent for beginners and those looking for serene, less crowded fishing experience.
  • Upper Big Thompson: Located above the falls, it is particularly known for its brook trout population.
  • Keyhole: This is a catch-and-release area in the Wild Basin offering excellent opportunities for large, healthy trout.

Regardless of your pick, it’s crucial to research current conditions, appropriate techniques, and RMNP regulations to cherish a sustainable and enjoyable fly fishing experience.

Best Access Points

Fly fishing on the Big Thompson through the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) offers anglers an incredibly picturesque experience. You can access plenty of exceptional spots in the stream, and the best of them include:

  • Moraine Park: The stretch of water through Moraine Park is known for its lively population of small to medium-sized browns and rainbows.
  • Upper Big Thompson: In the section above Moraine Park, anglers can wade through crystal clear waters with substantial populations of brown, brook, and the occasional rainbow trout.
  • Glacier Creek: This tributary of the Big Thompson in RMNP provides a more secluded environment with brown and brook trout in substantial numbers.

Remember to check local regulations as special rules apply in the RMNP and most importantly, respect both wildlife and the natural surroundings while you enjoy your time on the water.

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout: Known for their smart and elusive nature, making them a rewarding challenge for fly fishermen.
  • Rainbow Trout: These fish are popular among anglers due to their strong fight and vibrant coloring.
  • Brook Trout: Native to Eastern U.S. but has established strong populations in Western rivers, prefers cooler waters.
  • Cutthroat Trout: Native to the Rocky Mountains, typically found in cold and clear high-altitude rivers.
  • Greenback Cutthroat Trout: A specific subset of Cutthroat trout, nearly went extinct but now thriving in the park’s waters due to conservation efforts.
  • Mountain Whitefish: Small and abundant in Big Thompson, known for their silvery scales and prolific populations.
  • Bluegill Sunfish: Though not a native species, they are now present in many parts of Big Thompson River.
  • Rio Grande Perch: Another non-native species that has established itself in the Big Thompson River, famed for their unique, percussive feeding behaviors.

About The River

Immerse yourself in the captivating history of Big Thompson – RMNP, home to a fascinating string of events in Colorado’s narrative. This waterway originates near the significant Rocky Mountain National Park(RMNP), ultimately feeding the Big Thompson River. The RMNP, established in 1915, is famed for its wildlife, grand vistas, and vast trail network.

  • The park has an intriguing archeological history dating back over 11,000 years, revealed through ancient sites and artifacts discovered within its borders.
  • Big Thompson was named “The Place of Red Rocks” by Arapahoe Native American tribes who held it sacred.
  • In the 1860s, the gold rush brought settlers, forever changing the area’s landscape.
  • By the 1920s, the construction of Trail Ridge Road enhanced tourism, offering breathtaking, panoramic views.

Today, the unforgettable Big Thompson – RMNP continues to enthrall visitors, proudly preserving its rich past.

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