Fishing Season: All year

Big Thompson - CO

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Temperature 28°



Water Temp:


Sunrise Anglers's Tip of the Week

Overnight temperatures and sun angles has the water warming for midge action,,, unfortunately the winter flows are super low making fish spooky… slow down :) Midges rule, At this point in the season, a dead egg and a midge pupa is a great combo to attract sluggish fish… Low water tactics

Directions open in app

Map of Big Thompson

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

Sunrise Anglers

5-Day Outlook as of 2/28/24

Low flows, ice the little black sally

Techniques & Tips as of 2/28/24

Double dry,,, long leaders On larger slicks Nymphing with indicators

Local Species Available All year

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    Cutthroat Trout

Sunrise Anglers's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Micro Egg Carmelo 16
Tunghead Pheasant Tail Jig Dark 18
Griffith's Gnat BL/W 18-20
Indicator Parachute - Baetis Gray 18
Any midge pupa Cream 18, 20, 24
Little black stone Blk 19
Birchell's Hatching Midge Black 20
I Can See It Midge Fly Black 18, 20
Bighorn Pupa Cream 18, 24
Buckskin Cream 18

Micro Egg

Increase your catch rate with this micro egg trout fly.

Sunrise Anglers's Recommended Gear

Description: About Big Thompson

The Big Thompson River flows out of the Rocky Mountain National Park and empties into Lake Estes. This short impoundment gives the Thompson a hybrid freestone/tailwater feel. The half mile section below the dam is strickly tailwater with midges and beatis the predominant hatch. As you head down stream(east) towards Loveland, the insect populations diversify with great Caddis, Stonefly, and even Tricos in the slower sections flowing through Loveland. Other hatches include PMD's, Green Drake, and some of the largest Red Quills I have ever witnesed. Of course banging terrestrials starting in the high months of July/August can be very productive. The Big Thompson River has some reproduction for rainbows and certainly the browns have taken hold nicely. Some of the best fishing occurs in early Spring and late Fall, as the numbers of anglers deminish also. Please call Sunrise Anglers LLC if needing more information and tips.

Nearest Airport:

Denver International Airport (DIA)


Below Lake Estes: midges,leftover baetis,

Best Time to Fish:


Best Stretch:

Tailrace below Estes Dam has the most fish,,,, CROWDED most of the time

Best Access:

Lake Estes down to Drake