Fishing Season: All year

Big Thompson - CO

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Sunrise Anglers's Tip of the Week

Get out super early to catch the midge hatch,,, suppressive heat makes for tougher conditions during the day

Directions open in app

Map of Big Thompson

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

Sunrise Anglers

5-Day Outlook as of 8/10/22

Afternoon T storms ,,,,,,, high country is prime

Techniques & Tips as of 8/10/22

Double dry,,, long leaders On larger slicks and sides as water rises 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):
Elk Wing Caddis Tan 14, 16
Tunghead Pheasant Tail Jig Dark 18
CDC Sulphur Emerger Yellow 14, 16, 18
Stimulator Yellow 10, 12,
Crane Fly Cream 12, 14
Yellow Sally Y 19
CDC Loopwing Quill Emerger Dark O 18
I Can See It Midge Fly Black 22
Worm Dark 14
Bighorn midge pupa Gum 16

Elk Wing Caddis

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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,golden stones, baetis, caddis, pmds and more midges

Best Time to Fish:

Any ,,, AM below Estes

Best Stretch:

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

Best Access:

Lake Estes down to Drake