Fishing Information

Big Thompson River

13 cfs
11 mph
37 °F
Weather @SOUTH PLATTE BASIN - Updated February 27, 2024 - 5:06am by OpenWeather

Current River Flow Updates

Latest update: 10/23/23

Flows are 35 CFS below Lake Estes. The Thompson is a wonderful fall fishery. Indictor rigs will be the ticket in the morning. Try a small worm, egg or pheasant tail (#16-18) as your attractor trailed by a smaller offering such as a poison tung, zebra midge, black beauty or RS2 (#18-22). Hopper droppers or double dry rigs can become effective towards the afternoon especially in the canyon. Midges and smaller mayfly offerings have been working on the surface.

Historical River Flow

River Information

A tributary of the South Platte river, the Big Thompson begins its journey in the high elevations of RMNP. The "T" is considered a hybrid freestone/tailwater river that can be fished year round. A variety of species call this historic river home- rainbows, browns, cutthroat, and brookies are all common sights here. Large Tiger Musky and Lake Trout have been known to live in the tailwater section as well...

Seasonal Conditions

The tailwater section is home to all of Colorado's classic hatches. The nymph stages of caddis, midges, mayflies, and stoneflies are present all year long. In the early Spring, there is a great mayfly and midge hatch that makes the water boil with risers . In the summer months, the upper portion of the T in RMNP thaws and becomes available to anglers. This meandering meadow section is best approached with big terrestrials and other dries.

Additional River Information

Big Thompson at Canyon Mouth (near Drake)

SOUTH PLATTE BASIN River Gauge View Detailed Information

  • Flow 13 cfs
  • Wind 11 mph
  • Temp 37 °F
  • High/Low 11/37

River access

The tailwater is best accessed in the town of Estes Park just below Olympus Dam. There is a mix of public and private lands as you head further downstream in the canyon towards Drake. The upper T in RMNP is best accessed via the Moraine Park entrance. This section can be fished in the meadow to all the way upstream via the Fern Lake trailhead.

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