Big Thompson winter fly fishing is awesome below Olympus Dam in Estes Park, CO. Concentrate your efforts below lake Estes and you wont have to worry about the river icing over in the first couple of miles.
To access the Big Thompson from Denver, Head North on I25 to the Highway 34 Loveland exit and head west to Estes Park. Start at the dam and if crowds are light stick around. If you decide to move down canyon toward the town of Drake you might find a few pockets open but for the most part expect some ice.
Techniques for Big Thompson Winter Fly Fishing
Winter fishing the Big T is a sight fisherman’s dream. With low cfs and super clear water stealth is he name of the game with 6x and 7x fluorocarbon tippets being a must. As with other tailwaters, you will find nymphing to be most productive using midge and baetis patterns but don’t be surprised to see some noses breaking the surface when conditions are right and air temps get above freezing for any length of time.
Sow bugs are a year round food source and make for a great lead fly when weighted with an orange bead that you can see below the surface. Takes are very subtle so seeing your fly or looking for the trouts mouth to open can make all the difference. If your tired of going small, throwing streamers can move some fish, but you have to be willing to cover some water before you find a player.
Recommended Gear & Flies
Dries: Sprout BWO #18-20, Griffiths Gnat #20-24, Shucking Midge
#20-22, Sprout Midge #20-24, Parachute Adams #20-26
Nymphs: Poison Tung #18-20, Ray Charles #16-18, BWO Emerger #18-22,
Flashback Pheasant Tail #16-20, Rainbow Warrior #18-20, Trout Beads
6mm, Desert Storm #22-24, Juju Midge #18-22, Pats Rubber Legs #8-12,
RS2 #20-24, Micro Mayfly #18-22, Epoxy Back Stones #12-16, Hot Wire
Prince #16-18, and 20 inchers #14-18, Orange and Pink Micro Eggs,
Sparkle Wing RS2 #18-20
Streamers: Thin Mint #8-10, Bread ‘n Butter Bugger #6-10, Gummer Bugger #8-10, #10-12 Slumpbusters