Minturn
(970) 827-9500

Denver
 (720) 851-4665

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Minturn: (970) 827-9500

Denver: (720) 851-4665

Big Thompson River

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Big Thompson River flows below Lake Estes have been volatile and unpredictable. While flows currently sit at a comfortable and productive level (214 cfs), they could change at any moment. If flows hold in the 200 cfs range, trout will spread out and feed on a variety of large and small bugs. Pronounced pools and runs are great sections to target during the morning. As water temps rise in the afternoon, switch your focus to riffles, pockets, transitions and faster runs. BWO and caddis hatches are bringing trout to the surface during the afternoon, so keep an eye on the soft runs, pools and tailouts. Elk Hair Caddis, All-Season Caddis, Parachute Adams and Sparkle Duns are good patterns to have on hand. Either fish a single dry fly during the appropriate hatch or hit them with a double rig (caddis and mayfly). Aside from that, trout are feeding heavily sub-surface on stoneflies, caddis, baetis and midges. Larger attractors in the lead position will get their attention and encourage takes as well. Pat’s Rubber Legs, Copper Johns, Prince Nymphs, Flashback Pheasant Tails and Rainbow Warriors are our go-to patterns. For your trailer, go with a midge pupa during the morning/early evening and baetis emergers or caddis pupa during the early afternoon.

Water Levels

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