Rainbow Trout return to the Big Thompson

IMG_2069Many area anglers are probably wondering about the Big Thompson River above Lake Estes. This is the time of year when the rainbows in the lake move upstream to spawn. Though heavily impacted, the river above Lake Estes is once again attracting a good population of spawning rainbow trout. The best area, according to the knowledgeable folks at Kirk’s Fly Shop, is near the visitor center below the US36 Bridge. Water clarity can be an issue as work continues upstream in downtown Estes Park and the Fall River above town. Most construction slows down on the weekends so this might be a good time to drift a nymph along a seam in the current.

That said; please remember that these are spawning fish. They generally are larger, mature adults and have been through a lot since last fall. Land and release them quickly. If you want a picture, support them near the ventral fin to lift them from the water…or better yet, leave them in the water and tip them sideways for a great release image. Appreciate that you hold the future of the rainbow trout in this valley in your hands.

It is still early for trips to the high lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park. As the spring runoff gets underway, the conditions in Rocky’s lakes and streams will improve as the fishing in the Estes valley suffers. Most of the waters in the park were not heavily impacted by the flood last fall and we have that to be thankful for and to look forward to. The best fishing in Colorado for now may be above Lake Estes in the Big Thompson River. For those interested in fishing Rocky Mountain National Park, check out our website https://www.anglerpocketguides.com/ . Our waterproof pocket guide to this area: “Angler’s Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park” is available there and at most fly shops, book stores, and accommodations in the Estes Park area. Get your copy today and start catching more fish in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park NOW!


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