The Big Browns in Lake Estes

Every year about this time the German brown trout head to the inlet area to begin their pre-spawn party. That means feasting on larger dry flies, especially terrestrials like flying ants, grasshoppers and beetles. We like the area across the bridge from the Fisherman’s Nook parking area. This area is also popular with folks walking on the lakeside trail and elk. Watch out for both. The other hot spot is below the power plant if the turbines are running.

A little riffle on the water helps to hide your leader and tippet but if it is calm, you can still get strikes by going to a longer leader and lighter tippet [10’ total]. We find that a little twitch or skitter seems to draw their attention, no matter what the fly pattern.

There are a lot of smaller stocker size fish along the shoreline but at sunset and later, the larger fish begin to move shallower and mingle with the little ones for the feast. Often these larger fish just sip at flies the little ones get airborne over. Pay close attention…these fish seem to know when you glance away for a second.

Get more local information from our WATERPROOF guide “Angler’s Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park” available at local fly shops, the Nature Conservancy Stores in RMNP, The Chrysalis Gift Shop in the Stanley Hotel, Amazon as a hard copy or digital book, and on our website: with free shipping

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