Big Thompson River – 4/15/10

Time: 12:00PM – 4:00PM

Location: Downstream end of catch and release stretch below Lake Estes

Fish Landed: 11

Big Thompson River 04/15/2010 Photo Album

With work light and forecast of temperatures in the 60’s, I decided to try another day of fishing. I read the various reports, and the Big Thompson sounded like the least affected by the low elevation snowmelt continuing from the late March early April snowstorms.

Deep Run Along Bank Yielded Trout

I purposely started late since I knew it would be late morning/early afternoon before the air temperature and water temperature would allow the trout to become active. I drove to the downstream border of the catch and release area below Lake Estes and arrived around 11:30 AM. I ate my lunch and then began fishing above the bridge that marks the catch and release border.

Second Trout of the Day

I tied on a yellow Letort hopper and trailed a beadhead pheasant tail nymph and then a light olive beadhead midge larva. I fished for a half hour or so before catching my first fish, a small rainbow. My losing streak of three outings without a fish was over! I attempted to photograph the rainbow, but it got off the hook while in the net as I tried to position for a photo. I continued prospecting the water picking up fish on a fairly regular basis, although numerous casts were required to attractive water to get hookups. The fish were definitely somewhat lethargic.

A Bit Larger

Around 1PM I switched the midge larva out for a beadhead RS2. The reports I read said there were BWO hatches in mid to late afternoon in the lower to middle canyon on overcast calm days. I was covering my bases. The third fly continued to cause tangles if I didn’t pause long enough on my backcast to allow the flies to straighten, so I removed and fished the hopper/BHPT combination.

Pretty Rainbow

This proved to be a smart move as it eliminated wasted time spent untangling flies and didn’t impact my catch rate. I discovered that most of my catches were along the bank opposite the road and in slack water with depth of 3-4 feet. Of the eleven trout I landed, approximately four took the hopper and the remainder sucked in the pheasant tail. I hooked up temporarily on an additional 4-5 fish and had several refusals on the hopper, so the fish were definitely looking up. The best action occurred between 1-3, and it was quite slow in the last hour. A BWO hatch never materialized, although the sky was largely bright blue and cloudless. I’m guessing I caught 4 browns and 7 rainbows.

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