Big Thompson River – 5/16/10

Time: 1:30PM – 3:30PM

Location: Below Road to Bear Lake in RMNP

Fish Landed: 5

Big Thompson River 05/16/2010 Photo Album

Jane wanted to go to Rocky Mountain National Park on her last day before hip surgery. She also wanted to meet her ex-boss at Public Service Credit Union since he lived in Ft. Collins, and Estes Park would be somewhat of a midpoint. I checked the flows, and they were 129cfs below Estes Lake, which is pretty high for that streambed. The flows in the Big Thompson above Lake Estes near Moraine Park, however, were 35 cfs.

Three Elk in RMNP

We met Steve for lunch at the Big Horn Restaurant on the edge of Estes Park. Steve and Jane then dropped me off at Moraine Park, and they continued to Sprague Lake. I hiked down along the river and underneath the road to near a cabin at the edge of RMNP. At this point I discovered I’d forgotten my front pack containing my nymphs, hemostats, nippers, tippet, prime flies, split shot and strike indicators. Jane had taken the car, so I debated hiking back up to the road and hitching a ride to Sprague Lake or trying to make do with what I had in my backpack. I had three fly boxes containing all dry flies and a couple spools of old 6X tippet. I elected to make a go of it.

Big Thompson Below Bear Lake Road
Another Herd of Elk Near Park Entrance

I tied on some tippet then an olive body palmered caddis that could have been a stimulator. I began prospecting with this fly and much to my amazement, landed a small brown. I continued working upstream, but wasn’t getting any more looks and the fly was sinking so I switched to a Chernobyl ant. In the next two hours I landed four additional small brown trout in the 9 inch range on the Chernobyl ant. All the fish were caught along the edge in fairly slow moving water. The deep runs and pockets in the middle of the stream cried for a beadhead dropper, but my lack of preparation precluded this option.

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