Estes Park Fishing Report 9/26/2023
Fall Fishing Report for Estes Park, Colorado, and Rocky Mountain National Park
Inlet and Tailwater
Fall is a fantastic time for anglers in Estes Park, Colorado, and the surrounding Rocky Mountain National Park. As the leaves change and the air cools down, the fish become more active, making it an excellent season for fishing. Lake Estes, with its inlet and tailwater sections, offers a variety of angling opportunities.
Inlet: The inflow of colder water from the Rocky Mountain National Park makes the inlet area of Lake Estes a prime spot for trout fishing in the fall. Brown and rainbow trout become more active as they prepare for the spawning season. Try using streamer patterns, such as Woolly Buggers and Muddler Minnows, to entice these fish.
Tailwater: Below Olympus Dam, the Big Thompson River creates a productive tailwater fishery. This section of the river remains relatively stable in temperature, making it a year-round fishing destination. In the fall, you can target trophy-sized brown and rainbow trout. Nymphing with small midge patterns and emergers can be productive, especially in the mornings and evenings.
Big Thompson River
Upper and Lower Sections
Upper Big Thompson River: As autumn progresses, the upper reaches of the Big Thompson River, which run through the canyon in Rocky Mountain National Park, offer breathtaking scenery and excellent fishing opportunities. Brook and cutthroat trout are abundant in these high-altitude waters. Dry flies like Royal Wulffs, Elk Hair Caddis, and terrestrial patterns like hoppers can be productive during the fall months.
Lower Big Thompson River: Below the canyon, the Big Thompson River flows through Estes Park, and it's known for its resident brown and rainbow trout. In the fall, these fish become more active and feed voraciously to prepare for winter. Nymphing with attractor patterns and small baetis imitations can yield success in this section.
St. Vrain River
The St. Vrain River in Wild Basin is a hidden gem for anglers seeking solitude and beautiful surroundings. The river is home to a mix of brook, brown, and cutthroat trout. Fall foliage provides a stunning backdrop for your fishing adventure. Try using dry flies like Parachute Adams and terrestrial patterns like ants and beetles to entice these eager fish.
High Altitude Lakes
Rocky Mountain National Park boasts numerous high-altitude lakes teeming with trout. As the weather cools down, these lakes remain productive. Be prepared for varying conditions at higher elevations and check the park's regulations regarding fishing at specific lakes. Popular choices include Lake Haiyaha, Mills Lake, and Dream Lake.
Creeks and Streams in RMNP
Throughout Rocky Mountain National Park, you'll find countless creeks and streams filled with eager trout. As fall progresses, these fish become more aggressive. Explore waters like Glacier Creek, Sprague Lake Outlet, and Fern Lake Outlet. Dry flies, nymphs, and small streamers are all effective options.
Remember to check the latest fishing regulations, purchase the necessary permits, and practice responsible catch-and-release techniques to ensure the health of these pristine waters. Fall in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park offers not only exceptional fishing but also a chance to immerse yourself in the vibrant colors of the season while pursuing your angling adventures.