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#11780569 - 08/16/16 05:10 PM First trip to Colorado Front Range-advice?
sbtay Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 10/24/14
Posts: 18
Loc: Cleburne, TX
Suh Dudes. I'm heading to Boulder for the weekend on 9/1/16 and I want to fish in Rocky Mountain National Park. I have never been so I don't even know where to start. I am thinking about booking a half day with a local guide on my first day just to get some local knowledge, but I'm not totally sure that's necessary. I looked at Front Range Anglers fly shop in Boulder and they do half day to RMNP for $225. Anyone have any advice and/or guide recommendations you'd be willing to share? Ragonk.

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#11780586 - 08/16/16 05:20 PM Re: First trip to Colorado Front Range-advice? [Re: sbtay]
oldnslowfisherman Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 10/02/06
Posts: 95
Loc: McKinney
Try Kirks fly shop in Estes Park.

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#11780660 - 08/16/16 06:12 PM Re: First trip to Colorado Front Range-advice? [Re: sbtay]
WoollyBugger Offline
Angler

Registered: 06/07/08
Posts: 444
Loc: Abilene, TX
We were in Estes Park last month. Kirk's has some private waters in the Big Thompson canyon below EP that have some great fishing. The park is beautiful, but can be crowded and the fish are smaller.

RMNP, Big Thompson in Moraine Park...






"Grandpa's" private water with Kirk's...










If you have any fly fishing experience, you likely don't need a guide to fish the park, especially in late summer. Hoppers, caddis, or anything fairly substantial-looking will work. If you want to fish the private waters, you have to go with a guide. They didn't have anything that you could just pay a daily rod fee to fish DIY.


Edited by WoollyBugger (08/16/16 06:15 PM)

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#11780711 - 08/16/16 06:38 PM Re: First trip to Colorado Front Range-advice? [Re: sbtay]
RexW Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/24/02
Posts: 2861
Loc: Sherman, TX
RMNP is a popular place and you'll probably get differing opinions. Do you want to fish inside the park or just in the area?

In the area, the Big Thompson is a good option and the private water is fun to fish. I've used Kirk's a couple of times and I've had a great guide and a less great guide from them. If you decide to use Kirk's, I'd get the name of the guy Woollybugger used and request him. (Don't let any guide take you below the dam in EP, you can do that yourself.)

If you want to fish inside the park and this will be your first visit, I would get a guide. The park is huge and it takes time to figure out what is what and where to fish. Moraine Park and the trail to Fern Lake have good areas to fish, but both can get crowded.

We drove through the west part of RMNP this summer for the first time. If I ever go back, I plan to go to this part of the park to fish the Colorado River. Smaller crowds and beautiful water.

If you do hire a guide, be sure to discuss what is included and when the half day starts and ends. I would hate to find out the clock starts at their shop and includes an hour drive to the fishing location.

Have fun! It is a great place to visit.

(Also, black ants were active while we were there last month and the green back cut throat were nailing black ant flies. smile )
_________________________
Rex W
FFF Certified Casting Instructor
TFO Pro Staff

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#11780835 - 08/16/16 07:36 PM Re: First trip to Colorado Front Range-advice? [Re: sbtay]
WoollyBugger Offline
Angler

Registered: 06/07/08
Posts: 444
Loc: Abilene, TX
My guide will be back at college by 9/1 (if he's not already). College baseball player. I was a little skeptical at first, but he was a great guide.

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#11781505 - 08/16/16 11:59 PM Re: First trip to Colorado Front Range-advice? [Re: sbtay]
McKinneyLonghorn Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/31/13
Posts: 618
Loc: McKinney
I fished with Kirk's last October and had a great time in private water on the Big T. I fished with Jerry. I believe he guides there year-round so he should be available when you are there.

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#11782092 - 08/17/16 11:19 AM Re: First trip to Colorado Front Range-advice? [Re: sbtay]
JdDurango Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/13/13
Posts: 84
I might also suggest Sunrise Anglers. They have Park permits and won the Orvis Endorsed Guide Service of the year in 2011.

Good luck!

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#11784725 - 08/18/16 05:26 PM Re: First trip to Colorado Front Range-advice? [Re: sbtay]
flydoc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 138
If you wanna catch big bows on dryflys go to Spinney and hit the shallows for the callibaetis hatch from 10-1.

20" avg. to 25" about 1 hr west of Colo. Springs on US 24..

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#11786105 - 08/19/16 01:59 PM Re: First trip to Colorado Front Range-advice? [Re: sbtay]
Golfer Jeff Offline
Angler

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 382
Loc: DFW
Spinney and Dream stream is way too far from Boulder to make it worthwhile.

I like the headwaters of the Colorado that time of year. Big Browns are moving up from out west to do their things. you can find 20" fish in a stream 20' wide. Hoppers, droppers, and eggs.

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#11792435 - 08/23/16 10:58 AM Re: First trip to Colorado Front Range-advice? [Re: sbtay]
sbtay Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 10/24/14
Posts: 18
Loc: Cleburne, TX
I just booked with Sunrise Anglers. I'll post my review after the trip. Thanks for all of the suggestions!

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#11814510 - 09/06/16 10:11 AM Re: First trip to Colorado Front Range-advice? [Re: sbtay]
sbtay Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 10/24/14
Posts: 18
Loc: Cleburne, TX
UPDATE: Had a great trip with Tucker from Sunrise Anglers. We fished Glacier Creek just inside the East entrance of RMNP. I got a lot of action from small browns on the hopper side of a hopper/dropper rig. Amy's ant with an RS2 dropper got the most attention, although I only netted one small brown (my first brown ever). It seemed like a group or two had been through the creek just ahead of us because the fish were really spooking easy, especially the larger ones. Basically if they didn't hit the first drift or two, then they were on to us and we moved on up stream. All-in-all, I wish I could have landed more but I had a great time and can now add Glacier Creek and a brown to my list. I recommend Tucker and Sunrise Anglers. Tucker was really cool and had a lot of knowledge to share without it turning in to an all day casting lesson! I definitely am better at reading small streams thanks to him. Pro-tip: They will not let you ride with them to your destination, so plan accordingly! I don't know if all guide services have this policy or not, but I thought I was going to be able to meet up and hop in with him and leave my family with the car so they could head back to town. Lucky for me, my wife was cool with hanging out in the park and cruising around with our daughter while I fished!


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#11814808 - 09/06/16 01:24 PM Re: First trip to Colorado Front Range-advice? [Re: sbtay]
Golfer Jeff Offline
Angler

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 382
Loc: DFW
The reason you could not ride with him is because you were in a National Park. He also should have put you on new water instead of behind other anglers.

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