6/18 Big Thompson River

Tom had taken out his wholesome family from Illinois, wife and 2 kids, to fly fish in beautiful Colorado.  Tom started out the day slow, but his son Max was into a fish on our first cast for the day, and it was a nice brown trout.  We worked a hole below Lake Estes Dam and Max hooked another strong fish, this time a rainbow.  We had a 9am start on the day, which meant that we were likely the 2nd or 3rd people to fish this hole, but it didn’t matter to these couple fish.  P1020249We hooked a couple more, but were unable to keep them buttoned, and off we went down river to another spot.

We stopped at the road to nowhere, got out of the truck walked down the steep bank, made a couple practice casts, and a fly fisherman from upriver jumped right out of the brush in front of us to claim the spot…road to nowhere was just that, and back in the truck we went.

Down to the catch and keep water we fished a section of water that was slower and Max and I worked up the run into water that was more turbulent.  The slow pocket behind a big rock at the top of the run proved to be a great success as maxed set the hook on a beautiful wild brown trout. The brown ran him all the way down river and I ran down to help get a net on this nicely sized fish.P1020250

A great fish was caught, but we weren’t seeing the numbers of fish that I would expect to be biting, so we moved to faster water upriver.  I switched our rigs and put a large stone fly immitation as the lead fly to try getting impulse strikes out of some fish.  The Pats Rubber Leg  is my go-to stone fly, and I always make sure to crush the barb on this big hook.

I left Max to fish on his own a while and worked with Tom. We were unsuccessful in a couple of spots, broke off some flies on a fish, and then  made our way up to what I could feel was going to be the place of his first fish.  As I was describing the drift to him I was taking the camera out of my pocket.

When I have the feeling someone is going to catch a fish, rarely am I far off.  Tom made his first cast and I hurried to get the camera out of my pocket and press the record button…WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

We scored another nice rainbow out of the hole and then Tom was gracious enough to share his good fortune with his son…which if you know Tom, you know he is a generous man.  P1020254

We broke for lunch and met up with the girls, who were guided by Mike Caldwell a resident of Estes Park and excellent guide.  We shared stories, ate lunch and stated fishing in the new storm that had accumulated during lunch.

Now it was the father and daughter session.  We fished The Sleepy Hallow Park just after lunch and both were able to catch a couple fish.  We moved up river to try and end on a couple more fish; it proved to be a worth-while stop with numerous bites and fish caught.
P1020256The grey RS2 was likely the most effective fly of the day, as well as the blue poison tongue and pat’s rubber legs.


  • Tom Pointner says:

    Thank you Chad for a wonderful day! The whole family had a blast, learned a ton, caught some fish, and enjoyed a fantastic time with you and Mike on the river. Thank you for sharing your expertise, patience, good nature, and time (untangling knots!). You will be highly recommended. We look forward to our next trip. Thanks again,

    Tom, Ellen, Max, and Grace

    • Thanks Tom. I have the Facebook share button on the bottom of the post, please share it with the Facebook world. By the way, you’ve got a great family. – Chad

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