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River: Big Thompson River - Loveland

What gear might work?

Post By: FishingApex      Posted: 10/27/2016 9:03:58 AM     Points: 9115    
So my boss wants me to take him over to Cabelas and help him pick out a new rod and reel and whatever else he needs for fishing in general. He is heading up to Loveland camping this weekend and was planning on throwing something in the river to try to catch anything that bites.

My question is, what should he get that will help him catch anything up there. I don't fish rivers so I can get him most of the right gear for the lakes.

I Am pretty sure that he won't want to get a fly fishing rig so it's gonna have to be a spinning rig.

Is there bait allowed please there or is it fly and lure only?

If anyone would rather email me instead of putting it here that's fine too. Just send it to my skipper link.

Thanks for the info.
 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: 10/27/2016 9:24:26 AM     Points: 34761
The Big Thompson Canyon is closed for the winter to rebuild the road... No access other than for residents of the canyon.

He could still fish the river in town, but as far as I am concerned the Big T fishes it best half way to Estes or higher.
 Reply by: rkhancock      Posted: 10/27/2016 10:05:31 AM     Points: 22834
As far as river fishing I've had best luck using panther Martin spinners. Black or yellow body but the gold blade seems to be essential. Other than that small crawdad imitations will work.
 Reply by: cmcnaught92      Posted: 10/27/2016 9:51:45 PM     Points: 68
I mean, its trout fishing. There's nothing special really about rivers versus lakes that requires significantly different gear. If he wants to catch trout, just set him up with any rod in the light to medium range and a few silver/gold spinners and he'll catch trout. Whatever feels best to him will be fine, just put a few different sizes of rod in his hand and see what he likes best. I would lean more towards a medium rod for better versatility among different species as well though.
 Reply by: Toadfish      Posted: 10/27/2016 10:19:01 PM     Points: 3831
Big T isn't the only river up there. He could also hit the Poudre or the Platte up in that area. Smaller lures, even rapalas and certain jigs/soft plastics can produce.
 Reply by: Fishlips      Posted: 10/29/2016 9:56:17 AM     Points: 61
The Big T is just a trickle right now thru Loveland, hardly worth the time. Hasn't fully recovered from the flood even with good flow.
 Reply by: adrenaline_junkie_ff      Posted: 10/30/2016 6:56:26 PM     Points: 8752
DuPont spinners never fail.
 Reply by: FlyLady      Posted: 10/31/2016 2:12:54 PM     Points: 1433

As Mr. Trump would say "Wrong"!

It sure is a nice river that has be wonderful this year for me and a few of my friends on this forum. I've had some great success at Big T, I can definitely say it's a better producing river than Clear Creek and Bear Creek.

To the original poster, my suggestion as far as lures go is a panther martin as well as the smallest version of a Dynamic Lure you can find in the brown trout pattern. Hope this helps you!
 Reply by: opencage      Posted: 10/31/2016 2:35:47 PM     Points: 164726
I'd agree with most advice given here. If not using fly gear, then light or ultralight gear, short 5-6 foot rod. I'd definitely get a bubble for fishing flies either way, elk hair caddis for dries, hare's ears, pheasant tails, zebra midges and copper johns for nymphs size 18-10 depending on time of year.

For spin gear, small spinners (like Mepps) in silver or brass, small rapala-type lures (rainbow trout color works well), and jigs for working pools.

Be sure to check out the river pages, lots of good info:
RMNP: [log in for link]
Canyon: [log in for link] (basically closed till May tho...)
Town: [log in for link]

Good luck, have fun, and be sure to submit a report letting us know what conditions are like. Flows have been changing a bit in town the last two weeks, but the Boedecker channel at Wilson is off, so clarity is back up again.
 Reply by: bardkin      Posted: 10/31/2016 3:52:16 PM     Points: 3907
Ok, here is the deal-

Big t is closed up the canyon to Drake. Besides, since all the road construction (they call it a repair but really its a whole brand new road ) they've been poisoning the water and there's been a huge dye off. I would avoid fishing the river in Loveland completely, and for years to come.. Go up to Estes. You can fish from the park, the golf course, the dam and all the way down to sleepy hollow.

If he knows what he is doing then he should spinners and go with traditional flies. He'll need to get some tippet and tie off to his line as it is too big for nymphs and midges. If he sticks to spinners, the smallest copper and gold you can find or the smallest floating rapala.

What you should use:

Blue wing olive size 18-20 morning and day time
Griffiths gnat, lightest color you can find, size 18-22
Elk hair caddis or hopper in late afternoon/evening. size 14-18.

brassies, copper johns, and emergers size 18 to 22, all day and all night. They are hitting the surface film in most of the rivers right now because of the prolonged summer we've been having. you may get some hits off the bottom, but more likely just at or below the surface film will be our best bet.

And as was said before- If Estes isn't an option, then St Vrain from Button Rock on down is open, (just 5 miles above Lyons) the Pouder and the Platte are good options as well. All will fish similarly at this time of year.

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