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Old 06-02-2013, 11:06 PM
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Default RMNP first timer

I just found out my wife and I are meeting my in laws at rmnp to camp for a couple days. Good news is I get to try out the tear drop camper I have been working on. Bad news is I dont where to start for fishing. We are between aspen glen and morraine park camp grounds. Is either one a better location to access fishing. Also what rod would suit me best. I have a 2 4 and a 6. What flies should have. We are going June 10 and 11.
Thanks for any help
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:58 AM
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Default Re: RMNP first timer

Hmm. Well, I'll take a shot...For starters, here is a very basic look at fishing in the park at this site:RMNP Fishing

But keep in mind, this is a HUGE park and many of these lakes/spots are not easily accessible. I would suggest getting a good map of RMNP, and cross referencing where you are camping against this list of fishable rivers and lakes. About 2/3 of the lakes in the park have no fish- (too cold? too high? not enough oxygen or food?).

My own suggestion is that a 4wt rod is all you need, and would be fun. In some cases, you might even get away with a 3 wt. The altitude (lack of oxygen, food, and short summers) keep the fish on the "smaller" side (I have caught everything from 6 inch brook trout to 14-15 inch rainbows/cutthroats/browns in RMNP "The Park" as it's called locally). But they are beautiful fish, and awesome to catch in that setting. Here is another article to read that is pretty spot on.

In the town of Estes Park on your way into RMNP, make a stop at Kirks Fly Shop, they are helpful and have the flies you want.

Here are a couple pics in The Park...enjoy your time! It's a beautiful place.

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Old 06-03-2013, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: RMNP first timer

Moraine Park is a great place to fish, and it sounds like you will be camping close by. I've never camped at Aspen Glen.

There is some heavy road construction happening close to the Moraine Park area. So my best recommendation would be to research (call and email/txt) about the current conditions of the road and access.

Have a nice day.......and as always.....report what you hear on this site

As far as what flies to fish......it's a small river/stream in the West. Typical stuff will suffice. Para adams, Griffith's gnat, wooly worms, etc is all you shall need.

Have a nice day fishing.
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: RMNP first timer

Like jslo said, it's a big park. Talk to Kirk's Fly Shop, Scot's Sporting Goods, or Estes Anglers to get some advice. It will be especially important this year because the Fern Lake Fire burned a section of the Big Thompson and its tributaries in the middle and lower sections of Moraine Park. I haven't heard what the situation is in that part of the park and you'll want to check on that.

Also, keep an eye on the runoff: Big T. Flows in the park. The runoff is still going strong and may be heading up again, and that may impact where you want to fish. Some of the small streams get blown out during runoff and the Big T. in the park gets deep and fast and that will change your fly selection.

Even during runoff I don't think you'll need that 6 weight, unless you want to cover water on a lake. I'd use the 4 weight mostly and keep the 2 weight around for any tiny creeks. As for flies, check with the shops but I always carry Elk Hair Caddis, Royal Wulffs, Humpies, Adams/BWOs, ants, and beetles. Hoppers are nice to have too. But during high water I also carry a selection of nymphs. If you are going to fish the Big T. below Olympus Dam (about 20 minutes from where you are camping), a great alternative if fishing in the park is tough, you'll want some tiny, midgy nymphs too.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: RMNP first timer

I would like to add to my previous info.........you will be close to the Fern Lake trailhead and the Bear Lake trailhead, both of which access some high lakes that hold good fishing. The hike to Fern Lake is fairly easy and short....about 3.5 miles one way I believe....Odessa is another mile up the trail. Both Fern and Odessa hold solid populations of greenbacks (cutthroat variety).

The Bear Lake trailhead is even better. The hike(s) to the Loch and Mills Lake are very easy. The Loch is especially scenic and has great fishing. If you can make it up the trail, Lake of Glass and Sky Pond are arguably the most scenic areas of the Park......and both lakes have good fishing. The views at these lakes are jaw-dropping. The Loch and Lake of Glass hold nice, little greenbacks and Sky Pond is loaded with brook trout.

There probably will be some lingering snow on the trails above 10K feet so be prepared for wet and muddy trails. But the trails should be very passable. The shores are heavily timbered at these lakes so pack in some waders or hippers.

But again, I think there is road construction on the way to the Bear Lake TH, so just check with the rangers once you're in the park. BTW, the rangers at the park will be your best source of up to date info. If you ask a ranger something and he or she doesn't know, they will immediately get on the radio and find out.......

Fishing - Rocky Mountain National Park
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: RMNP first timer

Cub Lake Trailhead to Fern is listed at 5 miles. I walked about 4.5 before I started fishing. Great hike and you pass near the Big T. headwaters and a couple of other nice small streams as alternates.

If you do go to Bear Lake consider hiking to Dream Lake. It's a mildly steep 1.1 mile hike but there are big greenbacks in that little lake. The water is often crystal clear and you can watch a big trout lift off the bottom and sip an ant off the surface. That trail is often crowded with hikers but when I've done that trip I've been the only angler so I just had to put up with hoofers along the edge of the lake.

I also like Sprague Lake. It's easy access so it can get crowded but there are several little feeder creeks with beaver ponds and, if the water isn't raging, Glacier Creek is nearby.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:01 AM
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Default Re: RMNP first timer

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwtalso View Post
Cub Lake Trailhead to Fern is listed at 5 miles.
The Fern Lake trailhead shaves 1.5 miles off the hike and follows the Big T all the way to the "the Pool." There can good fishing during the summer in this stretch but the runoff will have it shut down.......I just remembered something about this area. There was a substantial fire this winter called "the Fern Lake fire." So this area may be closed.........and possibly the Big T through this area is trashed will fire runoff. Anyone know?
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: RMNP first timer

My only piece of advice, in addition to that already mentioned, is to pick up this book...

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and that will help you catch plenty of these guys...

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Old 06-04-2013, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: RMNP first timer

Quote:
Originally Posted by countr21 View Post
The Fern Lake trailhead shaves 1.5 miles off the hike and follows the Big T all the way to the "the Pool." There can good fishing during the summer in this stretch but the runoff will have it shut down.......I just remembered something about this area. There was a substantial fire this winter called "the Fern Lake fire." So this area may be closed.........and possibly the Big T through this area is trashed will fire runoff. Anyone know?
Heh! Shows you how long it's been since I've walked that path . The Fern Lake Trailhead wasn't there when I worked that area last.

According to the RMNP site (Fire Information and Restrictions) all the closures have been lifted.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: RMNP first timer

You got all the information you need in that book. Don't kill any Greenbacks or you will be in some trouble and bring all three rods or at least the 4 and the 6. Since you are going to be there close to runoff, you may want to fish some more of the still water lakes, which will hold the bigger fish.

Casting a 4 wt at those elevation in that wind is a pain in the butt.
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