This tributary flows east, through the town of Glen Haven, where it merges with the Bi… From Olympus Dam at the east end of Lake Estes to Waltonia Bridge requires a fly or lure for catch and release fishing. In its upper stretches, it flows through private property which is owned by timber companies. I planned another trip to Eleven Mile Canyon on Friday, so I sought a nearby destination for my fishing venture on Thursday, October 3, 2019. Available data for this site Click to hide station-specific text The Water Temperature at this site is operated seasonally, March through November only. Pretty much every section of river is productive. Similar Photos See All. Northern Colorado’s Big Thompson River flows from the Rocky Mountains (west) to the Great Plains (east) through a steep-walled, boulder-strewn canyon. It emerges from the foothills on Highway 34 west of Loveland. This short impoundment gives the Thompson a hybrid freestone/tailwater feel. The flood flows caused heavy erosion to occur along the banks of the Moodie Reach resulting in significant loss of property for several residences… Read More. 1.45   1.24 vaww02. The flows on the Big Thompson below Lake Estes are at winter flows of 25 CFS, work on the Cottonwood Siphon has finished. The headwaters of the Big Thompson River begin in Forest Canyon within Rocky Mountain National Park in Larimer County, Colorado. Access for the Big Thompson River near Estes Park is widely available for all variety of anglers. The half mile section below the dam is strictly tailwater with midges and beatis the predominant hatch. It flows eastward, south of Loveland across the plains into Weld County and joins the South Platte approximately 5 mi (8 km) south of Greeley. Title: USGS Current Conditions for Colorado Known for it’s fishing, the river also has some great paddling. There it is held in Lake Estes by Olympus Dam before being released into the Big Thompson Canyon. It includes four crossings/bridges which are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. What It receives the Little Thompson River approximately four mi (6 km) upstream from its mouth. River Information. The dam was in the process of being relicensed with the FERC, but it was instead demolished, the dam material and contents of the reservoir being used as fill for highway repairs. Fishing remains very good with size 14 Tarnished Tungsten MicroMayfly, Radiation Baetis (size 16), blue Poison Tung (size 16) and RS2 emergers in grey (size 20). PROVISIONAL DATA SUBJECT TO REVISION. Thompson River Trail-Big Falls Spur Junction - 2.360' The trail road we'd been following would be easy to continue on if you not keeping an eye out for the spur to Big Falls. The headwaters of the Big Thompson River begin in Forest Canyon within Rocky Mountain National Park in Larimer County, Colorado. Historical flows on the Big T for this time of year average around 21 – 22 cfs. Big Thompson flows below Lake Estes are currently sitting in the mid 600 cfs range. Its short season is usually a May through June affair, as with several other Colorado streams. USGS 06741510 BIG THOMPSON RIVER AT LOVELAND, CO. The RMNP Section is an excellent section of water that holds Rainbows, Browns and Brook trout in it’s waters. Arkansas River • Big Thompson River ... Planning a successful fishing trip also requires knowledge of stream flows at various river points and an accurate weather forecast for a given destination. The elevation of Grand Lake is maintained between 8,367 feet (2,550 meters) and 8,366 feet (2,549.8 meters). Water resources in the Big Thompson River are managed by the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District as part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project. The city also rebuilt its municipal electric distribution line into the canyon to replace the original 1925 transmission line and remove obsolete distribution equipment. Daryle Johnson and his family had rented a cabin east of Estes Park, but left without telling anyone on the morning of July 31. A tributary of the South Platte river, the Big Thompson begins its journey in the high elevations of RMNP. Search from Big Thompson River stock photos, pictures and royalty-free images from iStock. The North Fork Big Thompson River also begins in Rocky Mountain National Park from where it flows along highway 43 east, through the town of Glen Haven and merges with the Big Thompson River in the town of Drake, in the Big Thompson Canyon. The flow rates for this river had been hovering right around this mark until the 5 th when they dropped approximately 32% to 15 cfs. Warning: Javascript must be enabled to use all the features on this page! is a shift adjusted stage-discharge rating table? About Big Thompson River Fly Fishing. Jasper Lake. PROVISIONAL DATA SUBJECT TO REVISION. As part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project, Grand Lake forms a continuous body of water with the man-made reservoir Shadow Mountain Lake, which under natural conditions then flows into another man-made reservoir, Lake Granby. Around 9 p.m., a wall of water more than 6 meters (20 ft) high raced down the canyon at about 6 m/s (14 mph), destroying 400 cars, 418 houses and 52 businesses and washing out most of U.S. Route 34. There is more ice forming in the shady areas but there is quite a bit of open water from the warm weather this week. Page Last Modified: 2020-12-24 17:07:48 EST The biggest infrastructure casualty, however, was the City of Loveland's hydroelectric plant (rebuilt after the 1976 flood); the Idylwilde Reservoir was completely filled with silt and rocks, the Idylwilde Dam broke free of the bedrock, and the hydroelectric plant in the Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park was filled with water and silt. The Big Thompson begins up in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and flows down through Estes Park, through Loveland and then eventually connects with the South Platte River out east. From Lake Estes, the River descends one-half mile in elevation through the mountains in the spectacular 25 mile white water ride. The Big Thompson River, or Big Tommy, is an interesting Class IV to IV+ whitewater run that is wholly dependent upon water being released from Idyllwilde Lake just below Drake for navigable flows. Big Thompson River Below Lake Estes: The Big T is still fishing good right now in the upper canyon. The Big Thompson River has its start in the high mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park in Forrest Canyon, flows down through the town of Estes Park where it makes a brief stop at Lake Estes, before continuing its journey though the canyon along Highway 34 to Loveland. Flows are still up around 300cfs which is fantastic for this time of year. Current Conditions at Big Thompson: The Big T is seeing lots of pressure right now. USGS 06741510 BIG THOMPSON RIVER AT LOVELAND, CO. A variety of species call this historic river home- rainbows, browns, cutthroat, and brookies are all common sights here. The rest of the Big Thompson River canyon is open fishing and continues to provide highly accessible water to Idylwilde Dam. Policies and Notices, U.S. Department of the Interior | While not as intense as the 1976 flood, the storms that caused the flooding in 2013 still sent enough water down the canyon to wash out the highway in many places. The Big Thompson River flows out of the Rocky Mountain National Park and empties into Lake Estes. The Big Thompson River is a tributary of the South Platte River, approximately 78 miles (123 km) long, in the U.S. state of Colorado. Privacy Page Contact Information: Colorado Water Data Support Team Find high-quality stock photos that you won't find anywhere else. With its headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Big Thompson River flows 78 miles through Estes Park, down the scenic Big Thompson Canyon and onto the plains where it joins the South Platte River near Greeley. A woman who was researching the flood's victims discovered he was still alive.[7]. The flow coming into the lake is 9 currently and 32 out of Lake Estes. The Big Thompson River flows for just under 80 miles. The flood also damaged the US Bureau of Reclamation's Dille Diversion Dam. From Lake Estes, the river descends 1/2 mile (800 m) in elevation through the mountains in the spectacular 25 mi (40 km) Big Thompson Canyon, emerging from the foothills west of Loveland. Three mountain streams run through and near Glen Haven: West and Fox creeks and the North Fork of the Big Thompson, which flows into the Big Thompson River about 7½ miles downstream at Drake. Estes Park always gets hit with lots of summer traffic. [6] This flood was more than 4 times as strong as any in the 112-year record available in 1976, with a discharge of 1,000 cubic meters per second (35,000 ft³/s). Find our. Once it leaves the timber companies property, the Thompson River enters public land, in which it remains until near the rivers end. The park has since been redone to accommodate the post-flood river channel and to harden it against potential future floods. At this level, trout will hold along banks or behind structure. The river flows east through Moraine Park to the town of Estes Park. City of Loveland. The canyon was just one of the many areas along the Front Range that were devastated in the September 2013 flood. The North Fork Big Thompson River also begins in Rocky Mountain National Park, on the northern slopes of the Mummy Range. Anglers can expect to catch rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, and Rocky Mountain National Park’s famous Greenback Cutthroat trout. In 2008, a man who was thought to have died in the flood was found to be alive and living in Oklahoma. Big T water continuously passes through Olympus Dam on down through the Big Thompson Canyon. Add up to 2 more sites and replot for "Discharge, cubic feet per second", Add up to 2 more sites and replot for "Gage height, feet", Accessibility There it is held in Lake Estes by Olympus Dam before being released into the Big Thompson Canyon. U.S. Highway 34 winds its way through the canyon, connecting Loveland and other northern Denver … The Big Thompson River flows through Lake Estes as if the small reservoir were a canal. The North Fork Big Thompson River also begins in Rocky Mountain National Park, on the northern slopes of the Mummy Range. This flood was triggered by a nearly stationary thunderstorm near the upper section of the canyon that dumped 300 millimeters (12 inches) of rain in less than 4 hours (more than 3/4 of the average annual rainfall for the area). Clouds form over the continental divide in rocky mountain national park as the big thompson river starts flowing in the spring run off. For the best water clarity, focus on the banks. URL: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/co/nwis/uv? Little rain fell over the lower section of the canyon, where many of the victims were. As the site of catastrophic floods in both 1976 and 2013, the Big Thompson Canyon stands as an important landmark in Colorado's history. Then it flows eastward across the plains into Weld County and joins the … The Thompson River is a gentle river, with slow to moderate current except during the highest of waters. Streamers can be very effective in the canyon during the summer months. The river flows east through Moraine Park to the town of Estes Park. The river is located east of Estes Park and it feeds the South Platte River. PROVISIONAL DATA SUBJECT TO REVISION. Water flow more than doubled into the Big Thompson after water was released from the dam. Ideally, I like to see flows that have been relatively steady for a while and flows that are hovering around the historical average. National Water Information System: Web Interface. The Big Thompson flood of 1976 was the deadliest flash flood in Colorado’s recorded history. What USGS 402114105350101 BIG THOMPSON BL MORAINE PARK NR ESTES PARK, CO. U.S. Geological Survey is a shift adjusted stage-discharge rating table? The headwaters of the Big Thompson River are in Rocky Mountain National Park. This tributary flows east, through the town of Glen Haven, where it merges with the Big Thompson River in the town of Drake, in the Big Thompson Canyon. Big Thompson Description. Save Comp. The Big Thompson River (The Big T) begins in Rocky Mountain National Park in Forrest Canyon, through Estes Park, and all the way along Highway 34 to Loveland, CO. The 2013 Flood led the Big Thompson River to change alignment due to natural processes of widening and sediment depositing. This small-medium sized river flows through Rocky Mountain National Park and the town of Estes Park before feeding into Lake Estes. Mission: To regulate power generation at the Estes Power Plant and move Colorado-Big Thompson Project water from the power plant on down through the remainder of the C-BT Project. The Big Thompson River Flows Through Rocky Mountain National Park. The Big T (as it is commonly called) is a 40 minute drive north of Boulder. It originates in Forest Canyon into Lake Estes, in Estes Park, CO. Starting as a mere trickle on the east side of the Continental Divide, inside Rocky Mountain National Park, the Big Thompson flows from Forest Canyon Pass near the top of Trail Ridge Road through Forest Canyon. Current shift adjusted rating FOIA Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Big Thompson River, Water Resources Data Colorado Water Year 2003, Flood 'Victim' Found Alive 32 Years Later, I Dream of Genealogy Memorial for Big Thompson Canyon Flood Victims of 1976, NOAA Site on the Big Thompson Canyon Floods, Colorado State University: Big Thompson Watershed, Larimer County website: History of the flood, Cache La Poudre River Corridor National Heritage Area, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Big_Thompson_River&oldid=993924005, 1976 natural disasters in the United States, Wikipedia introduction cleanup from September 2013, Articles covered by WikiProject Wikify from September 2013, All articles covered by WikiProject Wikify, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 13 December 2020, at 05:34. The Big Thompson River runs along U.S. 34 as seen from the Round Mountain Nature Trail Wednesday, June 5, 2019, west of Loveland. On July 31, 1976, during the celebration of Colorado's centennial, the Big Thompson Canyon was the site of a devastating flash flood that swept down the steep and narrow canyon, claiming the lives of 143 people, 5 of whom were never found. The Big Thompson River flows roughly 75 miles eastward from its headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park through Estes Park and Loveland to its confluence with the South Platte River. The Big Thompson River originates in Rocky Mountain National Park and flows in a southeast, northeast, and east-southeast direction onto the Colorado Piedmont before turning in a southeast […] Cache la Poudre River-Big Thompson River drainage divide area landform origins in the Colorado Mummy Range, USA It runs more on the experienced side with inconsistent flows and interesting water. The Big Thompson, commonly referred to as the Big T, is a beautiful river that originates high in Rocky Mountain National Park. Summary of all available data for this site, Instantaneous-data availability statement. Station operated by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with table. For best results fish early and late in the day. The flows on the Big Thompson River below Lake Estes were in the 45 – 50 CFS range, and I knew from past experience, that this level was nearly ideal. The Big Thompson River is one of the more popular small rivers on the northern Colorado Front Range...and it is a very healthy fishery thanks to the catch and release regulations and decent flows for the last half decade! Big Thompson River 10/03/2019 Photo Album. The river is moving quickly in most parts and the water is stained. 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