The Big Thompson river is a year round fishery that is steep in gradient and made up largely of pocket water, it is a river with easy access. Highway 34 runs along most of the river from Loveland, up to Estes Park. With its headwaters starting in Rocky Mountain National Park, it meanders through the town of Estes Park and down the scenic canyon along Hwy 34. Although the Park has many fly fishing opportunities, the majority of local fly fishers concentrate their efforts below Lake Estes and in the canyon. Most of the upper canyon is managed as 'catch and release' providing good numbers of quality trout. The majority of this stretch is public water managing to reduce crowding even in the heart of the season.