The Thompson River
Fishing Details

Thompson River

Fishing the Thompson River

Upper Thompson River 
Photo Use Guidelines

Due to a number of factors, the Thompson River is not considered a prime trout fishing stream. The region is heavily logged, leading to increased sedimentation that inhibits aquatic insects and increases egg mortality. Additionally, while the Thompson River only receives light to moderate fishing pressure, a lack of catch and release restrictions for many years has given the Thompson River a reputation of producing lots of easy to catch trout that are on the small side. Most of the trout on the Thompson River are in the 8 to 12 inch range.

All of this is indeed unfortunate, as the Thompson River itself possesses all the classic ingredients of a great trout stream. The river has clear water, numerous boulder gardens, countless riffles, many deep pools and excellent habitat along the banks in the form of downed trees and bushy banks.

Middle section of the Thompson River 
Photo Use Guidelines

The Thompson River is home primarily to rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, whitefish and brook trout, with an occasional bull trout found further down river near the Lower Clark Fork. As the river flows are slow to moderate, and the river has both excellent access and is of only narrow to average width, the Thompson River is an excellent river for wade fishing.

The Thompson River is also an excellent river for the dry fly fishing. The Parachute Adams, along with the Elk Hair Caddis, are perhaps the fly of choice for this river, as the trout rise readily to almost any bushy dry fly. Later in the summer, hoppers work extremely well. For those times when the fish aren't rising, wolly buggers, small streamers and Prince Nymphs' also work extremely well.

Due to the rivers easy access from roads, fishing pressure is fairly high on the Thompson River, considering its remote location. Anglers fishing the prime looking water that has the easiest road access may end up disappointed, as the fish become spooky and frequently migrate to less popular areas. Finding the areas that have lighter fishing pressure is not difficult - just locate any areas that are farthest away from the road and start cutting through the trees to reach the river.

Thankfully, the Thompson River does not have a completely bleak future. Fishing restrictions have been recently introduced that require all fish between 10 and 18 inches to be released. Additionally, logging operations in the Thompson River area are not as extensive as they have been in the past. While it does not reduce the scars left by countless clear cuts, the reduced logging operations should reduce the amount of sediment that enters the river, increasing the amount of aquatic insects and reducing fish egg mortality.

Next Page : Floating the Thompson River

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