Catch and Release

"Catch and Release" Partnership on the Big Thompson

In 2013, devastating floods ripped through canyons near Estes Park, Colorado - wiping out vegetation, roads, and of course the common signs we are used to seeing as anglers. While the Colorado Department of Transportation continues to rebuild the infrastructure and river channel, local organizations have partnered to support the effort in their own way - restoring "Catch and Release" signs to the Big Thompson. In 2017, the Alpine Anglers chapter raised funds during monthly meetings and events over the summer to purchase the signs, posts and hardware, as well as, worked with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to procure the proper signage.  Kirk Bien, who owns and operates the Kirk's Fly Shop and Guide Service, was eager to get the signs replaced by the flood as he and the shop's guides have noticed an increasing number of bait users and fishermen taking fish from this fragile nine mile stretch of water.

Working together, the two groups helped to build the signs and Kirk's guides put them out in the Fall.  As the ecosystem slowly begins to rebuild itself, it is critical that anglers respect the fragile nature of these fish populations.  Thank you to Kirk's Fly Shop, the guides, and our members in the Alpine Anglers Chapter for helping to protect this recovering stretch of river!


More about Kirk's:

Kirks Fly Shop is located in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado, the Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. They are a family owned and operated, full pro-line fly shop, offering the top of the line fly fishing equipment, as well as backpacking and camping gear. Fly Fishing, hiking, backpacking and climbing in the great outdoors and Rocky Mountains are their passions, and they want to share our passion with you and make sure you have the most enjoyable and memorable Rocky Mountain National Park experience.


More about Alpine Anglers:

Alpine Anglers supports the native cutthroat trout recovery program in Rocky Mountain National Park. With our friends and fellow TU members, we provide more than 1200 hours of volunteer effort each year. In 2008, the Mountain-Prairie Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service presented Alpine Anglers a Regional Director's Award for conservation in recognition of our support of the greenback cutthroat recovery program.

We also hold learn-to-fly fish days for young people in Estes Park. We clean up the Big Thompson River. We assist with post-flood restoration efforts. We meet and learn about new places and new ways to fish. We get together to socialize and have fun. And we occasionally travel and fish together. Check out our activity calendar to see what we're doing this year.



President:                     Lynn Myers

Membership:                Danny Meade

Communications:         Dwight Strandberg


You can reach us through our chapter email: or on Facebook at Trout Unlimited - Alpine Anglers Chapter #453