Fryingpan River

Tip of the week 

Fryingpan River Report

November 23, 2015


FLOW: 72 cfs - This is expected to be our winter flow.

WATER CLARITY: Gin clear with recently reduced flows as of the 13th and again on the 14th..

OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10 but gaining in strength quickly thanks to lowered flows. Keep in mind though, a 7.5 out of 10 on the Fryingpan is still better than a 9 out of 10 on most other rivers (we're spoiled!). Crowds have thinned out significantly. Welcome to fall!

THE SHORT AND SWEET: Downsize! Though a few flavs and PMDs are still hatching, in general it's all about blue wing olives (baetis) and midges again. An overlooked late afternoon/early evening hatch of caddis are also of mild importance.

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWOs, Midges, Caddis, PMDs, Flavs, Mysis

IN DEPTH REVIEW: Early mornings have been good for the big fish/mysis shrimp type guys. Get out early while the fish are still sharkin' around in the Bowl, Flats and Bend Pool with mysis. Once the sun is beating down by late mornings, the fish are out of there and push back into the depths. Nymphing with small and dark baetis nymphs as lead/point flies with midge larva droppers is the name of the game in the later morning hours. By midday, swap out your midge droppers for baetis emerger patterns (gray). Dry fly junkies should be focusing their efforts from 11am-3pm (give or take an hour). The heaviest hatches have been seen from mile markers 6-12. Light tippets of 7x fluoro and downstream drifts are beneficial. As the hatches fade, one can go back to nymphing the deeper seams and pools or rockhop, cover water and chuck some streamers (my preference - especially at this time of year). We're fond of using small, heavy, neutral colored streamers on the Pan (save your triple-articulated, double-hook wet socks for Alaska!).


DRIES: TC Fryingpan Emerger 20-22, Collett's Para BWO 20-22, Befus BWO Emerger 20-22, P&E Caddis 16-18, Yellow Humpy 16-18, TC Sparkledun Pink PMD 18, CDC Rusty Spinner 18, Old School Drake 14, Black Ant 18

NYMPHS: BTS Baetis 20-22, PTs 20-24, Tung Hoover Baetis 20-22, Gray RS2 20-22, Gray Soft Hackle Baetis 20-22, Biot Baetis 20-22, Bling Midge Gray 20-22, Pandemic BWO 20-22, Chocolate Thunder 20-22

STREAMERS: Slumpies, Clousers, Sliders, TC Autumn Splendors, TC Stingin' Sculpins

HINTS: Dress in layers. The weather can be all over the place at this time of year. Be ready for rain, snow or shirt sleeve weather!



FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWOs, Midges, Caddis, Ants

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10 simply due to less pressure and equally good fishing compared to the upper river.

THE SHORT AND SWEET: Except for the mysis shrimp fishing up high, the same conditions apply down here.

IN DEPTH REVIEW: Some of the better areas along the middle river would include: Big Hat, Eagle Pool, Money Pit and Rosie's.


DRIES: Same as the upper river

NYMPHS: Same as the upper river less mysis shrimp, flavs and PMDs.

STREAMERS: Same as upper river

HINTS: Cover water and carry a wading staff for easier access. If you can cross the river (which is easily feasible in spots), you can eliminate 90% of other anglers that only fish the road side!


WATER CONDITIONS: Clear and ideal. Higher flows benefit the lower river in particular.

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWOs, Caddis, Midges, Ants

OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10.

THE SHORT AND SWEET: Don't be a sissy. This is the "locals" stretch of the Fryingpan! Why? It offers solitude, good fishing and right now - better fishing! A few of the browns are beginning to get into spawn mode along this section of river too. Though we don't condone fishing to actively spawning fish, there's nothing wrong with fishing an egg or tossing a streamer around (not on beds/redds) to entice the hyper-aggressive brown trout. In fact, you can even keep two brown trout less than 14" inches - and we encourage you to do so. There's an over abundance of small brown trout on the river and you'd be helping the fishery by actually keeping a few for the "Frying Pan".

IN DEPTH REVIEW: The fish are more opportunistic along this stretch of river. This is insanely good water to fish dry/dropper fish. Small hoppers and caddis are making for good dries, while tungsten PTs, Princes and baetis patterns being great dropper patterns. Keep in mind, one MUST cover water down here to stay into fish (this isn't the upper river). In addition, the streamer bite has been better than decent also.


DRIES: Dave's Hopper 8-10, Charlie Boy Hopper Tan 8-10, Turk's Tarantula 12, Stimi's 12-16, P&E Caddis 16-18, Chuck's Caddis Variant 14-16, Black Ant 18, Collett's Para BWO 20-22, Roy's Fryingpan Emerger 20-22

NYMPHS: Tungsten PT, Tungsten Prince, Tung Hoover Baetis 20, Freestone Emerger 20, Biot Baetis 20-22, RS2's in black and gray 20-22, Buckskins 16-18, TC Flashtail Hot Egg 14-18

STREAMERS: Same as above

HINTS: Overcast days are yielding the best conditions. If it's bright and sunny outside, take shade in the Canyon or along any other shaded area.

Seven-day forecast 

Overcast will yield better hatches and numbers of rising fish. Flows are expected to remain at this flow through the winter.

Must Have Flies 
Adams 16-22 Buy from
Sparkle Dun 20-22 Buy from
RS2 20-22 Buy from
Sparkle Dun Pink 16-18 Buy from
Rojo Midge 20-22 Buy from
Griffith's Gnat 20-22 Buy from
Taylor Creek-Basalt

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