Fryingpan River

Tip of the week 
Techniques 

Fryingpan River Report

May 22, 2017

UPPER FRYINGPAN

FLOW: 249 cfs

WATER CLARITY: Slow and Low, clear

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10 The temps have been cold, but we're climbing out of it.

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWO dries, emergers and nymphs, Midges, Mysis Shrimp, Cranefly larva (big and little) Juvenile Green Drake and PMD Nymphs

THE LOW-DOWN : The upper Fryingpan has been bustling as of late, as many anglers find themselves plying tailwaters during mud season here in the west. After a bit of a spring cold snap here in the Roaring Fork Valley, we are starting to warm up again, which is helping the hatches get going with better regularity.

Blue winged olives and midges are what's hatching, but you might see an oddball caddis here and there too. Most locals prefer being around when the dry flies are hatching (10 am to 3 pm) or tossing streamers at twilight in the deeper runs and less-fished water.

We strongly suggest that anglers give the flats above the bend pool a wide berth, as this area is essentially one big spawning bed. Love catching quality fish on the Fryinpan? Educate that angler (in a friendly way) standing in and on the redds. It pays off for fish and fishermen alike.

HATCHES: Midges, BWOs, a few oddball caddis

APPROPRIATE PATTERNS:

DRIES: CDC Comparadun BWO 20-22, Hackle Dun Baetis 20-22, Roy Palm's Special Fryingpan Emerger 22, Colletts Para BWO 20-22, HOH CDC Thorax BWO 20-22, Befus Para Emerger 18-22, Biot Wing Midge 20,22, HOH CDC Midge Adult 22-24, CDC Transitional Midge 22, Bill's Midge Emerger 20-22

NYMPHS: Chocolate Thunder 20-22, Split Case BWO 20-22, Epoxyback Baetis 20-22, Tungsten Hoover Baetis 20-22, Bat Wing Emerger BWO 20, Bling Midge 20-22, Flashdance Midge 20-22, TC Candy Cane Midge 22

STREAMERS: Zuddler Conehead Olive 8, Lightning Bugger Black 4-8, Slumpbuster Natural 6-8

HINTS: Sneak around on the upper river- hunt your fish and move to cover the most water you can.

MIDDLE RIVER FRYINGPAN

WATER CONDITIONS: Clear, cold and perfect.

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges, BWO nymphs, emergers and adults, caddis, cranefly larva, sculpins, Juvenile Green Drake and PMD Nymphs, some golden stones here and there in the riffles and faster water.

OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10

THE LOW DOWN: The middle section has very light pressure as of late. Hatches have been a bit more consistent up by the dam, but this is already changing with the warm up we are finally experiencing. We are seeing more caddis and bigger BWOs compared to the upper section.

HATCHES: Midges (mid-day) sz 20-26, BWOs 18-22, Caddis 14-20

APPROPRIATE PATTERNS:

DRIES: Ethawing Caddis 16-18, Pearl and Elk Caddis 16-18, Royal Stimulator 14-18, Befus Para Emerger BWO 18-20, CDC Wing BWO 18-22, Parachute Adams 16-20, Bill's Midge Adult 20-22, Brooks Sprout Midge 18-20

NYMPHS: San Juan Worm 10, Spanflex Stone 8-10, Guide's Choice Hares Ear 16-18, Tung Teaser 14-18, Flashwing Black (or gray) RS2 20-22, Electric Caddis 16-18, Zebra Midge Red 18-20, Black Beauty 20-22

STREAMERS: Skully Bugger Rust/White 4, Bonefish Deep Minnow 6-8, Bread n Butter Bugger 6-8

HINTS: This section is often overlooked by those bee-lining it to the upper river, you just might find better hatches in the middle section!

LOWER FRYINGPAN:

WATER CONDITIONS: Some slight discoloration, plenty of visibility

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges, Caddis, BWOs, Golden Stones, Craneflies, Sculpins, Green Drake and PMD nymphs

OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10

THE SHORT AND SWEET: As most of you already know, the lower river resembles a freestone compared to the classic mayfly water up above. Don't be afraid to fish hoppers, droppers, Czech Nymphs -whatever your confidence patterns and fishing styles might be, bring them to the table.

HATCHES: Midges, Caddis, BWOs

APPROPRIATE PATTERNS:

DRIES: Baby Boy Hopper 10-12, Yellow Humpy 14-18, Flag Adams 14-18, Elk Hair Caddis 14-18, Goddard Caddis 16-18, Chubby Chernobyl 10-12, Sparkledun BWO 18-20

NYMPHS: San Juan Worm 10, Cat Poop Stone 8-10, Buckskin Caddis 14-18, Diamond Caddis 14-18, Ultra Bling RS2 Gray 18-20, Twenty Incher 14-16

STREAMERS: Slumpbuster Black 6-8, Wooly Bugger Olive 4-8, Autumn Splendor 4-8

HINTS: Everything hatches first on the lower, due to elevation and warmth. Caddis are strong on hot and bright days, and don't forget this section is loaded with Golden Stones!

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Link to the USGS Real Time Flow Chart for the Frying Pan River

Seven-day forecast 

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

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