FRYINGPAN RIVER FISHING REPORT

The Fryingpan changes characteristics so drastically through it’s 14-mile course to the Roaring Fork, it must be broken down into three distinct sections.

 

THE TAILWATER

RATING:9/10

CURRENT REPORT 

The upper Fryingpan is fishing very well.  There are still some Green Drake hatches in the mid-afternoon but they are starting to soften.  Midges, Baetis, caddis and Pale Morning Duns are still the go-to patterns on the upper Fryinpan and smaller flies will start dominating as we get into the colder months.  The water immediately below the dam is fishing well with tiny midges and mysis shrimp.

This is also a great time for streamer fishing on the upper pan.  Autumn Splendors, clousers, buggers, etc. can provoke massive strikes.  Please be sensitive to others when streamer fishing in this tailwater!

DESCRIPTION

The tailwater below the dam is what gave the Fryingpan river it’s fame.  While it’s been cyclical over the years, it offers the opportunity to catch 10+ lb. fish in a few of it’s famous holes.  The brown trout population has skyrocketed in the last few years and 14-16” browns are hard to keep off your line.

Since the trout on the upper Fryingpan River see so much pressure, a delicate presentation and a drag free drift are a must.  One big exception to this rule is the when fishing the caddis fly—-as with almost anywhere—skate these flies on the surface or fish them with a swing.  While I rarely use 6x tippet, there are times on this river when you have to even go smaller and fish downstream to the fish (so they are presented with your fly first, not your fly line or leader…).

Sight fishing, or “head hunting” as the locals call it, is the only way to consistently hook the large fish below the dam.  Since there is so much food in this river  (especially in the tailwater section below the dam) you often have to time the interval in which the fish are feeding and cast accordingly.  And since there are 14 miles of river below a bottom release dam, each few miles of river fishes like a different river and requires various techniques.  If you are not having success in one spot, move up or down the river until you find feeding fish!   The pressure however is greater the close you get to the dam; hence, the fish are better educated and much more selective.

PATTERNS

DRIES: Flag Dun PMD 16-18, Melon Quill 16-18, Foam Emerger BWO 20-22, Perfect Baetis 20-22, CDC Comparadun BWO 20-22, TC Sparkledun BWO 20-22, TC Bill’s Midge Emerger, Skittering Zelon Midges, Morgan’s Para. Midge, CDC Spent Midge, and Griffiths Gnats

NYMPHS: TC Black Poxyback Baetis, Chocolate Thunder, Jujubaetis, PTs, BTS Baetis, Stott’s Mellow Yellow PMD Nymph 16-18, Juju PMD 16-18, Split Case PMD 16-18, TC Red Midge Larva, Disco Midge, TC Stott’s Night Rider Midge, RS2s, Flashdance Midges, Biot Midge, Rojo’s, Black Beauty Emerger, TC Tim’s Mysis, TC Sands’ Epoxy Mysis 



STREAMERS: TC Autumn Splendors, TC Stingin’ Sculpins, Slumpies

THE MIDDLE SECTION

RATING:7/10

CURRENT REPORT

Bring all of your bugs to the Middle Pan as this time of the year sees a wide variety of insects.  BWO’s (Serratella’s), PMD’s, Drakes, Caddis, craneflies and Midges are keeping the fish in the middle Fryinpan well fed right now!  Fish midges early and late in the day, and try matching the hatch the rest of the time.

DESCRIPTION

The middle section of the Fryingpan sees far, far less pressure than the upper tailwater section; hence the fish are far less selective.  The water temperature drops since it is a bit lower in elevation and because of this, insect hatches are present earlier and later in the year.

PATTERNS

DRIES: Melon Quill 16-18,  PMD 16-18, Foam Emerger BWO 20-22, Perfect Baetis 20-22, CDC Comparadun BWO 20-22, TC Sparkledun BWO 20-22, TC Bill’s Midge Emerger, Skittering Zelon Midges, Morgan’s Para. Midge, CDC Spent Midge, and Griffiths Gnats, Adult Cranefly #14

NYMPHS: Black Poxyback Baetis, Chocolate Thunder, Jujubaetis, PTs, BTS Baetis, Stott’s Mellow Yellow PMD Nymph 16-18, Juju PMD 16-18, Split Case PMD 16-18, TC Red Midge Larva, Disco Midge, TC Stott’s Night Rider Midge, RS2s, Flashdance Midges, Biot Midge, Rojo’s, Black Beauty Emerger

STREAMERS: TC Autumn Splendors, TC Stingin’ Sculpins, Slumpies

THE LOWER SECTION

RATING: 8/10

CURRENT REPORT

This is place to be if you are seeking solitude and some opportunistic fish!  PMD’s, Caddis and BWO’s are hatching in the middle of the day and offer good dry fly options in the slower water.   I really enjoy stripping streamers in these lower stretches this time of the year as the fish are very territorial.  Much of your success will depend on your ability to really work the pocket water and other structure in this section. 

DESCRIPTION

While access is trickier in the lower section of the Fryingpan, the fish are much, much easier to fool.  And since the river runs through a tighter canyon here, boulder hopping and scrambling among the rocks and cliffs will pay huge dividends.  With so little pressure, you can get away with fishing larger flies and heavier tippet to more opportunistic fish.  Though typically on the smaller side, there are plenty of large fish lurking in the hard to reach holes and pockets in this stretch.

Water temps in the lower Fryingpan are much, much warmer than in the upper stretches.  Since the bugs move upstream as water temperatures warm, the insect hatches start weeks earlier than the river’s uppermost portions.

PATTERNS

DRIES: Hi floating Caddis patterns #14-16, Crystal Stimulator, Missing Link Drake, CDC Para Drake, Lucent Wing Drake, Film Critic, Para Extended PMD, Para Wulff PMD, Sprout PMD
.

NYMPHS:  Electric, buckskin or peking caddis #16, Flashback beadhead pheasant tails #16-18, Black Beauty Emerger #18-20, Poxy Back Drake, Hare’s Ear, Prince Nymph #12-14.

STREAMERS: Black or White Chain Reaction, Autumn Splendor. Zuddlers.