Colorado Fly fishing

Fryingpan River Report

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July 22, 2016

FLOW: 249 cfs - Low and clear and now stable. The Pan very well might be yielding some of the best tailwater fishing in the entire state due to its low flows and quality hatches.

WATER CLARITY: Clear with ideal water levels suitable for both nymph and dry fly fishers.

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10. Crowds have lessened due to the Roaring Fork dropping and clearing and seeing good green drake hatches.

THE SHORT AND SWEET: Summer conditions are abounding! Plenty of rising fish, good hatches and low water.

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: PMDs, Baetis, Caddis, Green Drake nymphs, Midges, Mysis Shrimp, Sculpins,

IN DEPTH REVIEW: Welcome back to summer! PMDs are back on the scene BIG time! Both yellow and Fryingpan pink PMDs have been seen in good numbers midday from 11am-4pm. In addition to PMDs, fairly strong numbers of BWOs are also present. The mysis shrimp fishing has tapered back off with the low flows but they will still be of importance immediately below the dam. Midges are key in the morning hours too prior to the mayfly hatches coming off. Don't overlook the evening hours. This is when the angling crowds have gone home for dinner just as the trout begin theirs. The rusty spinner fall has been very reliable this past week. The biggest key here is to fish the soft (if not flat) sections of river. This could change dependent on the weather this week. Rain typically shuts down or lessens the fall.


DRIES: Sparkledun PMD 16-18, Melon Quill 16-18, PMD/Royal Wulff Cripple 16, TC Fryingpan Emerger 20-22, TC Para Quill BWO 20-22, No Hackle BWO 20-22, CDC Transitional Midge 20-22, Bills Midge Emerger 20-22, CDC Rusty Spinner 16-18, Polywing Rusty Spinner 16-18

NYMPHS: Splitcase PMD 16-18, Pandemic PMD 18, Halfback PMD 16-18, PTs 16-22, BTS Baetis 20-22, Tung Hoover Baetis 20-22, Chocolate Thunder 20-22, RS2's 20-22, Biot Midge Emerger 20-22, Wills Epoxy Mysis 18, Tims Mysis 18

STREAMERS: Slumpies, Clousers, Sliders, TC Autumn Splendors, Sculpzilla

HINTS: Stay out of the river altogether when possible to increase your stealth factor.



PMDs, Baetis, Caddis, Midges

OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10 due to less crowds and higher numbers of PMDs.

THE SHORT AND SWEET: Same conditions as stated above. Nymph fishers can often times get away with 5X and 6X tippets down here. Dry fly anglers should still be using the requisite 6X and 7X. Slightly lighter pressure compared to the upper river.

IN DEPTH REVIEW: Same as above. Don't get sucked into the line of thinking that all the fish live right below the dam. For most of us, this is the sweet-spot along the river; great fishing and hatches coupled with less pressure. Like the upper river, hatches are consisting of mostly PMDs, small caddis and BWOs, all of which are hatching midday. The Rusty Spinner fall has been improving nightly. Big Hat, Eagle Pool, Folkstad and Rosie's are all great options in terms of access. And oh yeah, GREEN DRAKES are being seen here in the past week!


DRIES: Same as the upper river - add in: Drake Sparkleduns 12, CO Green Drake 12, KGB Drake 12, Drake Cripples 12

NYMPHS: Same as the upper river - add in: Cat Poops 8-10, 20 Inchers 14-16, Electric Caddis Olive 16, Prince 18-20, Red Copper John 16-18

STREAMERS: Same as upper river

HINTS: Carrying a dry fly drying towel and use Frog's Fanny floatant for the best success when dry fly fishing.


WATER CONDITIONS: Same as above, low and clear.


OVERALL RATING: 8.5 out of 10 - It's not very often that the lower river is seeing the heaviest hatches. Go explore!

THE SHORT AND SWEET: If solitude outweighs high fish counts for you - this is your spot! Just save a little bit of elbow room for us locals!

IN DEPTH REVIEW: All you really need to know is that this is the current GREEN DRAKE zone on the Fryingpan! Same bugs and hatch times as the middle river. In fact, some of the best dry fly fishing on the entire river is being seen in this stretch (Town, Red Cliff, Seven Castles) right now. If you're like us and enjoy fishing dries on flat water slicks to notoriously picky fish, you'll be right at home here. If that's not in your bag, the dry/dropper fishing in the pockets has been awfully good.


DRIES: Same as above - add in: Green Drake Sparkleduns, Drake Cripples and other drake imitations

NYMPHS: Same as above - add in: Cat Turds 8-10, 20 Inchers 14-16, Electric Caddis 16, Buckskins 16-18, Z-Wing Caddis 16-18, Copper John 16-20, Prince 16-20, 20 Inchers 12-14, Winged Drake Emerger 12, Dandelion Drake Emerger 12

STREAMERS: Slumpies, Spendors, Clousers, Sculpzillas

HINTS: Fish down here!!! The results will more than likely surprise you.... A LOT!

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



Taylor Creek Flyshop | 183 Basalt Center Cir. | Basalt, CO 81621 | | 970-927-4374|