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Fryingpan River Report
October 20, 2014
FLOW: 99 cfs
WATER CLARITY: Clear with ideal flows.
OVERALL RATING: 9 out of 10 October is a longstanding favorite month of ours. It's all about summer fishing and hatches with fall crowds (or lack thereof).
THE SHORT AND SWEET: Hatches are consisting of PMDs, BWOs, caddis and midges, with a few green drakes still in the mix.
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Green Drakes, PMDs, BWOs, Midges, Caddis, Mysis Shrimp
IN DEPTH REVIEW: The Fryingpan has seen a drop in flows over the past week to 99 CFS, which has improved the dry fly fishing quite a bit. Green drakes and Flavs are starting to sputter out, although our guide staff is still experiencing a light hatch here and there. It's all luck of the draw for the drake hatch right now, it pays to move around and try to find them. The drakes have been starting up later and later these days, often between 2pm and 3pm, in the upper mile or two below the dam. As always, if you get into a good green drake hatch, flip and flop that fly on the surface to reassure the fish. An emerger tied just six in inches or so below a dry can be quite effective.
Heavier insect hatches these days consist of caddis, PMDs and BWOs. PMDs get second billing behind the drakes, but these little 16 and 18 mayflies honestly hatch more consistently and for a longer period of time, and we should keep enjoying healthy PMD hatches for the next week or two. Duns vary in size and color, we have been doing best with pink 16's and yellow 18's mid-day, with the subsequent rusty spinner fall being most productive in the evenings after sunny days versus dark and rainy ones.
The most productive hatch as of late has been our little harbingers of spring and fall, blue wing olives. Dark and cloudy days are producing fair to heavy hatches. Duns are sizes 20 and 22, nymphs are skinny and gray to dark. Some would argue we see BWOs all year, and this isn't far off.
Caddis are really making an appearance this year on the Fryingpan. Most are a delicate near-white color, ranging in size from 16 to 18. Some people are having success fishing these dries mid-day, but they really shine in the late afternoons. Just like all caddis fishing, you've got to skate and bump those bugs to tease up those trout.
Fish are pairing up already and clearing beds, so be sure to give those fish trying to naturally produce a wide berth. As always, bring a few mysis patterns and tiny midges if you plan to fish the upper half mile, and the streamer bite is getting better and better. Be sure you have Tim Heng's Autumn Splendor to throw around for some of those larger, more aggresive fish.
DRIES: BDE Green Drake, Stott's KGB Drake, H&L Variant, Umpqua Green Drake, Flag Dun PMD, Melon Quill, Foam Emerger BWO, Perfect Baetis, CDC Comparadun BWO, TC Sparkledun BWO, Pearl and Elk Caddis 16-18, Putterbaugh Foam Caddis 16-18, CDC Rusty Spinner 18, TC Bill's Midge Emerger, Skittering Zelon Midges, Morgan's Para. Midge, CDC Spent Midge, and Griffiths Gnats
NYMPHS: 20 Incher, Poxyback Drake Nymph, Gilled Drake Nymph, TC Black Poxyback Baetis, Chocolate Thunder, Jujubaetis, PTs, BTS Baetis, Stott's Mellow Yellow PMD Nymph, Juju PMD, Split Case PMD, 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, Flashtail Egg 16-18
STREAMERS: TC Autumn Splendors, TC Stingin' Sculpins, Slumpies
HINTS: Pay attention and read the rise form to catch numbers of fish near or on the surface.
MIDDLE RIVER FRYINGPAN
WATER CONDITIONS: Clear
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Serratellas, PMDs, Midges, BWOs, Caddis, October Caddis
OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10
THE SHORT AND SWEET: The middle section of the Fryingpan generally sees far, far less pressure than the upper miles, and this can play to your advantage. The middle river also offers plenty of places to duck out of the ever-present wind.
IN DEPTH REVIEW: Some people skip this section of river in their quest to go hog-hunting in the upper mile, but truth be told, we catch the majority of our big fish and heavier hatches are found in the middle river. Some of the top spots to hit are Seven Castles, Big Hat, and the ever-popular Eagle Pool and Rosie's. Stop by the shop with your map and we can show you these spots along with a few more. This section holds the infamous seratella, a flightless, small mayfly that has been baffling most anglers here for years. When you're getting your ass kicked and seeing fish profusely rising everywhere, but can buy a strike, you've found the serratella hatch. This week we are seeing green drakes, BWOs and PMDs in decent numbers, with a few caddis and craneflies as well. Hatches are typically similar to the upper river, meaning midges early and late with mayflies and sporadic caddis hatching mid-day. Caddis need to be fished skated, bumped, picked up and laid back down to reassure the fish and get them interested in your offering.
DRIES: TC Serratella 20, Foam Emerger BWO (Serratella) 20, Yellow Stimi 16, Yellow Humpy 16-18, X2 Caddis 16-18, Orange Stimi 8-12
NYMPHS: Z-Wing Caddis 16-18, Electric Caddis 16-18
STREAMERS: Same as upper river
HINTS: If you want to fish through the toughest hatch on the planet, we invite you to fish our serratella hatch! Stop by and ask us about this incredible hatch.
WATER CONDITIONS: Back in action and fishing well with perfect water quality, assuming it's not raining.
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: PMDs 16-18, Baetis 20-24, Caddis 16-18, Midges 20-24, Serratellas 18-20
OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10.
THE SHORT AND SWEET: Are you the angler that doesn't want to see anyone (or at least just a few others) all day? This is your section. Hatches get rolling down on the lower river before the upper due to warmer temperatures, and we areseeing good numbers of caddis, PMDs and baetis.
IN DEPTH REVIEW: The fish in the upper miles do trend towards being larger, but they also tend to be much, much more selective. The fish closer to town face far less angler pressure and tend to be opportunistic feeders, meaning you can get away with larger tippet and larger flies, in general. The baetis and PMD hatch has been rock-solid with increasing numbers of caddis.
As mentioned above, the lower Fryingpan will always offer up the first hatches of the year because of its lower elevation and warmer temperatures.
The lower river isn't as "easy" as the upper when it comes to access, so be prepared to billy-goat around here and there on steep hills, big boulders, and so on. (This is another reason for light angling pressure) A wading staff can save your day and keep you from going ass-over-tea kettle getting down to the water. The lower river has it all; riffles, deep pools, long runs and plenty of plunge pools and pocket water. Dry-dropper rigs are ideal when conditions are favorable, as well as various Czech nymphing and Tenkara setups.
Don't be fooled by thinking all of these fish are on the small side, as there are plenty of fish over five pounds to be found down low. You just might catch your biggest Fryingpan fish ever in this water, and they usually catch you with your pants down and daydreaming when they smash your fly. Be ready for anything and everything.
DRIES: TC Sparkledun Baetis, Perfect Baetis, Ripcord Caddis, Renegade, EC Caddis, PMD Sparkledun, PMD No Hackle, CDC PMD Sparkledun, Charlie Boy Hopper 12, Fat Albert 12
NYMPHS: Cat Poop Stone, Spanflex Stone, Twenty Incher, Tungsten Prince Nymph, RS2s, STDs, Barr's Graphic Caddis, Barr's Cased Caddis, Soft Hackle Hare's Ear
STREAMERS: Sands' Stingin' Sculpin, Slumpbuster, Sculpzilla, Crystal Wooly Bugger
HINTS: Cover a lot of water, some spots will be barren and others loaded up with willing fish.
Link to the USGS Real Time Flow Chart for the Frying Pan River