Fryingpan River Report
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January 16, 2016
FLOW: 83 cfs
WATER CLARITY: Clear, cold and perfect.
OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWOs, Midges, Mysis Shrimp
THE LOW-DOWN : Low and clear flows with the usual winter hatches and techniques. As always, please be aware of spawning areas (especially in the flats) and give them a wide berth. Your best shots at dry flies are going to be midday, especially if you get lucky and have warm and cloudy weather. Most pull-offs are NOT plowed out, although the road in the Rocky Fork Day Use Area IS plowed out, as of today. The moral of the story is do yourself a favor and don't get stuck!
Stealth is paramount through the winter, which means light tippets, small bugs, downstream dry fly casts and entering the water as a last resort (until it's time to net the fish.) Hands down the best piece of advice we can give you is to hunt your fish (sight cast) versus fishing the water. The best Fryingpan fly fishers cast rarely, but really make those presentations count.
Bugs of note are midges and small winter stones, plus you always need a few eggs, mysis shrimp and baetis nymphs through the winter. Bring the 6 and 7x!
HATCHES: Midges, Winter Stones
DRIES: Bills Midge Emerger 20-22, Bills Adult Midge 22-24, HOH Spent Midge 22, HOH CDC Midge Adult 24
NYMPHS: Pheasant Tail 18-24, Poxybiot Baetis 22, Tung Hoover Baetis 20-22, Tung Split Case BWO 20-22, Biot Baetis 20-22, Barr Emerger BWO 20-22, Freestone Emerger 22, Midge Biot Emerger 20-22, RS2s 20-22, Foam Wing RS2 20-22, Tailwater Assassin Black 20-22, Imposter Olive 20-22, Will's Epoxy Mysis 16-20, Tim's TC Mysis 16-18
STREAMERS: Slumpies, Clousers, Sliders, TC Autumn Splendors, Sculpzilla
HINTS: If you listen closely, the fish will always tell you what you need to be doing.
MIDDLE RIVER FRYINGPAN
WATER CONDITIONS: Clear, cold and perfect.
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges
OVERALL RATING: 5 out of 10
THE LOW DOWN: It's starting to ice up a bit down low, especially in the shaded sections. Same conditions as the upper river with slighly sparser hatches (including the two-legged hatch). This section does yield a bit more shade - take note streamer and dry fly junkies. The crowds are slowly dwindling and by January the river will dominated by mostly locals and weekend warriors. Overcast, dank days generally offer-up the best fishing.
HATCHES: Midges (7am-11am, 4pm-6pm) sz 20-26
DRIES: Same as the upper river
NYMPHS: Same as the upper river
STREAMERS: Same as upper river
HINTS: Hatch chasers and streamer junkies will want to cover water - which you can do now that the crowds have lessened.
WATER CONDITIONS: Low and clear.
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges
OVERALL RATING: 3 out of 10
THE SHORT AND SWEET: If solitude is what you desire, this is your section of water to fish. The nymph fishing has been really good and as an added benefit, brown trout are beginning to move into the Lower Pan from the Roaring Fork as their spawning urges grow. Unlike the river above, beadheads fish fine down here. Midday hatches have the fish looking up, particularly in pocket water. High, bright sun will make the nymph or dry/dropper fishing more successful than fishing dry.
DRIES: Same as above -
NYMPHS: Same as above - add in: Copper John Red 16-20, Prince 16-20, Tung PT 18-20, BLMs 18-20, Red Zebra Midge 20
STREAMERS: Weir's Sculpin 4, Zuddlers 4, Bread n Butter Buggers 6, Autumn Splendor 6
HINTS: This is hands-down the best section of water to streamer fish on the Fryingpan right now.
Link to the USGS Real Time Flow Chart for the Frying Pan River