Fryingpan River Report 12-18-18
Posted on 18 December 2018
December 18, 2018
UPPER FRYINGPAN (Mile Marker 8 to Ruedi Reservoir)
FLOW: 41 cfs
WATER CLARITY: Clean, clear, cold
OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges, BWO nymphs, mysis shrimp
THE LOW-DOWN : Flows have dropped to 40-ish CFS, and with the snowy weather we've been experiencing, it's all midges and baetis at this point. Thick midge hatches can be found especially between 11 am and 3 pm, give or take. The brown trout spawn is beginning, so please give the redds in the flats and elsewhere a wide berth. Friendly education of those fishing over spawners can go a long way, many anglers that are new to the game may not know any better.
Flows will remain low until January 1st, when there is a planned increase. Mysis shrimp are always a factor in the upper reaches, so be sure to have a few of our Tim Heng's and Will Sands' mysis patterns in your box.
Hunting around the upper river with a small streamer can be a lot of fun, you just might turn the biggest fish in the run with a well-presented streamer. Try adjusting your retrieve until the fish give you some positive feedback, and seek out shady areas versus those with bright sun.
Most of your favorite parking spots are plowed out, but choose your battles out there! There have been a few people getting stuck, so don't get yourself somewhere you can't get out of. We strongly advise NOT crossing Baetis Bridge below the dam until spring, they never plow back in there and the tow is quite expensive.
HATCHES: Midges, mysis shrimp
DRIES: Bill's Midge Emerger 20-22, Skittering Z-Lon Midge 20-22, Biot Wing Midge 20,22, HOH CDC Midge Adult 22-24, CDC Transitional Midge 22, HOH CDC Spent Midge 22-24, Hatching Midge 20-22, Morgan's Para Midge 20-22
NYMPHS: Split Case BWO 20-22, Epoxyback Baetis 20-22, Tungsten Hoover Baetis 20-22, Maggot Midge 20-22, Rojo Midge 20-22, Neon Nightmare 20-22, Lil Foamy 18-20, Bling Midge 20-22, Flashdance Midge 20-22, TC Candy Cane Midge 18-22, Money Midge 20-22, T Midge 20-22, Medallion Midge 20-22, Tim's Mysis 16-18, Will's Epoxy Mysis 16-20
STREAMERS: Slumbuster 6-8, The One Sculpin 4-6, Tim's Autumn Splendor 4-6
HINTS: Hatches are thick in one spot and "not so much" in others, move around until you find 'em!
MIDDLE RIVER FRYINGPAN (Mile Markers 4 to 8)
WATER CONDITIONS: Perfect flow and clear
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges, BWO nymphs
OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10
THE LOW DOWN: Better hatches will be found upstream, but the solitude of the middle river lures plenty of in-the-know anglers. Hatches are primarily midges as we slide in to winter.
There are a multitude of good streamer spots on the middle river, focus on the edges of public and private water. Small and understated streamers are usually best, but don't count anything out until you've tried it.
HATCHES: Midges 20-26
DRIES: Skittering Zelon Midge 20-22, Bill’s Midge Emerger 20-22, Brooks Sprout Midge 20-22, HOH CDC Spent Midge 22-24, HOH CDC Midge Adult 24, Hatching Midge 20-22, Morgan's Para Midge 20-22
NYMPHS: Flashwing Black (or gray) RS2 20-22, Zebra Midge Red 18-20, Black Beauty 20-22, Maggot Midge 20-22, Kingrey's Cap'n Hook 20-22, Medallion Midge 20-22, Bead Wing Midge 20-22, Rojo Midge 20-22
STREAMERS: Skully Bugger Rust/White 4, Bonefish Deep Minnow 6-8, Bread n Butter Bugger 6-8
HINTS: Fish a whole mile of river, you'll fish many different water types and get shots at a lot of fish!
LOWER FRYINGPAN (Basalt to Mile Marker 4)
WATER CONDITIONS: Perfect flows and clear.
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWO nymphs, midges.
OVERALL RATING: 3 out of 10
THE LOWDOWN: Low flows have caused the lower Fryingpan to ice up significantly. Proposed increases in flows after the New Year should help eradicate the ice build-up, and remember there is always less edge ice the higher up the river you go. Hatches are sporadic now, but we feel you can get away with larger flies on the lower river.
HATCHES: BWOs, midges
DRIES: Morgans Midge 18-22, Perfect Baetis 20-22, Collett's BWO 20-22, Hatching Midge 20-22, Sprout Midge 22-24, HOH CDC Spent Midge 22-24, HOH CDC Midge Adult 24
NYMPHS: Red or Lime Copper John 14-18, Jerome Baetis 20-22, RIP Midge 20-22, Medallion Midge 20-22, Ultra Bling RS2 Gray 18-20, Desert Storm Midge 20-22
STREAMERS: Slumpbuster Black 6-8, Wooly Bugger Olive 4-8, Autumn Splendor 4-8
HINTS: A day on the lower river could change your whole attitude about the Fryingpan. It feels like a freestone versus a tailwater.
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