Fryingpan River Report 3-24-19
Posted on 24 March 2019
March 24, 2019
UPPER FRYINGPAN (Mile Marker 8 to Ruedi Reservoir)
FLOW: 50 cfs
WATER CLARITY: Clean, clear, cold
OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges, BWO nymphs, winter stones, mysis shrimp
THE LOW-DOWN : People are throwing the word "historic" around in regards to our snowpack, we are excited to see so much moisture and deep snow. Currently snowpack is around 200% on the upper Fryingpan! Things are certainly looking up around here for next summer, considering the drought battles we have faced in recent years. Skiers and snowboarders are enjoying one of the best winters in recent memory! With the recent warm up, the river above Mile 2 is pretty much wide open.
With the snowy weather we've been experiencing, it's all midges at this point. Thick midge hatches can be found especially between 11 am and 3 pm, give or take. You'll see some plump size 18s down to a tiny size 26. BWOs are still a ways out, but fish are looking at various baetis patterns already.
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 later this spring, they never plow back in there and the tow is quite expensive.
HATCHES: Midges 20-26, winter stones 16-18, mysis shrimp 16-20
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 FRYINGPAN (Mile Markers 4 to 8)
WATER CONDITIONS: Icy on the edges here and there, but vastly improved since a few weeks ago.
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges, winter stones, BWO nymphs
OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10
THE LOW DOWN: As with the lower Fryingpan, there is significant ice build up until you reach mile marker 2 or so. Better conditions and pretty reliable hatches will be found a few more miles up the river.
We experienced frigid temperatures here until last week, and with the addition of low winter flows, ice build up was more than normal. A week of warm overnight temps dramatically improved the middle and lower river conditions. The middle river receives less sunlight than the lower and upper reaches of the Fryingpan, so once things open up a bit, this is a great place to fish to less pressured and less paranoid trout.
Shady water can save your day on the Pan, and the middle river has plenty of sections that receive no sunlight during the winter months. With a warm-up, things will improve on the middle river.
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: Significant ice build-up until Mile 4
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWO nymphs, winter stones, midges.
OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10
THE LOWDOWN: Frigid temperatures are now in the rearview, the lower river is now good to go. You just might find a strong midge hatch down close to Basalt, don't overlook the opportunities out there.
HATCHES: Midges 20-26
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: Skip the lower 2 miles of river, you will notice significantly less ice build up once you reach the middle and upper river.
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