Fryingpan River Report 5-18-17

Posted on 18 May 2017

Fryingpan River Report

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May 18, 2017

FLOW: 255 cfs

WATER CLARITY: Slow and Low, clear

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10 The temps have been warm, with a cool down forecasted for later this week.

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWO dries, emergers and nymphs, Midges, Mysis Shrimp, Cranefly larva (big and little)

THE LOW-DOWN : The upper Fryingpan has seen a surge of good BWO hatches in the last week as we have been warming up slowly but steadily. Keep in mind that the flats below the dam is essentially one big spawning bed, so exercise caution around these fish and habitat. The fishing near the dam has been better with cloud cover versus bright days, but you can say that about almost any river in the west.

Cold nights have been having less effect on the hatches up here compared to the other rivers here in the Valley, mostly because of the steady flow and more importantly the temperature of the water, which is 38-40 degrees every day of the year. In a nutshell, air temps play less of a roll as they do on the Fork, Crystal and Colorado.

The best tech for fishing the tailwater is to treat it like you would in winter- light tippet, small and "quiet" patterns, downstream dry fly drifts, and entering the water only to land and release the fish.

HATCHES: Midges, Winter Stones, BWOs


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, Tungsten Winter Stone 18-20, mposter 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.


WATER CONDITIONS: Clear, cold and perfect.

Midges, BWO nymphs, winter stones, cranefly larva, sculpins, some golden stones here and there in the riffles and faster water.

OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10

THE LOW DOWN: 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 are dominated by mostly locals and weekend warriors. Overcast, dank days generally offer-up the best fishing.

Like any river, keep moving to find willing fish. Sometimes there's nothing going on in one spot and a full-blown hatch happening around the next bend.

HATCHES: Midges (mid-day) sz 20-26, BWOs 18-22


DRIES: Same as the upper river

NYMPHS: Same as the upper river, but add in cranefly larva and golden stone nymphs in the rougher water.

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, Caddis, BWOs, Golden Stones

OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10

THE SHORT AND SWEET: This section is improving daily. With the lower elevations come early hatches- we are seeing good numbers of BWOs and caddis in the lower section. Hint- this section of river is full of golden stonefly nymphs!

HATCHES: Midges, Caddis, BWOs


DRIES: Same as above -

NYMPHS: Same as above - add in: Prince 16-20, Tung PT 18-20, BLMs 18-20, Red Zebra Midge 20, Wired Golden Stone 6-10

STREAMERS: Weir's Sculpin 4, Zuddlers 4, Bread n Butter Buggers 6, Autumn Splendor 6

HINTS: This is tough water in the winter, it's best to head up river.

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



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