Fryingpan River Report 7-11-17

Posted on 11 July 2017

July 11, 2017

FLOW: 138 cfs

WATER CLARITY: Low and clear! Flow has been dropped, take advantage of these perfect flows! 

OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10 if it is hot and bright, 8 out of 10 if you get lucky with cloud cover. Great opportunities for sight fishing!

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: PMD dries, emergers and nymphs, BWO dries, emergers and nymphs, midges, mysis shrimp, cranefly larva (big and little) green drake nymphs, small caddis. A few green drakes have been spotted here and there.

THE LOW-DOWN : The upper Fryingpan has returned to pre-runoff conditions with low and clear flows.  

With the ultra-hot and bright days of the past few weeks, fishing has been a bit tough.  Clouds and rain are in the forecast this week, so this will improve!

Cloudy afternoons have been yielding the best mayfly hatches and the hot and bright days seem to encourage more caddis to hatch.  Most dry fly activity has been witnessed from 11am to 4 pm, but we hear reports of a PMD spinner fall in the evenings. 

As most of you know, enter the water sparingly, use flouro tippet, move around, sight fish, and present your dries in a downstream fashion.

HATCHES: Green drakes, PMDs, BWOs, midges, craneflies and caddis


DRIES:  BDE Green Drake 10, AK's Old School Drake 12-14, Sparkledun Pink PMD 16-18, Melon Quill 16-18, CDC Comparadun BWO 20-22, Hackle Dun Baetis 20-22, Roy Palm’s Special Fryingpan Emerger 22, Colletts Para BWO 20-22, HOH CDC Thorax BWO 20-22, Befus Para Emerger 18-22, Pearl and Elk Caddis 18, Ethawing Caddis 18, Biot Wing Midge 20,22, HOH CDC Midge Adult 22-24, CDC Transitional Midge 22, Bill’s Midge Emerger 20-22

NYMPHS:  Split Case PMD 16-18, Juju PMD Nymph 16-18, Chocolate Thunder 20-22, Split Case BWO 20-22, Epoxyback Baetis 20-22, Tungsten Hoover Baetis 20-22, Bat Wing Emerger BWO 20, Bling Midge 20-22, Flashdance Midge 20-22, TC Candy Cane Midge 22, Tim's Mysis 16-18, Will's Epoxy Mysis 16-20

STREAMERS:  Zuddler Conehead Olive 8, Lightning Bugger Black 4-8, Slumpbuster Natural 6-8

HINTS:  Sneak around on the upper river- hunt your fish and move to cover the most water you can.



FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Green Drakes, PMDs, Midges, BWO nymphs, emergers and adults, caddis,  cranefly larva, sculpins, green drake and PMD nymphs, some golden stones here and there in the riffles and faster water. 

OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10

THE LOW DOWN:  The middle river is seeing more caddis and PMD hatches than up below the dam.  Golden stones are prolific in the more agitated water, and this section also has gobs of green drake nymphs that will start hatching by the last week of July or first week of August.

If crowds bum you out, check out the middle and lower river. You'll be surprised how many beautiful spots are wide open as everyone hustles up to fish below the dam.  There are opportunities abound also for those willing to walk a ways from their vehicle- there are mile-long stretches of public to take advantage of if you are willing to walk. (Same with the upper river) A few green drakes are being spotted now.

HATCHES: Green drakes, Pale Morning Duns (pink to yellow) 14-18, Midges 20-26, BWOs 18-22, Caddis 14-20, Craneflies (usually yellow) 14-18, Golden Stoneflies 8-10


DRIES:  Solitude Drake Adult 10-12, Sparkledun Drake 12-14, Stott's KGB 12, Ethawing Caddis 16-18, Pearl and Elk Caddis 16-18, Royal Stimulator 14-18, Sparkle Flag PMD 16-18, CDC Comparadun PMD 16-18, Befus Para Emerger BWO 18-20, CDC Wing BWO 18-22, Parachute Adams 16-20, Bill’s Midge Adult 20-22, Brooks Sprout Midge 18-20

NYMPHS: Twenty Incher 12-14, Slow Guy PMD Nymph 16-18, San Juan Worm 10, Spanflex Stone 8-10, Guide’s Choice Hares Ear 16-18, Tung Teaser 14-18, Flashwing Black (or gray) RS2 20-22, Electric Caddis 16-18, Zebra Midge Red 18-20, Black Beauty 20-22

STREAMERS:  Skully Bugger Rust/White 4, Bonefish Deep Minnow 6-8, Bread n Butter Bugger 6-8

HINTS: This section is often overlooked by those bee-lining it to the upper river, you just might find better hatches in the middle section! *Rumor has it some green drakes are flapping about now.


WATER CONDITIONS: Low and clear.

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Green Drakes, PMDs, midges, caddis, BWOs, golden stones, craneflies, sculpins, green drake and PMD nymphs

OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10

THE SHORT AND SWEET: If you are looking for a section of the Fryingpan that isn't quite so technical, you will love the lower river closer to Basalt.  All hatches start on the lower river because of warmth and elevation, so be prepared to see better hatches closer to town this month than up below the dam.  Hatches near the dam are more consistent, but you have the chance to see anything from a size 8 golden stoneflies to size 30 midges, and absolutely everything in between.

As most of you already know, the lower river resembles a freestone compared to the classic mayfly water up above.  Don’t be afraid to fish hoppers, droppers, Czech nymphs  -whatever your confidence patterns and fishing styles might be, bring them to the table.

 HATCHES: Green Drakes, Pale Morning Duns, Golden Stones, Midges, Caddis, BWOs, Craneflies


DRIES:  Colorado Green Drake 12, Winged Green Drake 12Sparkledun PMD 14-18, Split Flag PMD 16-18, Baby Boy Hopper 10-12, Yellow Humpy 14-18, Flag Adams 14-18, Elk Hair Caddis 14-18, Goddard Caddis 16-18, Chubby Chernobyl 10-12, Sparkledun BWO 18-20, Morgans Midge 18-22

NYMPHS:  San Juan Worm 10, Cat Poop Stone 8-10, Buckskin Caddis 14-18, Diamond Caddis 14-18, Ultra Bling RS2 Gray 18-20, Twenty Incher 14-16

STREAMERS:  Slumpbuster Black 6-8, Wooly Bugger Olive 4-8, Autumn Splendor 4-8

HINTS:  Everything hatches first on the lower, due to elevation and warmth.  Caddis are strong on hot and bright days, and don’t forget this section is loaded with Golden Stones!

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