Fryingpan River Report 7-20-18

Posted on 20 July 2018


July 20, 2018

UPPER FRYINGPAN (Mile Marker 8 to Ruedi Reservoir)

FLOW: 113 cfs

WATER CLARITY: Clean, clear and ever-cold.

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10 

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWOs, sporadic green drakes, PMDs, midges, mysis shrimp

THE LOW-DOWN : All roads into town are wide open, including Fryingpan Road.  Rivers have nor been affected by the fire a few weeks ago in any way.  Flows will drop over the next few days down to 100 CFS.

Pale morning duns have taken over on the Pan this week, and our guides are starting to see a few of the big green bugs, too.  You'll see some small baetis and caddis here and there, as well as little yellow craneflies and midges, of course.  Green drakes are always more effectively fished over rough and fast water versus the areas where the fish have all day to inspect your offering.

As you'll read on the lower river report, we didn't have a "spring flush" on the Fryingpan, which has offered up some different hatches this year.  We've seen plenty of golden stones on the lower, for example.  The moral of the story is don't leave any fly boxes in the car, you may see anything and everything hatch on your day on the water.

 When it comes to dry fly hatches, this is when our presentation fishery also becomes a match-the-hatch fishery.  Pay attention to the naturals, and you will notice waves of different bugs and in turn the fish switching to what they see the most of.  Maddening.

Keep in mind there is a fire ban in place here if you are camping!

HATCHES: BWOs, PMDs, sporadic green drakes, sporadic caddis, midges, mysis shrimp 


DRIES:  Sparkledun Drake 12-14, Old School Drake 10, CDC  Comparadun BWO 20-22, Sparkledun BWO 20-22, Roy Palm’s Special Fryingpan Emerger 22, Befus Para Emerger 18-22, Sparkledun PMD 16-18, Flag Dun PMD Emerger 16-18, Challenged PMD 16-18, Biot Wing Midge 20,22, HOH CDC Midge Adult 22-24, CDC Transitional Midge 22, Bill’s Midge Emerger 20-22

NYMPHS:  Split Case BWO 20-22, Epoxyback Baetis 20-22, Tungsten Hoover Baetis 20-22, Bat Wing Emerger BWO 20, Halfback PMD Emerger 16-18, Pandemic PMD 16-18, 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:  Slumbuster 6-8, The One Sculpin 4-6, Tim's Autumn Splendor 4-6

HINTS:  Right now the hatches are stronger in Folkstead Spring and Old Faithful than right under the dam!

MIDDLE RIVER FRYINGPAN (Mile Markers 4 to 8)

WATER CONDITIONS: Low and Clear and the road is open.

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWO nymphs and adults, caddis, midges, golden stonefly adults and nymphs, cranefly larva, PMD adults, nymphs, green drake adults and nymphs, sculpins

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10

THE LOW DOWN: Many locals prefer the water types and lack of crowds in the middle section of the Fryingpan.  As of this week, we would say the insect hatches are a bit more diverse in the middle and lower as well.

Like we told you in the Upper Fryingpan section above, the lack of a spring flush has presented slightly different hatches this year than we are used to seeing.  Watch out for PMDs as your main hatch, but be ready for anything!

HATCHES: Green Drakes 10-12, BWOs 18-20, PMDs 16-18, Midges 20-26, Caddis 14-20


DRIES: H and L Variant 12, Deer Hair Drake 10, Parachute Adams 10-24, Perfect Baetis 20-22, Hackle Stacker PMD 16-18, AK's Melon Quill 16-18, Ethawing Caddis 14-16, Lawsons EZ Caddis 14-16, Skittering Zelon Midge 20-22, Bill’s Midge Adult 20-22, Brooks Sprout Midge 18-20

NYMPHS: Flashwing Black (or gray) RS2 20-22, RIP PMD 18, Tung Split Case PMD 16-18, Cat Poop Stone 10, Red or Lime Copper John 16-18, Zebra Midge Red 18-20, Black Beauty 20-22, Top Secret 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: Clean and beautiful unless Seven Castles Creek is adding color at Mile 4.  

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: BWO nymphs and adults, caddis larva, pupa and adults, golden stonefly nymphs and adults, green drake adults and nymphs, PMD nymphs and adults, cranefly larva, sculpins, midges, hoppers, ants

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10

THE LOWDOWN: As we've preached for a long time, the lower river sees the earliest hatches. PMDs, golden stones, green drakes and caddis are being seen in decent numbers, and the river is loaded with morsels like huge free-crawling caddis larva and mayfly nymphs too.

We are already fishing hopper-dropper on the lower river with plenty of success, which is a bit more fun than drifting micro midges up top with all of the other anglers up top!

HATCHES: Green Drakes, BWOs, PMDs, Golden Stoneflies, caddis, midges


DRIES:  Flag Adams 10-18, BDE Green Drake 10-12, Egg Laying Golden Stone 8, J Slam Golden Stone 6-8, Morgans Midge 18-22, Perfect Baetis 20-22, Collett's BWO 20-22, Pearl and Elk Caddis 14-18, Goddard Caddis 14-16, Tenkara PMD Adult 16-18, Hackle Dun PMD 16-18, Hatching Midge 20-22, Sprout Midge 22-24, Craven's Charlie Boy Hopper 6-10, Chubby Chernobyl 8-12

NYMPHS:  Spanflex Stone 4-8, San Juan Worm 10, Twenty Incher 14-16, Red or Lime Copper John 14-18, Jerome Baetis 20-22, PMD Barr Emerger 16-18, Hunchback Two-Tone PMD 16, 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, and the hatches are more diverse!

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