Fryingpan River Report 8-20-23

Posted on 20 August 2023

August 20, 2023

UPPER FRYINGPAN (Mile Marker 8 upstream to Ruedi Reservoir)

FLOW: 281 CFS (We've seen a few ups and downs flow-wise, but staying between 150 and 300 generally)

WATER CLARITY: Clean and cold

OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10! Small bumps in flow can throw things off, but the river is fine the next day, usually.

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Pseudocloeons, Pale Morning Duns, Caddis, Seratella, Craneflies, Mysis shrimp, Midges, Green Drakes, Sculpins

THE LOW-DOWN : We've transitioned from super bright and sunny days to decent monsoonal cloud cover most afternoons now, which has certainly boosted the dry fly hatches on the Fryingpan. If you're not aware, rainy afternoons on the Fryingpan are nothing short of magic!

We're seeing Green Drakes now, and they will increase in numbers as we get deeper into August. Here's a hint- they're now hatching, but are strongest in September and October, and tend to hatch right out of the center line in faster water than we usually pay attention to.

For now, plentiful PMD, Red Quill and Pseudocloeon (tiny summertime mayfly) hatches are happening midday from around 10 am until 4 pm. Like always, the hatches can be thick in one spot and next to nothing in others, so sometimes you have to move around.

If you're struggling and seeing others whacking fish, keep your rigs short and sweet and try some "drab" nymphs like skinny plain pheasant tails and RS2s on flourocarbon 6x tippets. Keep your drifts short and sweet too, the fish will not tolerate seeing your fly line or butt section of your leader. Downstream dry fly presentations are practically a "rule" to stay effective. Be sure to ask about some of our custom Fryingpan patterns you can't get anywhere else.

Fishing on the Pan from 7 until dark can be quite productive, oftentimes we see another midge hatch near dusk under the dam, plus a decent spinner fall between mile markers 8 and 12.

Accessibility is easy, the flows are still quite reasonable, and crowds will be less the further downstream you get from the dam.

Mysis shrimp are a year-round food factor, and don't forget your box full of streamers for low-light periods or any time it's breezy or rainy. 

HATCHES: Pseudocloeons 20-22, Midges 18-26, Caddis 18-20, Pale Morning Duns 14-18, Green Drakes 10-12, Craneflies 10-16, Seratella 20-22


DRIES: Taylor Creek Custom Sparkledun Green Drake 12-14, HOH CDC Green Drake Cripple 12, HOH CDC Thorax Green Drake 12, Moosetail Hairwing Green Drake 12, DJL Green Drake 12, Barr's Vis-a-dun PMD 16-18, Harrop's CDC Thorax Pink Albert 16-18, Harrop's Captive Dun PMD 16-18, Fryingpan PMD Cripple 16-18, Melon Quill PMD 16-18, Perfect Baetis 20-22, TC Sparkledun BWO 20-22, No Hackle BWO 20-22, HOH Hanging Midge Grey/Black sz 20-22, Mole Midge 20-22, Roy Palm's Special Frying Pan Emerger 20-22, Bill's Midge Emerger 20-22, HOH CDC Midge Adult 22-24, HOH CDC Spent Midge 22-24, Hatching Midge 20-22, Morgan's Para Midge 20-22

NYMPHS: Tungsten Split Case PMD 16-18, Jerome PMD Nymph 16-18, BH Swiss Straw PMD Emerger 16-18, Epoxyback PMD Emerger 16-18, CDC RS2 Grey/Black sz 20-22, BMW Foam Top RS2 Grey/ Black 20-22, Killer Mayfly Olive/ Brown 22, Jigged JJ Nymph BWO 18-20, Rojo Midge 20-22, Neon Nightmare 20-22, Bling Midge 20-22, Flashdance Midge 20-22, TC Candy Cane Midge 18-22, Money Midge 20-22, T Midge 20-22, Tim's Mysis 16-18, Will's Epoxy Mysis 16-20

STREAMERS: Cousin It Sculpin sz 6, Baby Gonga Tan/Yellow sz 8, Autumn Splendor sz 8, Carlton Banks White/Olive sz 4

HINTS: Hatches are thick in one spot and "not so much" in others, move around until you find 'em!

MIDDLE FRYINGPAN (Mile Marker 4 upstream to Mile Marker 8)


FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Green Drakes, Pseudocloeons, Midges, Caddis, PMDs, Craneflies, Sculpins

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10 

THE LOW DOWN: Here's a hint- "new" hatches begin first in the middle and lower river, and we have seen more caddis and even a few random PMDs in these sections! For those who get bummed out seeing other anglers, here's a hint: the middle river has the same hatches without the crowds! Another benefit of fishing the middle river is the plethora of public access. What is private is clearly marked, and the rest is there for you to explore.

HATCHES: Green Drakes 10-12, Pale Morning Duns 14-18, Midges 20-26, BWOs 20-22, Caddis 14-18, PMDs 16-18, Craneflies 10-16


DRIES: BDE Green Drake 10-12, Umpqua Colorado Green Drake 12, HOH CDC Thorax Green Drake 12, Moosetail Hairwing Green Drake 12, Fryingpan Red Quill 16, CDC PMD Comparadun 16-18, AK's Para Red Quill 16, Morris May PMD Emerger 16-18, Missing Link Caddis 16-18, Pearl and Elk Caddis 16-18, Melon Quill 16-18, TC Custom Pink Sparkledun 14-18, Hackle Stacker PMD 16-18, Harrop's CDC Biot Dun BWO 20-22, Harrop's CDC Thorax BWO 20-22, Mole Midge 20-22, HOH Hanging Midge 20-22, Roy's Special Fryingpan Emerger 20-22, 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: Halfback PMD Emerger 14-18, Jerome PMD Nymph 16-18, Stalcup's BTS PMD Nymph 16-18, Red Copper John 16-18, Z Wing Caddis 16-18, Pearl Perdigon 16-18, Jigged Tungsten TNT PMD 16-18, 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, Bead Wing Midge 20-22, Rojo Midge 20-22, 

STREAMERS:  Tungsten Double Mint sz 8, Beldar Lemon Drop sz 8, White Zuddler sz 8, Hansen's Meal Ticket sz 4

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 upstream to Mile Marker 4) 


FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Green DrakesBlue Winged Olives, Midges, Pale Morning Duns, Caddis, Craneflies, Golden Stoneflies, Sculpins

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10 

THE LOWDOWN:  Green drakes are popping daily now! Hopper dropper fishing is already quite productive on the lower Fryingpan, and if Euro or Czech nymphing is your thing, the lower Fryingpan is ideal. The fish in the lower Fryingpan are not as paranoid as their cousins up under the dam- this makes for terrific beginner water where the fish will still eat bigger flies with not-so-perfect drifts.  Dry dropper rigs can be deadly in this section of river.

If the crowds of people upstream are thick, come explore some lower Fryingpan access spots!

HATCHES: Green Drakes 10-12, Midges 20-26, Pseudocloeons 20-22, Pale Morning Duns 14-18, Caddis 12-18, Craneflies 10-16, Golden Stones 8-12


DRIES: TC Custom Sparkledun Green Drake 12-14, BDE Green Drake 10-12, TC Custom Pink Sparkledun 14-18, Quigley's Sparkle Flag PMD 16-18, Uber-Realistic PMD Adult 16-18, Barr-Craven Hopper 6-8, Gold Chubby Chernobyl 6-8, CDC Comparadun BWO 20-22, HOH CDC Biot Dun, HOH Biot Emerger, Pearl and Elk Caddis 16-18, Lawson's EZ Caddis 16-18, Missing Link Caddis 16-18, Harrop's CDC Biot Dun BWO 20-22, CDC Comparadun BWO 20-22, Morgans Midge 18-22, Hatching Midge 20-22, Sprout Midge 22-24, HOH CDC Spent Midge 22-24, HOH CDC Midge Adult 24 Sparkle Flag PMD 16-18, Morris May PMD 16-18 

NYMPHS: Mercer's Jigster Baetis 16-18, Tungsten Jigged Faucii Nymph 16-18, Jigged Tungsten Blowtorch 16, Jigged JJ Nymph 18-20, Tungsten Git-er-Down PMD Nymph 16-18, Jigged Iron Lotus 16-18, Purple Perdigon 16-18, 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:  Home Invader sz 2, Grease Monkey Natural sz 4, Double Dirty Hippy sz 4

HINTS: Great section to Euro Nymph and work small streamers, just keep moving!

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