Fryingpan River Report 9-22-18
Posted on 22 September 2018
September 22, 2018
UPPER FRYINGPAN (Mile Marker 8 to Ruedi Reservoir)
FLOW: 353 cfs
WATER CLARITY: Clean, clear, cold
OVERALL RATING: 8 out of 10
FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Green drakes, PMDs, craneflies, caddis, midges, BWOs, mysis shrimp
THE LOW-DOWN : The hatch of the year is here, green drakes! You might have to move around to find them, but we are seeing strong numbers every afternoon now, especially on the upper half of the river. As you will see, these big bugs hatch right out of the center line of the river, so fish them where the water is a little rougher.
Pale morning duns are ever-present from now until Halloween. These "medium sized" mayflies vary from gray to pink to yellow in sizes 14 down to 18. They hatch all day, and if you are up there this week after 7pm, you'll be in for a surprise. The spinner fall will be strong on evenings where we've had no wind or rain during the day, it will be less strong if daytime conditions aren't dry and sunny.
As you'll read on the lower river report, the steady flows this spring and summer on the Fryingpan have 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.
Crowds are a factor, but many of you know that you don't need a mile of water to enjoy excellent fishing on the Fryingpan. For those who aren't well versed in "Fryingpan Tech," here are a few pointers that will improve your fishing day.
- You've got to move around. Notice how all of the guides move to a new spot after they hook a few fish in a pool?
- Head to the cloud cover if the mile you are fishing in is bright. If it's a bluebird day, fish the shaded water.
- Sight fishing is much more productive than "fishing the water." If you're with a fishing friend, help each other find fish to cast at.
- Downstream dry fly drifts are very important. Fryingpan fish will not tolerate getting slapped on the head with your fly line and leader.
- Think outside of the box- Cross the river and fish from the other side, do the work and walk to the many sections without ample parking areas, fish different water types if all of the pools are crowded, and don't be afraid to try your favorite fly or technique out there. Fryingpan fish are not spooky, just selective.
HATCHES: Green drakes, BWOs, PMDs, 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, Pearl and Elk Caddis 18, EC Caddis 18
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: High and Clear
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 steady flows this summer have presented slightly different hatches this year than we are used to seeing. Watch out for PMDs and green drakes 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, Craneflies 16-18
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: High and slightly off color.
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: 6 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 fishing hopper-dropper on the lower river with plenty of success and see a bit more diversity in hatches compared to the upper reaches.
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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