Fryingpan RIver Report 9-16-21

Posted on 08 September 2021

September 16, 2021

UPPER FRYINGPAN (Mile Marker 8 to Ruedi Reservoir)

FLOW: 267 CFS 

WATER CLARITY: Cold and clear

OVERALL RATING: 10 out of 10 (We don't say 10 out of 10 very often!)

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Green Drakes, Pale Morning Duns, Craneflies, Blue Winged Olives, Caddis, Yellow Sallies, Mysis shrimp, Midges

THE LOW-DOWN :  This summer has brought us some of the strongest mayfly hatches we've ever seen. There are other bugs around like craneflies, yellow sallies, golden stones and midges, but most of you know that the Pan is a mayfly-centric river. 

The main reason we are seeing such prolific hatches is the lower-than-usual flows releasing from Ruedi Dam. Most years we see flows around 500 CFS or so in late summer, but so far the water is being held back due to the poor snowpack from last winter.

Don't leave any of your fly boxes behind on this river, you will witness waves of different insects all afternoon. Hatches are thick in some spots and light in others, so staying mobile will play in you favor. No two days have been the same, and oftentimes the drakes don't start up until 2 or 3 pm if it's a bright day.

Keep it small if nymphing and ditch the big-bead flashy flies for your slim pheasant tails and RS2s. Most of us are starting and ending the day with midges and being ready for the mayfly hatches in the middle of the day. Don't forget the tiny caddis dries or mysis patterns, either.

HATCHES: Green Drakes 10-14, Pale Morning Duns 14-18, Rusty Spinners 14-18, Blue Winged Olives18-22, Caddis 16-18, Midges 20-26


DRIES: HOH CDC Thorax Drake 12, KGB Killer Green Bug 12, TC Sparkledun Pink or Yellow 14-18, Iwan-E Dun PMD 16-18, Perfect PMD 16-18, AK's Para Red Quill 16-18, CDC Wing Rusty Spinner 16-18, AK's Para Rusty Spinner 16-18, Hackle Dun Baetis 20-22, Harrop's CDC Biot Emerger BWO 20-22, Lawson's No Hackle BWO 20-22, Roy Palm's Special Frying Pan Emerger 20-22, Missing Link Caddis 16-18, Pearl and Elk Caddis 16-18, Bill's Midge Emerger 20-22, Skittering Z-Lon Midge 20-22, HOH CDC Midge Adult 22-24, CDC Transitional Midge 22, HOH CDC Spent Midge 22-24, Hatching Midge 20-22, Morgan's Para Midge 20-22

NYMPHS: Pandemic PMD 16-18, Tungsten Split Case PMD16-18, Halfback PMD Emerger 14-18, Chocolate Thunder 20-22, BMW Foam Top RS2 Grey/ Black 20-22, Killer Mayfly Olive/ Brown 22, Jigged JJ Nymph BWO 18-20, Maggot Midge 20-22, 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, Medallion Midge 20-22, Tim's Mysis 16-18, Will's Epoxy Mysis 16-20

STREAMERS:  Slumpbuster 6-8, Grease Monkey 4, Baby Gonga Rust/ Black 8, Crispy Critter 4, Tim's Autumn Splendor 4-6

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

MIDDLE FRYINGPAN (Mile Markers 4 to 8)


FOOD SOURCES PRESENT:  Green Drakes, PMDs, Yellow Sallies, Golden Stoneflies, Caddis, BWOs, Midges

OVERALL RATING: 10 out of 10 (We don't say 10 out of 10 very often!)

THE LOW DOWN: For those who get bummed out seeing other anglers, here's a hint: the middle river has the same hatches without the crowds! Oddball hatches like craneflies and sallies are usually thicker in the middle river as well.

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 10-14, Pale Morning Duns14-18, Caddis 14-18, Golden Stoneflies 6-10, BWOs 18-20, Midges 20-26


DRIES: Missing Link Green Drake 12, High Profile Drake 12, Brook's Sprout Flavilinea 12, Flag Dun Emerger Pink & Yellow 16-18, Hackle Stacker Cream 16-18, Lawson's EZ Caddis 16-18, Elk Hair Caddis 14-18, Rogue Foam Golden Stone 6-10, Henry's Fork Golden Stone 10-12, No Hackle BWO 18-22, 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: Gilled Drake 12,Thorax PMD Emerger 16-18, Mayhem Nymph PMD 16-18, BH Anatomical PMD 16-18, Red or Lime Copper John 14-18, Flashwing Black (or gray) RS2 20-22, Jerome PMD Nymph 16-18, Zebra Midge Red 18-20, Black Beauty 20-22, Maggot Midge 20-22, Kingrey's Cap'n Hook 20-22, Medallion Midge 20-22, Bead Wing Midge 20-22, Rojo Midge 20-22, Cat Poop Stone 8-12

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) 


FOOD SOURCES PRESENT:  Green Drakes, Yellow Sallies, BWOs, Caddis, Craneflies, Golden Stoneflies, Midges

OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10

THE LOWDOWN:  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.

This is a great time of year to fish the lower Fryingpan. Keep your eyes out for large golden stones and try fishing a dry and dropper rig. 

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

HATCHES: Green Drakes 10-12, Midges 20-26, Pale Morning Duns 14-18, BWOs 18-22, Caddis 16-18, Golden Stones 6-10


DRIES: BDE Green Drake 10-12, TC Sparkledun Green Drake 12-14, HOH Drake Cripple 12, Missing Link Caddis 14-18, Pearl and Elk 16-18, Perfect Baetis 20-22, Hackle Dun Baetis 20-22, No Hackle PMD 16-18, Quigley's Flag PMD 16-18, Rogue Golden Stone 6-8, Morgans Midge 18-22, Hatching Midge 20-22, Sprout Midge 22-24, HOH CDC Spent Midge 22-24, HOH CDC Midge Adult 24

NYMPHS:  Cat Poop Stone 8-12, Poxyback Western Drake 12, Bead Head Prince 14-18, Chocolate Thunder 20-22, 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, San Juan Worm 10

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

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

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