Frying Pan River Fishing Report

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With a name like this you know there has to be a story. In fact there are several, but our favorite is the most obvious – that long ago there were so many fish (native cutthroat) they jumped right out of the river and into your frying pan. It begins near Mt. Elbert as a stream fed, heavily pocketed, freestone river. From there the river turns northwest and flows into the Ruedi Reservoir, where since 1968, its waters have been dammed. This 14 mile, Gold Medal, section - from the reservoir to the Roaring Fork at Basalt - is considered one of the state’s best tailwaters. 


By definition, Gold Medal in Colorado means the fish are plentiful – a minimum of 60 pounds of trout per acre with at least 12 fish over 14 inches in length. Together with the designated 28 miles of Roaring Fork water, this is the longest, continuous Gold Medal run in Colorado. The introduction of the dam brought an unintended side effect when Mysis shrimp were introduced into the Reservoir to support a Kokanee salmon fishery that was never completed. The result – big boys, pigs, hogs, giants, or whatever you call them - the shrimp diet produces monster fish.

Add abundant, year round hatches and it’s no wonder anglers flock here to fish. The Frying Pan is known for its fabled Green Drake hatch that typically starts in late July and extends through October, drawing even the savviest fish to the surface. In addition to Spring Blue Winged Olive (BWO) hatches, this tailwater is one of only three that hosts the Serratella ignitia, a flightless BWO that attracts fish like ice cream attracts kids.

The river above the reservoir is less crowded and less regulated. The Gold Medal run is catch and release, artificial lures only.
 
Featured Fishing Trips
Guided Fishing Trips
$
250
-
$
500
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 3 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
4 hours - 1 day
Destination:
Frying Pan River Wade Trip in Colorado The Pan is OK at the moment with good water conditions. The fish are still laying low but there were reports of reasonable fishing closer to ... morethe Dam. Note that from the 3rd of June it is anticipated that the releases will be up with the endangered fish program. The Pan will run high for about a week. When the water comes up it won't be good fishing for a day or so, but when it settles down to a consistent flow it will be good fishing close to the dam where there will be floods of mysis shrimp coming through. The remainder of the river will be hard to negotiate for the few days when it runs at its highest level.

Recommended Flies:Use midges, bwos, nymphs and attractors. The fish are also taking small nymphs.

For mysis at the dam use Mike's Mysis. epoxy mysis, and BDV mysis.

The midges will come off during the day, particularly if it is sunny. So try Wilson's Reverse Candy Cane #20, red and black chironocones #20, nick's larva in miracle pink, olive, and purple back, brassies #18 - #22, midge larva patterns #18 - #22,copper johns #18 - #22, rainbow warriors, black polywings #18 - #22 and bling midges # 18 - #22.

As they come off try the gray loopwing emergers #20 - #22, the FPA special emergers, biot emergers both with and without the trailing shuck and gray RS2's#18 - #22, Johnny Flash in Olive, Grey, and Black, Olive and Red Jujubee, trailing shuck midge black and cream.

In addition try dry patterns such as the z-wing real midge, black cdc midge and any similar dry black and gray patterns in sizes from #20 through to #26.

The fish are taking generic nymphs such as pheasant tails and caddis larvapatterns. The BWO's are coming off as well. Try emerger patterns such as rs2'sand WD-50's.

For BWO naturals use standard BWO's, parachute BWO's, parachute Adams, and Thorax patterns.
$
400
-
$
475
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
4 hours - 1 day
Frying Pan River Float Trip in Colorado The Pan is OK at the moment with good water conditions. The fish are still laying low but there were reports of reasonable fishing closer to ... morethe Dam. Note that from the 3rd of June it is anticipated that the releases will be up with the endangered fish program. The Pan will run high for about a week. When the water comes up it won't be good fishing for a day or so, but when it settles down to a consistent flow it will be good fishing close to the dam where there will be floods of mysis shrimp coming through. The remainder of the river will be hard to negotiate for the few days when it runs at its highest level.

Recommended Flies:Use midges, bwos, nymphs and attractors. The fish are also taking small nymphs.

For mysis at the dam use Mike's Mysis. epoxy mysis, and BDV mysis.

The midges will come off during the day, particularly if it is sunny. So try Wilson's Reverse Candy Cane #20, red and black chironocones #20, nick's larva in miracle pink, olive, and purple back, brassies #18 - #22, midge larva patterns #18 - #22,copper johns #18 - #22, rainbow warriors, black polywings #18 - #22 and bling midges # 18 - #22.

As they come off try the gray loopwing emergers #20 - #22, the FPA special emergers, biot emergers both with and without the trailing shuck and gray RS2's#18 - #22, Johnny Flash in Olive, Grey, and Black, Olive and Red Jujubee, trailing shuck midge black and cream.

In addition try dry patterns such as the z-wing real midge, black cdc midge and any similar dry black and gray patterns in sizes from #20 through to #26.

The fish are taking generic nymphs such as pheasant tails and caddis larvapatterns. The BWO's are coming off as well. Try emerger patterns such as rs2'sand WD-50's.

For BWO naturals use standard BWO's, parachute BWO's, parachute Adams, andThorax patterns.
Additional Information
Tributaries:
Fresh water streams
Source:
White River National Forest
Mouth:
Confluence with Roaring Fork
Length:
40 miles
Seasonal Conditions
Season
Hatches
SpringMidge, Stoneflies, BWO, Eggs
SummerStoneflies, BWO, Green Drake, Red Quill, PMD, Caddis, Worms, Hoppers
FallBWO, Green Drake, PMD, Caddis, Eggs, Worms
WinterBWO, Eggs, Midge, Caddis
Fishing Trips
Full day wade fishing trips on the Frying Pan and Roaring Fork rivers allow you to experience some of the finest fishing in Colorado. Our guides will tailor your trip to your specific ... moreexperience level. On a full day trip we often fish both the Frying Pan and Roaring Fork rivers. Lunch is provided and we will arrange to pick you up in Snowmass or Aspen, or we can also meet at our shop in Aspen.
Frying Pan River Wade Trip in Colorado The Pan is OK at the moment with good water conditions. The fish are still laying low but there were reports of reasonable fishing closer to ... morethe Dam. Note that from the 3rd of June it is anticipated that the releases will be up with the endangered fish program. The Pan will run high for about a week. When the water comes up it won't be good fishing for a day or so, but when it settles down to a consistent flow it will be good fishing close to the dam where there will be floods of mysis shrimp coming through. The remainder of the river will be hard to negotiate for the few days when it runs at its highest level.

Recommended Flies:Use midges, bwos, nymphs and attractors. The fish are also taking small nymphs.

For mysis at the dam use Mike's Mysis. epoxy mysis, and BDV mysis.

The midges will come off during the day, particularly if it is sunny. So try Wilson's Reverse Candy Cane #20, red and black chironocones #20, nick's larva in miracle pink, olive, and purple back, brassies #18 - #22, midge larva patterns #18 - #22,copper johns #18 - #22, rainbow warriors, black polywings #18 - #22 and bling midges # 18 - #22.

As they come off try the gray loopwing emergers #20 - #22, the FPA special emergers, biot emergers both with and without the trailing shuck and gray RS2's#18 - #22, Johnny Flash in Olive, Grey, and Black, Olive and Red Jujubee, trailing shuck midge black and cream.

In addition try dry patterns such as the z-wing real midge, black cdc midge and any similar dry black and gray patterns in sizes from #20 through to #26.

The fish are taking generic nymphs such as pheasant tails and caddis larvapatterns. The BWO's are coming off as well. Try emerger patterns such as rs2'sand WD-50's.

For BWO naturals use standard BWO's, parachute BWO's, parachute Adams, and Thorax patterns.
Destination:
Frying Pan River Float Trip in Colorado The Pan is OK at the moment with good water conditions. The fish are still laying low but there were reports of reasonable fishing closer to ... morethe Dam. Note that from the 3rd of June it is anticipated that the releases will be up with the endangered fish program. The Pan will run high for about a week. When the water comes up it won't be good fishing for a day or so, but when it settles down to a consistent flow it will be good fishing close to the dam where there will be floods of mysis shrimp coming through. The remainder of the river will be hard to negotiate for the few days when it runs at its highest level.

Recommended Flies:Use midges, bwos, nymphs and attractors. The fish are also taking small nymphs.

For mysis at the dam use Mike's Mysis. epoxy mysis, and BDV mysis.

The midges will come off during the day, particularly if it is sunny. So try Wilson's Reverse Candy Cane #20, red and black chironocones #20, nick's larva in miracle pink, olive, and purple back, brassies #18 - #22, midge larva patterns #18 - #22,copper johns #18 - #22, rainbow warriors, black polywings #18 - #22 and bling midges # 18 - #22.

As they come off try the gray loopwing emergers #20 - #22, the FPA special emergers, biot emergers both with and without the trailing shuck and gray RS2's#18 - #22, Johnny Flash in Olive, Grey, and Black, Olive and Red Jujubee, trailing shuck midge black and cream.

In addition try dry patterns such as the z-wing real midge, black cdc midge and any similar dry black and gray patterns in sizes from #20 through to #26.

The fish are taking generic nymphs such as pheasant tails and caddis larvapatterns. The BWO's are coming off as well. Try emerger patterns such as rs2'sand WD-50's.

For BWO naturals use standard BWO's, parachute BWO's, parachute Adams, andThorax patterns.
Current Forecast
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Top Fly Fishing Rivers in the US
The Frying Pan River is rated as one of the top trout fishing rivers inthe US by Bob Mallard, author of 25 Best Towns - Fly Fishing for Trout
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