Fryingpan River

Tip of the week: 

March 5, 2018


FLOW: 88 cfs

WATER CLARITY: Low and clear

OVERALL RATING: ??7 out of 10

FOOD SOURCES PRESENT: Midges, mysis shrimp

THE LOW-DOWN : Late winter is transitioning to early spring around here, and we have finally been enjoying some much-needed snow as of late. It hasn't been too cold at all, and the fishing has been excellent on the upper river.

Cloudy days have yielded much better hatches than the bright ones, but keep in mind the majority of the Fryingpan doesn't get much sun in the winter because of deep canyons. This means there is always some shady sections despite bright and sunny conditions. Bugs are certainly hatching heavier in the shade, so don't overlook those "dark" sections of the upper river if you're a dry fly nut.

The egg bite is pretty much done, fish are focused on baetis nymphs, midge larva and pupa, and mysis shrimp. There are daily midge hatches and it won't be long until we start seeing some BWOs next month. Throw a small streamer on your last few casts of the day!

HATCHES: ?Midges and mysis shrimp at the very top.


DRIES: Roy Palm's Special Fryingpan Emerger 22, Befus Para Emerger 18-22, Biot Wing Midge 20,22, HOH CDC Midge Adult 22-24, CDC Transitional Midge 22, Bill's Midge Emerger 20-22

NYMPHS: Chocolate Thunder 20-22, Split Case BWO 20-22, Epoxyback Baetis 20-22, Tungsten Hoover Baetis 20-22, Bat Wing Emerger BWO 20, 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: Sands' Stingin Sculpin 8, Articulated Goldie 4, SlumpBuster Natural 8

HINTS: The weather is not a big factor on the upper Fryingpan, as the water temperature is the same every day of the year!


WATER CONDITIONS: A little icy on the edges in stretches that don't receive sunlight.


OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10

THE LOW DOWN: Stronger hatches seem to be happening up high on the Pan, but that is not a universal truth.

Don't overlook the improving streamer fishing, especially in the afternoons. Small and natural flies work best, and play around with your retrieve until the fish start to react positively.

HATCHES: Midges 20-26


DRIES: Parachute Adams 20-24, Skittering Zelon Midge 20-22, Bill's Midge Adult 20-22, Brooks Sprout Midge 18-20

NYMPHS: Flashwing Black (or gray) RS2 20-22, 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: Move around and cover a lot of water. There are plenty of wide-open miles in the middle Fryingpan that don't get a ton of pressure because of the walking distances involved.


WATER CONDITIONS: Clean and beautiful, a few icy spots in the shady zones.


OVERALL RATING: 6 out of 10

THE LOWDOWN: As we always say, it's warmer closer to town, so it can sometimes be a bit "buggier." Be sure to cover a lot of water.



DRIES: Flag Adams 18, Morgans Midge 18-22, Perfect Baetis 20-22, Collett's BWO 20-22

NYMPHS: 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: As most anglers seem to prefer the elbow to elbow fishing up under the dam, enjoy a little solitude down low!

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Seven-day forecast: 

Overcast will yield better hatches and numbers of rising fish.

Must Have Flies: 
Adams 10-22 Buy from
Sparkle Dun 20-22 Buy from
RS2 20-22 Buy from
Midge 20-24 Buy from
Tunghead Pheasant Tail 20-22 Buy from
Griffith's Gnat 20-22 Buy from
Taylor Creek-Basalt