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.
 
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
Current Forecast
Water Flow
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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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