Fishing on the Fryingpan River
February 11, 2004
The Fryingpan River which joins the Roaring Fork River at Basalt (19 miles northwest of Aspen), is one of the finest sport fishing rivers in the country.
The Gold Medal Waters here stretch 13 miles from the dam forming Ruedi Reservoir to the junction with the Roaring Fork. This water can be fished year round due to the warmer water being released from the reservoir and to the daily insect hatches.
Fishing is by artificial flies or lures only. The four miles just below the dam are catch and release waters; this is where the big fish are. Trout 16 inches long and six- to nine-pounders are fairly common.
After being caught and released a few times, these larger fish become wary and harder to hook, but they are plentiful. In this section there is about 1000 pounds of fish per surface acre. The average catch in the rest of the river generally runs 12 to 14 inches long.
The daily limit here is two fish 16 inches or longer, but most people fish this river for sport only. Rainbow, rainbow-cutthroat, brook, brown and pure cutthroat trout are all found in these waters.
Access to this entire stretch of river is excellent: a scenic road follows the river for its entire length.