Fishing report: Monsters in the Fryingpan |

Fishing report: Monsters in the Fryingpan

Kirk Webb
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – Runoff conditions are affecting the Roaring Fork, Colorado and Crystal rivers, but the Fryingpan River in Basalt is low, clear and cold. Since the Fryingpan is regulated by Ruedi Reservoir, the river remains in ideal shape throughout the month of June.

Big, and I mean big, rainbow trout have been showing up in the hands of many lucky anglers this past week, with numerous fish more than 20 inches and several fish exceeding 28 inches being landed. These are truly the fish of a lifetime for most anglers and are one of the reasons why the Fryingpan is a world-renowned trout fishery.

To catch these behemoths requires the eyes of an eagle and the patience of a monk. Having a pair of quality polarized sunglasses will often make or break your day of fishing along all rivers, especially the Fryingpan. Part of the thrill of fly fishing is that we often fish in shallow, clear waters where we are able to see the fish and often see the take, or the strike, of the fish eating our imitations.

June is a transitional month in the way of hatches along the Fryingpan. Midges are still prevalent though diminishing in numbers, along with good midday hatches of Blue Wing Olive mayflies. In addition, caddis are being seen along the lower half of the river. As always, mysis shrimp remain on the diet of all the fish in the top mile below the dam. With so much hatching, how do we know what to put on when?

During the morning hours midges are the most prevalent insect. This is when we are fishing two fly nymph rigs consisting of midge larva and emergers. Blue Wing Olives become active around 11 a.m., and this is when many fish will push into the riffles, following the soon-to-hatch BWOs. By 1 p.m., especially on cloudy and overcast days, the fish will rise to these BWO adults. Using light tippets of 6x and 7x, as well as casting downstream to the rising, will increase your productivity.

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