Dry-fly tips for the Fryingpan | AspenTimes.com

Dry-fly tips for the Fryingpan

A green drake mayfly from the Fryingpan River.
Photo courtesy of Scott Spooner,

The dry-fly fishing up the Fryingpan River just won’t quit! Many people refer to the Fryingpan as the “jewel of the valley,” and one of her best attributes is the low water temperatures flowing out of the deeps of Ruedi, allowing our mayfly hatches to extend into September and October. When green drakes and pale morning duns are done most everywhere else in Colorado, they keep on rolling here. Blue-winged olives and caddis are still present in very strong numbers right now, too.

Green drakes have been hatching now for a month, and as the hatch extends into fall, the fish need extra reassurance before they decide to eat your dry fly. At this point in the hatch, most fish have been stung by a few artificials and become quite distrustful. Luckily, the crowds are starting to abate, cloudy weather is in the forecast and there are a few tricks you can employ to keep putting fish in the net.

First off, drag-free, dry-fly presentations just won’t cut it. The fish, at this point, require you to add some movement to your fly as it floats downstream. Add movement to your fly by twitching, flipping, flopping and short-skating those dries as much as possible, similar to spring caddis fishing techniques. This is much more easily accomplished by utilizing the second trick I recommend, which is across-and-downstream presentations. It is much easier to manipulate a dry fly downstream of you; as simple as picking your dry fly up and laying it back down. Downstream presentations allow the fish to see nothing but the dry fly, versus seeing your brightly colored fly line, leader and tippet. These fish do not like a fly line anywhere near them.

Thirdly, you simply cannot stand in the same spot all day long on the Fryingpan. Our fish are famously un-spooky, but highly selective. Watch almost any guide up the river. They catch a few fish in a pool, run or riffle, and then move on. Show your flies to as many fish as you can, in as many different areas as you can. Your best chance with any fish will be the first time they see your fly. So cover some water, add subtle movement and keep those dry flies downstream to make the most of your day on the water. You just might be surprised!

This column is provided by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User