Friday, July 24, 2009

The Fryingpan River And Roaring Fork Valley

It's a magical time of year along the many and varied waters in the Roaring Fork Valley. It's high season. That special time when the rivers are running cool, clear and offering up the best hatches and the best fishing of the entire year. That's not to say that the fishing can't be this good at other times of year but that this is the season and the time of year we look forward to most. The Green Drake hatch is full-bore along the Roaring Fork, Cat Turds are still crushing fish along the banks of the Colorado, PMD's and early Green Drakes are being seen on the Frying Pan and the fishing in the High Country is as good as it gets. Finally, summer is here. Long story short, make it up here. No matter what kind of fly fishing you like to do, you will find it in the Roaring Fork Valley. If you can't make it up, your priorities are way out of whack and you need to see a therapist not a trout or a fly shop.

Fryingpan River:

It's hard for me to tell you just how sensational the Frying Pan is fishing right now. I seemingly always say that the river is fishing well, and truth be told it always does, but the fishing in July and August is what the Frying Pan is all about: some of the finest dry fly fishing and most prolific hatches in the West. The PMD hatch is hot n' heavy right now with sporadic numbers of BWO's thrown into the mix as well. The Green Drake hatch has begun along the lower river this past week too! This is perhaps the most famous and prolific Green Drake hatch in the country. Where other rivers are lucky to get a two week long hatch of Green Drakes, the drakes on the Pan will peak in August and last up until the beginning of October! These massive insects induce vicious strikes and due to their large size even bring the big fish up to the surface to feed. Currently the drakes are being seen along the bottom 4 miles of river in the evenings and hatching sporadically during midday. This early drake hatch on the Pan often goes against the grain by hatching in the evenings where generally speaking, the drake hatch occurs like clock work at noon during August and September on the remainder of the river. You will not find finer dry fly fishing than on the Frying Pan during the late summer months. If you would like to book a guide to show you the river we strongly encourage you to make your reservations as soon as possible as this is easily one of the most sought after hatches by anglers from across the globe.

Roaring Fork River:

Green Drakes are commonplace along the Roaring Fork River from Aspen downstream to Basalt right now. Lighter numbers of Drakes are also being seen from Basalt down to Carbondale. Needless to say, the evening "lightning rounds" have been spectacular. Sporadic numbers of drakes are being seen midday as well, especially on those days when overcast weather is present. There's no doubt that July and August offers up the finest dry fly fishing of the entire year along the river. Caddis hatches are a daily occurrence now and you'll notice that fish are keying in on caddis prior to the drakes coming off. Mornings and afternoons will provide solid nymph fishing opportunities. PMD's and Yellow Sally's are being seen in good numbers along the lower river during hot, sunny afternoons in good numbers. When nymphing don't forget to have plenty of Rusty Spinners and PMD nymphs. Fish are beginning to get a bit gun shy by the large nymphs we have been using during May, June and the first half of July. Start downsizing your patterns and shy away from beadheads if possible now. With the water now at normal levels the fish are beginning to spread out more and are no longer holding up tight to the banks.

Must have fly patterns:

Fryingpan River:

1. KGB Drake
2. Drake Cripple
3. Sparkledun Drake
4. PMD Pink Sparkledun
5. No Hackle Pink PMD
6. Melon Quill
7. Rusty Spinner
8. Pheasant Tail
9. Poxyback PMD
10. USD Drake Nymph

Roaring Fork:

1. P&E Caddis
2. Hairy Sally
3. Yellow Humpy
4. Thingamahopper
5. H&L Variant
6. Cripple Drake
7. Prince Nymph
8. 20 Incher
9. Sunken Rusty
10. Halfback PMD

This article/report was written by Kirk Webb from Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt Colorado. Stop into the shop for some of the best selections of custom fly patterns made specifically for the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork Valley.

For other river reports around the Rocky Mountain Region visit;


Post a Comment

<< Home