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Frying Pan River Fishing Information
Headwaters Section - near Carbondale, CO
The headwaters of the famous frying pan river are some of the most enjoyable places to fish and explore in Colorado. Packed full of a variety of willing trout that will rise to dry flies and readily take nymphs, the upper section holds some excellent waters to build confidence and learn the sport of fly fishing.
One of the most famous rivers in Colorado, the Frying Pan holds a ton of fish, many of them trophy sized. From the famous “toilet-bowl” hole that sits directly below the outflow of the dam to the reaches downstream there are a ton of fish to be caught in this river. The stretches above Reudi reservoir offer less pressured fishing, but smaller and fewer fish exist. For those who prefer solitude over big fish and crowds, this is a great option.
The Upper stretches of the frying pan begin just before the north fork enters the south fork to make the main river. Below this is the lower section of the upper section if that makes sense :). The upper section, primarily the forks, fish distinctly different than the main river above reudi reservoir. These forks are smaller streams and trout seem more willing to eat dry flies, nymphs and streamers when enticed with a decent drift and presentation on the water. The upper headwaters holds meadows, canyons, and pine forests that carry the river down to the confluence of the roaring fork. A variety of simple dry flies and nymphs will take fish on this section and though the fish are smaller than the tailwater section, they are much easier to catch and provide a good place to build confidence or work with beginners.
Fish: Many Small-Sized Fish
Best Techniques: Dries
Best Seasons: Spring - Fall
River Type: Small Freestone
Fish Types: Brook Trout
Dog Friendly: Yes
Located in the Colorado River Basin near Carbondale, CO
Fishable Seasons & Current Weather
The best seasons to fish this river are Spring - Fall. See the current weather reports for the next 5-6 days listed below for the nearest city.
wind: 3mph NNE
H 69 • L 68
Weather from OpenWeatherMap
Knowing what flies to use is only have the battle. You have to know when the insects are active on the water and when it's likely the trout are feeding on them. Refer to our hatch charts below to understand when the insect categories and some of the possible hatches on the river.
Midges hatch year round, but their importance is from September through winter into April. During the warmer months, the trout often focus on larger insects as they are more active on the water like mayflies, caddis and stoneflies.
Aside from Blue wing olives, mayflies are active most commonly from May to August in Colorado. There are many different mayfly hatches found on most rivers and the most common are listed below.
Blue Wing Olive: September throut winter to April
Pale Morning Dun: June to Mid September
Colors: White, Yellow
Sizes: #14 - #20
Green Drakes: June to August
Sizes: #8 - #14
Caddis hatch starting early in May and continue to the end of October.
Colors: Olive, Green, Yellow, Tan, Orange, Brown and Black.
Sizes: #10 - #20
We have some great stonefly hatches in Colorado and while not all rivers carry all species of salmonflies, you can often fish stonefly adult patterns with confidence from May to September. Start off in bigger sizes and get smaller till September hits (size 8 - 16)
Golden Stone: June to August
Colors: Yellow, Tan
Sizes: #8 - #14
Yellow Sally Stonefly: Mid June to August
Colors: Yellow, Tan
Sizes: #12 - #18
Terrestrials don't hatch since they are out of the water, but they can have importance starting in Mid April and ending in September.
These are the the top flies we sell for this river. Use the hatch chart above to know what flies you will want to have in your fly box during your adventure on the river and then select the flies here 30 days before your trip to get them at a great price. All of our flies are hand tied to each order to ensure quality and to keep our prices low for you.
Click on a fly below to select a size and color for purchase.
If you need an easier solution than selecting each fly and size, try out our top fly assortments for this river that will put all the flies you need in a single order for this river. We've already selected the flies we use in our fly box for this river including the sizes and colors and put them in these assortments so you can fish with the confidence that you have the right flies in your box.
Click on any of the pictures to see what flies, colors and sizes we recommend in each assortment.
Use these epic resources to get ready for your adventure. Whether you're planning your trip, learning your insects, improving your fishing with expert tips or getting detailed resources from the USGS streamflows or DoW, we got you covered to help you find the river and find the success you want.