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Frying Pan River Fishing Information
Tailwater Section - near Carbondale, CO
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 tailwater section is famous for a reason and is a mix of private and public water. It’s easily marked and you can find plenty of places to fish, though it can get crowded. Excellent hatches year round are found on this river. Midges, BWO, Caddis, Stones, Green Drakes, PMD, Pseudos and more make for one of the best dry fly tailwaters in the state. Year round dry fly fishing is possible on this river with midges and BWO in the winter.
You’ll need to bring your “A” game to fish this river with success. These trout are college-educated and know what a hook looks like. Smaller tippet and longer casts will help put fish to net. Don’t line the fish by casting over them and be as stealthy as possible and you’ll find some eager trout.
Fish: Many Large-Sized Fish
Best Techniques: Dries & Nymphs
Best Seasons: Year Round
River Type: Medium Tailwater
Fish Types: Rainbow Trout, Cutbow Trout, Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout
Dog Friendly: Yes but Leashed
Located in the Colorado River Basin near Carbondale, CO
Fishable Seasons & Current Weather
The best seasons to fish this river are Year Round. See the current weather reports for the next 5-6 days listed below for the nearest city.
wind: 15mph SW
H 84 • L 75
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.