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River: Frying Pan River


Post By: bardkin      Posted: 4/6/2017 6:56:56 PM     Points: 3907    
I cant wait to hear THAT sound again!

A total of 15 of us are heading to the Frying Pan this weekend. Some of us leave tomorrow morning and dont come back until Tuesday some time.
We will be doing a float on the fork (3 boats) putting in at Carbondale and out at Glenn Wood Springs. Gonna hit the upper and lower pan all the way down into town. Then, on the way back, gonna hit the Eagle and *possibly* clear creek.

Staying at a really awesome retreat place owned by a friend of one of the guys going. Sacred Jewel, I think its called. It has a huge yurt as well as a cabin. Gonna be a couple guys on the floor with air mattresses but who cares about that!

When you walk out the door to go to your car you're looking strait down at Rudi's west bank at the dam above the legendary toilet bowl. It's like a 5 minute drive to the waters edge!

I spent two days tying about 100 flies- midges, worms, eggs, BWO, baetis and more. The limit on fish is 2 trout UNDER 14 inches. (guess I wont be bringing any back!)

It's gonna be so awesome! heading out in the Am and will update everything and let you guys know how it went!

Till then, Tight lines all!

 Reply by: riper69      Posted: 4/6/2017 9:00:49 PM     Points: 2872    
 Reply by: yard dogs      Posted: 4/7/2017 9:32:16 AM     Points: 610    
Sounds like a sweet trip! Good luck!
 Reply by: bardkin      Posted: 4/12/2017 7:43:26 PM     Points: 3907    
Oh man, what a trip! The Frying pan rocks!

So, my fishing trip report goes like this-
Water temp- 41-45F depending on time of day and where on the river. Air temps in the morning were around 30 raising to the 50's save for Sunday when it snowed a little bit. Water was clear enough to see several feet down clearly- maybe 5 or 6, maybe more.

Huge midge hatches- size 24 and smaller early hatch, and then it started snowing size 18-20 'lil white midges. I probably inhaled as much as any fish on the river. Hatch started around 11:00 am and was full on by 2:00 pm.
Also, there was a lite caddis hatch in a size 12-14. (beige with white stripe) and some 18 to 22 BWO. I did see a sparse amount of mothers day hatch as well.

When the hatches were on, there was nothing you could throw to catch a fish. No emergers, not surface film, it had to be little tiny adult midges that is really tough to get a 5 or 6x tippet into. After 4:00 the fish were taking just about anything you tossed to them.

This was how it was from the toilet bowl all the way down to the big bend a few miles down.

Now for the fish tales-
So I am positive that I have only caught two fresh water fish that were larger- A 38 inch Blue Catfish at Skiatook outside of Tulsa, and a 4 ft tiger down in Walsenburg when I was in my early 20's.
This Rainbow was around 30 inches. Gorgeous fire hydrant red stripe and I swear that he croaked at me like a mud cat! This fish took me from the rocks just above the gauge house down past the spill way. I saw my backing twice on this monster. And let me tell you- that spill way is a whole lot deeper than I ever thought. I was inches from swamping my chest waders and couldn't find any footing. After regressing to back when I was a young monkey, I clung to the wall and avoided the swim. I finally landed him about 15 or so feet down from there and it was at least a 10 minute fight.

I caught browns, bows and cut-bows ranging from the biggest down to some stocker sized juveniles that would swallow a bare hook if it went past them.

The toilet bowl was happening as well. Saw a guy get yanked off the point by a big brown bruiser. When he hit the rock sticking out of the water, I thought for sure he was going in. But he had his girlfriend there who helped him out and after a break he continued to fish more.
Now- while I will go up to the bowl just for the novelty of it, I feel it is more of the place to go when you've been out all day and really need to shake the skunk. And mysis are NOT the only thing they will take. There are so many pigs competing with each other and fast strong current that they just don't have time to think about what is food and what is not.

So I was there for 5 days total. I fished anywhere from the 227 point (my secret hot spot name) and almost every public access from Basalt to the dam. I figure I covered a total of 4 to 6 miles at least 4 times and some parts even more. Man, everything hurts! My shoulder is killing me from the fights, my legs are on fire just going from the car to the bathroom when I got back. My feet have been in constant charlie horse since Monday and I was at altitude fighting 30 40 mph gusts for 3 of the 5 days.
I am down 1 full spool of 6X, 3/4 a spool of 5X, and I dont know how many full rigs.

I now know every rock, hole, rifle and boulder on a personal basis and I think some of the fish did a swim by salute when I left.
What a great trip! Sorry, I don't do fish porn unless someone else takes the picture, I don't know what pics there are yet if any. I have lost 3 phones so far to stupid pictures while holding a fish in one hand and a phone in the other.
But If I get any sent to me, I'll share them. There were like 15 of us in total. We stayed in a Air BNB that some of use are friends with, right above the camping area of Rudi. It was an amazing trip!