West of Aspen and northeast of Basalt, the Fryingpan River is known for its huge rainbow trout in this tailwater. But be prepared for summertime crowds -- you definitely wont be alone on this river. There are a variety of species on this river, so expect to find brown trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat and brook trout.
Starting near Mount Elbert, the Fryingpan River runs northwest toward Meredith. The access can be found from CR4 and Fryingpan Road. After Meredith, the river runs west into Ruedi Reservoir. Before the reservoir, the river has pocket water and pools.The best fishing is to be had below Ruedi Reservoir Dam, where you will find cold, clear waters. This stretch of controlled flow runs about 14 miles and is generally all catch-and-release. Below the reservoir, the cold Fryingpan River flows west towards Basalt to the confluence with the Roaring Fork and is designated Gold Medal Water. The caddis hatch runs from mid-June through September.
While the immediate tailwaters can be very crowded, the less accessible section prior to the Roaring Fork confluence is very secluded with less fishing pressure due to steep banks.
During July, the green drake hatch on the middle section between the dam and the confluence is a major local event and flyfishermen from all over come to land big trout.
Access is easily provide from parallel Fryingpan Road which has many turnout parking areas. While there are many public access areas, keep in mind that there are plenty of private property sections as well. Follow the posted signs.
Note: On the lower Fryingpan River below the dam, regulations limit fly fishing to artificial flies and lures only. Plus, there is a bag limit of 2 brown trout less than 14 inches long (all others are catch-and-release).
Overall, Fryingpan River is the 16th most popular fly fishing river of all 47 fly fishing spots in Colorado.