Frying Pan - Late Spring
Depending on the snow pack and the warmth by late June the run-off should be ending. The weather will be beautiful, the trees will be budding and the flora generally resplendent. Take care walking through the underbrush as the ticks will be out. Colorado tick fever is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of the wood tick Dermacentor andersoni. This disease is limited to the western US and is most prevalent from March to September, with the highest numbers of infections occurring in May and June. The incidence is high in Colorado, where up to 15% of regular campers show past exposure (based on antibodies).
Symptoms start about 3 to 6 days after the tick bite. Symptoms of fever continue for 3 days, stop, then recur 1 to 3 days later for another few days.
The risk for fisherrmen is in brushing up against shrubs and trees or sitting or lying down on the bank of the river. The best protection is to take care to cover your body. Usually fishermen wear waders so that eliminates the usual risk of walking or hiking in shorts. However, fishermen should also protect the upper body wearing long sleeved shirts and just being careful. In addition, if you decide to take a walk and are not adequately covered you will be at risk as well.
The disease is usually self-limiting and not dangerous. Ticks will show up on white or light colors better than dark colors, making them easier to remove from your clothing. Check yourself and your pets frequently. If you find ticks, remove them immediately by using a tweezers, pulling carefully and steadily. Insect repellent may be helpful.
In June/July when other rivers in Colorado have blown out with the runoff from the snow fields and on some days are dark and dirty, the pristine little Frying Pan will be fishable and will produce great fishing.
The green drakes will be hatching on the pan. The largest hatches are from Basalt to the mid river. Most of this section of the Frying Pan is state owned and open to the public. Pale morning duns, caddis, yellow sallies, baetis will be hatching.
There is a locally produced map which identifies all of the fishing areas which are open to the public. A new edition has just been reprinted and is up to date. Come by the shop and pick up a copy.
Pale morning duns, caddis, yellow sallies and baetis will be also be hatching at this time of year.
This is a most pleasant time of year. So much so the crowds arrive in droves. If however you get a chance to experience a good drake hatch it will be worth the experience. The drakes are a little smaller in our valley so come by the shop to pick up some samples.
The midges are also hatching in large numbers. The spring midges are usually larger, (#18), and vary from black to olive. These midges are so large that many fishermen mistake them for the baetis mayfly. There will also be some stone flies and caddis flies hatching, but not in large numbers. Fishing a size #16 purple prince nymph can be very productive.
Fishing nymphs will always be productive however my own preference is to fish dry flies when the circumstances permit simply because of the visilibty of the take and the action generally. For those who enjoy a nymph try a #16 purple prince nymph, pheasant tails or hare's ears.
BH brassie - red #18, #20