COLORADO FISHING REPORT
The most current, accurate Colorado fishing reports and information are key to a good day on the water. In addition to providing quality Colorado fishing reports, we also supply real-time streamflow data. To see a detailed fishing report for a specific river, and view it's real-time streamflow, simply click on a river from the lists below. Looking for general Colorado fly fishing and lake information? Visit our General River Information
The Salmon Fly hatch is underway on the Colorado River from State Bridge to Gore Canyon
Salmon Fly Hatch Update: Water clarity yesterday was 8-12 inches above Radium and 6 inches or less below Radium. There are now good numbers of adult Salmon Flies on the Colorado River from 2 Bridges to Gore Canyon. We'll need some warmer weather to get them flying around and returning to the river to drop eggs, but the hatch is definitely underway. Yesterday's surface action was almost non-existent for our boats. If the water clarity holds up, expect some hot top water action in the near future.
Our Fall guide school will be held from Sunday, September 27th through Saturday, October 3rd. For more info about our school, give us a call at 970-262-2878 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
***Summer Hours: 7am-7pm Daily***
Water We Guide On: 5/27/15
Flows on the Blue River below Lake Dillon bumped up 300 cfs to 1130 cfs on Friday and went to 1300 cfs Saturday. It currently stands at 1500 cfs.
Fishing will be challenging at these river levels. OK, it'll be tough. Many of the fish in Silverthorne have retreated from the strong current and have moved into the willows that line much of the Blue River. Even so, you will find some monster trout in the deep, soft water. This is the time of year when we often hook, and sometimes land, the biggest fish that call the Blue River in Silverthorne "home."
For the most part, when the Blue River gets to this level, fish are pushed closer to the banks and into the soft water behind rocks and/or the inside of the seams.
The additional water coming out of the dam brings more Mysis Shrimp into the river. The best Mysis patterns of late have been Charlie's Mysis, the BTS Mysis and the Epoxy Mysis, all in sizes 16-20.
Assorted midge larvae and midge emerger patterns in sizes 18-26 (black, gray or red) are also fooling fish. Purple Juju's and red tungsten Baetis are good choices. For the most part, you can put away your 4x fluorocarbon and roll with 0x--using heavy tippet will be your only shot of landing the big ones. You'll also need to add more weight. Many of the bigger fish will find relief from the increased water velocity by hugging the bottom and situating themselves below protective bottom structure (e.g. boulders, downed trees or sucken logs).
We still advise using the smallest, least conspicuous indicator you can see and that will float the weight needed to get down to the bigger fish. You can get away with a medium sized indicator at this flow and, probably, a large sized indicator. White or black yarn indicators, medium or large sized white or "glow-in-the-dark" Thingamabobbers are good choices. Fishing without an indicator, although tricky, can be deadly as well.
For you dry fly enthusiasts, your opportunities will be very limited to non-existent. Look to find fish feeding on top in the soft areas of the river, especially along the bank. Try using size 18-24 patterns imitating Midges and BWO's. Try Matthew's Sparkle Dun, Midge Clusters, extended body BWO's, and classics like the Adams (both the Standard and Parachute versions). A Royal Wulff or Chubby Chernobyl often brings surprising results when the Blue River is at elevated levels. The Chubby makes a great strike indicator as well.
Here's a Blue River access map for Silverthorne (courtesy of the Town of Silverthorne):
Today's Tip: Don't give up your nymph fishing, but try a streamer now and then. You might find the results eye opening. Tan, black and white are working. Sizes 14 through 4. Some days, the fish really key in on streamers with "eyes."
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of guide tested flies that kill it on the Blue River in Silverthorne.
Nymph Patterns to try:
Mysis Patterns: #16-#22, Black, Pearl or Red Rainbow Warriors: #18-#22, Top Secret Midges: #20-#24, Smith's Tidbit Midge: #20-#24, Red Rojo Midges: #20-#22, Black Beauties and Mercury Black Beauties: #20-#24, Pearl or Red Disco Midges: #20-#24, Miracle Nymphs: #20-#22, Mercury Blood Midges: #20-#22, Dailey's Tailwater Assassin in Red or Black: #22-#24, UV Midges: #20-#26, Black and Pale Olive Pure Midges: #18-#22, JuJu Midges in Zebra, Red or Olive: #20-#24, RS-2's in Gray or Black: #22-#26, WD-40's in Black, Gray or Olive : #20-#24, Standard Pheasant Tails: #18-24.
Dries to try:
Parachute Adams: #18-#24, Griffith's Gnat: #18-#22, Morgan's Midge: #22-#24, Brooks Sprouts: #24-#26. Black and Gray are the dominant color of adult midges in the Blue River.
Need a Blue River map?
The increase in flow from 830 to 1500 cfs over the past few days has once again unsettled the fishing. It'll take a little while for the trout to settle into this change in flow. Fish tend to move closer to the bank when the water velocity increases significantly. In addition, look to find feeding fish in the softer water, pockets in and around large rocks, the inside part of the seams and the deeper pools of the Blue River.
Trout that live north of Silverthorne will often take a variety of fly patterns (please see below) and are, generally, less selective than the trout residing just below the Lake Dillon Dam. When fishing this stretch, covering more ground often equates to more hook-ups.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of hand picked flies that consistently catch fish on the Blue River North of Silverthorne.
Patterns for this stretch:
Nymphs: Stonefly Nymphs of all sizes, Black Pure Midges: #20-24, Prince Nymphs: #16-22, Standard Pheasant Tails and Tungsten CDC Pheasant Tails/Hare's Ears: #16-20, JuJu Baetis (standard and purple): #18-#22, 2-Bit Hookers:#16-#18, Split-Back BWO Nymphs: #18-#20, Buckskins, Egg Patterns and San Juan Worms.
Dries: Smaller Royal Wullfs and Parachute Adams.
Need a Blue River map?
The Colorado River near Parshall currently has 18 inches of visibility. Fishing is good to very good, especially at the Lone Buck and Paul Gilbert access. We are seeing a few Stone Fly shucks in the willows but not a full-blown emergence. A few fish are being fooled by large Stone Fly dries (e.g. Chubby Chernobyl's and Rogue Stones) but many more fish are inhaling size 6 and size 8 Pat's Rubberleg Stone Fly imitations. Black and Olive have been the best colors lately. There are also good numbers of Blue Wing Olives hatching, especially on the overcast days. Caddis larvae are also an available food source, but not many Caddis adults have been flying around. San Juan Worms, in purple and pink, have been effective as well.
While it's anyone's guess as to when the Salmon Fly hatch will start in earnest this year on the upper Colorado, trying to time the hatch perfectly is a bit like burying the headline; fishing is very good right now. The trout are keyed on the giant nymphs. The prehistoric looking Stonefly nymph is possibly the trout's best meal of year. Consequently, there are good numbers of trout hanging out near the banks munching on these giant, soon-to-hatch, insects.
Now that the Colorado River has regained a decent amount of clarity, we are finding that the fish are more spread out and not hugging the bank as tightly. We are catching fish as close as 1 foot from the bank and as far out as 15 feet from the bank, depending on the speed of the water. Should the water clarity deteriorate, expect the trout to move closer to the bank.
Focus on the water that is moving at half, or less than half, of the maximum velocity of the river. That is, look for the fastest part of the river and fish the water that seems to be moving at half, or less, than that maximum speed. Often times, the water you are looking for has a surface that looks like a bowl of Jell-O that is being gently wiggled. Hence the term, "Jell-O Water." If the "Jell-O Water" has a ledge, drop-off, or other structure, it is even more likely to hold fish.
Don't spend a lot of time fishing the bank water if it doesn't look conducive to holding trout (any bank that has water deep enough so that you can't see the bottom is a candidate to hold fish). If the bank water is too shallow to hold trout, look for the nearest water that is deep enough to hold fish. Also, you will find fish holding in the soft pockets and in the soft, tail out portions of seams. The inside part of a seam is also a good location to find feeding fish when the water has impaired visibility and/or is higher than "normal."
Weight is key as well. Try changing (primarily adding) weight before changing flies. If your flies aren't occasionally ticking the bottom, and you aren't hooking up, add some weight (or heavier flies) until you occasionally get hung up and/or have to clean moss off your flies. The opposite, of course, can also be true--it is just less common! If you are constantly cleaning your flies, or hanging up, take off a bit of weight. Our guides have been using 0X - 3x fluorocarbon tippet depending on the amount of water clarity on any given day.
Recent guide trips to the Colorado near Parshall have been met with good success. Large Stone Fly imitations, like a Pat's Rubberleg or a Kaufman Stone, are bringing fish to the net. Other flies that are working include: #16-#18 Sizzlin Squirrels, #14-#18 Tungsten Yellow Sallies, Brown, pink or purple San Juan Worms, #16-20 black or standard Pheasant Tails, #12-#16 red or chartreuse Copper Johns, #10-#12 Twenty Inchers, #16-#18 Olive, Red or Black 2-Bit Hookers and #16-#18 Bubble-Back BWO's.
Don't forget to try a streamer. Larger patterns often work best as they move a ton of water and create a larger vibration in the water. Trailing a smaller streamer behind the larger streamer can crush fish some days. Common set-ups include (keep in mind that the possibilities are endless): Sex Dungeon (any color) trailing a Wounded Sculpin, Sparkle Minnow (sculpin color) trailing a Houdini and a Home Invader (black, white or tan) trailing a Slump Buster (rust, black or olive).
Weight is key as well. Try changing (primarily adding) weight before changing flies. If your flies aren't occasionally ticking the bottom, and you aren't hooking up, add some weight until you at least occasionally get hung up and/or have to clean moss off your flies. The opposite, of course, can also be true--it is just less common! If you are constantly cleaning your flies, take off a bit of weight. Our guides have been using 0X - 3x fluorocarbon tippet depending on the amount of water clarity seen on any given day.
Here are some thought to keep in mind when fishing the upper Colorado River near Parshall: In the winter, the water temperature on the Colorado River below the Williams Fork confluence will generally be warmer than the temperature of the Colorado above the confluence. In summer, the opposite is typically true; the water temp is colder on the Colorado River below the Williams Fork confluence and warmer above the confluence. This difference in water temperature will often trigger different insect hatches. For example, you might find Blue Wing Olives hatching below the Williams Fork confluence but not hatching above the confluence (and vice versa). It is not unusual to find better (or poorer!) fishing on the Colorado River near Parshall simply by moving a few miles upstream or downstream.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of hand picked flies that trout love to eat on the upper Colorado River.
Need a Colorado River map?
Currently, our Colorado fishing report has the Colorado River rated at 3 stars, mostly due to the Colorado's increased flow and the decline in water clarity over the weekend. The action on the Colorado River has warranted a 4 star rating many times over the past month and we expect it to warrant 4 stars, perhaps even 5 stars, in the very near future (maybe tomorrow).
More Salmon Flies hatched yesterday. We saw the most bugs near State Bridge but there are now good numbers as far up as lower Gore Canyon. It appears that this is the real deal and the hatch is underway. We haven't seen much in the way of surface action on the big bugs yet but that should be coming over the next few days. The weather forecast is for warmer, drier weather. That should be all we need to get the bugs in the air and the females returning to the river to lay their eggs. For now, nymphing has been the way to go.
The Colorado River near Pumphouse currently has 12 inches of visibility above Radium and 6 inches of vis below Radium. Make several casts in a location before moving on. Be prepared to deal with annoying bottom snags and bottom "strikes." Don't get lazy though; check out every tick of your indicator by lifting the rod. Otherwise, you'll be missing fish. While we advise staying upriver of State Bridge, due to the Piney adding undesirable sediment into the river, the Colorado River is fishable below State Bridge.
Wade fishing, or fishing from an anchored or "nosed-up" boat, has been better than fishing out of a moving boat. Many of the fish are positioniing themselves within 4 feet of the bank. Fishing that close to the bank can be difficult when you are in a boat moving downstream in a river flowing at 3300 cfs. Good numbers of trout are checking out the bank areas in search of the Salmon fly nymphs that are moving to the shorelines to hatch. We are seining big numbers of Salmon Fly nymphs as close as 1 foot from the bank.
The banks holding the most fish are the ones that have good structure and a medium to slow current. It is important to "pattern" the kind of water in which you are hooking your fish. The speed of the water needs to be just right; not too slow and not too fast. Finding the "pattern" to the trout's feeding lies on any given day can make the difference between catching a couple of fish or hooking up many fish. Pay attention to where you are catching fish and look to find similar water elsewhere on the river.
Besides the fish that are locating themselves on the bank, there are also good numbers of fish holding in the pocket water and shallow shelves. Wade anglers are able to stay in these areas and pick them apart, while float anglers are only able to make a cast or two into these spots before the river carries them downstream.
Best flies have been #6-#8 Pat's Rubberlegs in black, coffee and olive, #6-#10 Mega-Princes, pink worms, #12-#14 Tungsten Yellow Sallies and olive to green Caddis larvae in #14-#16. It is also a good idea to throw any large Salmon Fly pattern. The fish have seen a lot of the Pat's Rubberlegs. It is worth trying other Salmon Fly nymph patterns. Kaufman's Stone Fly pattern comes to mind, as well as the Bitch Creek.
There are flow and temperature gauges at Pumphouse. Click here to follow what is happening with the water level and the water temperature of the Colorado River near Pumphouse.
Here's a list of flies our guides have been using over the past few weeks: Black or Coffee colored Pat's Rubberlegs
(size 6-14), Guide's Choice Hare's Ears (size 14-18), Olive Beads Head Hare's Ears (size 14,16), CDC Hares Ears (size 14-18), CDC Pheasant Tails (size 14-18), Black or Gray Sparkle Wing RS-2's (size 16-18), Tungsten Yellow Sallies (size 14-18), Iron Sallies (size 14-18), natural or black Pheasant Tails (size 16-18), Gidgets (size 18,20), Psycho Baetis (size 18).
Streamers should be among your tactics to consider. The action has been day-to-day, and even hour-to-hour. Make sure to try all sizes of streamers and running them at all depths. Sometimes your style of retrieve can be more important than your streamer selection. If the action is slow, and before you give up, make sure you try fast/slow retrieves and jerky/smooth retrieves. If you don't get any interest after doing all that, give the streamers a break for a while and try them again in an hour or so. Try: Sex Dungeons (in black, olive, white and rust), Barely Legals, Slump Busters, Houdini's, Super Buggers and standard Woolly Buggers (in all sizes and colors).
As always, call the shop for the latest info: 970-262-2878.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of custom flies that crush on the Colorado River near Pumphouse.
Need a Colorado River map?
Once the rain induced spike in flow recedes, and 2 feet or so of visibility returns, the Arkansas River below Leadville should return to good form. Along with Blue Wing Olives (BWO's), Caddis are on the menu near Buena Vista. A recent, late afternoon/evening float between Buena Vista and Ruby Mountain was, as one of our guides put it, "epic." Get out there and enjoy the early nymph/streamer action and the afternoon/evening surface action. We recommend throwing double dry Caddis rigs. Be sure to skate your dry flies or you'll likely be disappointed. Have a fresh bottle of "Dry Shake" at the ready.
The extent to which the bugs come off on any given stretch of water will, in large measure, determine you success on the water. When wade fishing, you should consider changing locations if you aren't seeing good insect activity,. Moving a mile up or down the Arkansas can really turn an OK day into a memorable one.
Water clarity is very good. We suggest focusing your efforts in the Buena Vista area and below, but the action is improving in the Hayden Meadows section.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of guide selected flies that will humiliate the trout on the upper Arkansas River.
Nymphs to try: Standard or Black Pheasant Tails (#16-#22), 2-Bit Hookers in Red or Black (#16-#20), CDC Tungsten Pheasant Tails (#16-#18), Olive Caddis Larvae (#14-#18), Prince Nymphs (#16-#18), Rojo Midges in Red, Olive or Black (#18-#22), Black Zebra Midges (#18-#22) and Pat's Tan or Black Rubberleg in #8-#12 and assorted Egg Patterns.
Dries to try: Parachute Adams (#16-#20), Extended Body Bwo's (#16-#20), Mtthew's Sparkle Dun and Emerger (#18-#22), black, olive or tan Elk Hair Caddis (#14-#18), black Foam Body Caddis (#14-#18), all colors of the Neversink Caddis (#14-#16).
Need an Arkansas River map?
The Arkansas River near Salida has been impacted by all the rain we have been seeing. Expect it to clear rather quickly once the rain lets up.
A recent float between Salida and Ricon saw excellent streamer action and a brief period of good nymphing. The weather was cool and overcast. The wind was almost not a factor, except for a couple of random 25 mph gusts. Best streamers were olive, brown or black slump busters trailed by a #8 or #10 (same colors) Woolly Bugger. Best nymphs were a #12 CDC Tungsten Pheasant Tail. #12 Batman and a #18 black Pheasant Tail. We only saw a few Caddis. The Blue Wing Olives made a brief appearance, which helped the nymphing for about an hour. Attempts to dry fly fish were unsuccessful. That leaves streamer fishing..........which was nothing short of amazing. The Slump Buster in the picture was still hooking fish until we took of the water.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of proven flies that the fish can't resist on the Arkansas River near Salida.
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It's game on. The Roaring Fork has a fishable window. Get it before it's gone. For fishing subsurface, bring: Pat's Rubberlegs, Twenty Inchers, standard and black Pheasant Tails, Caddis Larvae, Princes, Batmans, Golden Stones, Blue Wing Olive nymphs and streamers. For the top water action, try: Elk Hair Caddis in black, brown and tan (#14-#18), all sizes of stimulators, standard or purple Parachute Adams, Matthew's Sparkle Baetis, Extended Body Blue Wing Olives, Gulper Specials,black Foam Body Caddis (#14-#18), Wilcox Specials (#14-#16) and Matthew's X-Caddis.
The streamer action can has been a bit inconsistent lately. Even so, many nice fish are beingg landed on Home Invaders and Sex Dungeons. Top water fishing has been fair. Nymph fishing has been spotty but when it's on, it's been pretty darn good.
On our last trip to the Roaring Fork, the fish were numerous but a bit on the small side. We expect that to change when we start to see the post-runoff hatches. A Size 12 Batman and a size 14 Charlie's CDC Tungsten Yellow Stone Fly were the best flies. Visibility was fair at about 12-18 inches. There was a brief Blue Wing Olive (BWO) hatch. During the BWO hatch, the fish keyed on Gidgets and Peacock Beaded Little Mayflies (BLM's). There was a brief period of good dry fly fishing during the BWO hatch.
The Colorado is not fishable. Crap....
The upper Fork, near Aspen, is in decent fishing shape.
Need a Roaring Fork River map?
Fishing has been good on both the Dream Stream and the above Spinney Mountain Reservoir. Most of the big fish that move into South Platte in the Spring have returned to their lake homes. Even so, there are plenty of nice fish to be caught.
Jacob Lutz, a member of our shop staff who fishes more than almost anyone we know, had a good morning a few days ago using size 16-20 natural Pheasant Tails. Other flies that intersted the trout included olive midge larvae and Bear's Baetis.
Flies to try: Egg Patterns, San Juan Worms, #20-#24 Juju Bee Midges, #22 Desert Storms in chartreuse, #20-#24 Black or Gray RS-2's, #16-#22 Scuds in light olive or orange/brown, #20-#24 Black Beauties and #20-#22 Miracle Nymphs.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of flies chosen to consistently produce trout on the Dream Stream.
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Water levels in Muddy Creek are near the 375 cfs mark. Visibility stands at 12 inches or so. Fishing has been fair.
This is a somewhat fickle tailwater so if the action is slow consider moving on to the Colorado River. The hot color is green right now. Throw something green and chances are you will be very happy.....that is, until green doesn't work anymore! Egg patterns, standard and CDC Pheasant Tails, Tungsten Yellow Sallies and olive/green colored scuds will also bring fish to hand.
Have a look at the reservoir releases before heading to the Muddy, or any tailwater for that matter. It might make or break your day. Here's a must have link to the state's Colorado Streamflow page.
Flies: Egg Patterns (#14-#18), Red Rojo Midge (#18-#22), Brassie, Copper or Red (#18-#22), Black or Red Copper Johns (#16-#20) and WD-40's (#18-#22)
The action on Antero has been good. Size 16-18 midge patterns have been taking some fish, especially near the inlet. Antero is expected to be closed June 1st for a dam rehabilitation project. There is no trailered water craft allowed this year. Hand launch boats only will be allowed this year. The current bag limit has been increased to 8 fish, no size restrictions.
Spinney Mountain Park is open. Fishing has been good. Trout are hanging out near the shore (for the most part). Size 16 bead head Pheasant Tails have been taking good numbers of fish just off the mudlines. Other flies to try are Hare's Ears, Chironomids, size 16-18 midge larvae patterns, red or chartreuse Copper Johns, San Juan Worms, Tung Teasers and Egg Patterns.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order a selection of killer flies that work on most still waters, but specifically on Spinney Mountain Reservoir .
Fishing has been fair to good. Blue Wing Olives (BWO's), Midges, worms and Cranefly Larvae are some of the available food sources for the trout residing in the Williams Fork. The flow is a bit high at 250 cfs. Make sure you bring your split-shot. Look for fish to be holding in the usual spots high-water spots: Near the bank and/or in the soft water. The fish will hold in any location that provides shelter from the fast moving water.
Try using standard Pheasant Tails, Black Pheasant Tails, Olive Midges, Egg Patterns, San Juan Worms, smaller Zebra Midges, Pheasant Tails, JuJu Baetis in Black, Purple and Red, Barr's BWO Emerger, RS-2's and WD-40's. If you're not having any luck with the aforementioned flies, try using Miracle Nymphs and Cream San Juan's. Both of these flies have saved my bacon many a day while guiding on the Williams Fork. Streamers should also be on your list of flies to try. Dead drifting a size 8, olive bugger under an indicator sometimes works better than you would think. Just sayin......
We'll make it easy. Click here to order customized flies that catch fish on the Williams Fork River.
Whether you prefer the 12 oz., or you are all in for the "40," this creek is always flowing cold and foamy. Use limes and salt as needed. Longnecks are the preferred choice, but almost any variety will catch you a buzz.
This report includes the “Tomahawk” SWA.
The river is currently suffering from a recent weather driven spike in flow. When the river clears, #12-#18 Golden Stone patterns, attractor patterns and streamers will be good fly choices.
We'll make it easy. Click here to order an array of angler tested flies that the trout like to eat on the Middle and South Forks of the South Platte River.
Need a South Platte River map?
Other Local Water
Because we do not guide on the following rivers, we cannot give the same detailed information that you find for the Water We Guide On. However, the streamflows are continuously updated, and we've done our best to give you a general idea of what to expect on these waters for this time of year.
We don't guide this water but most of the shop guys love to fish here when they get a chance. That said, the current flow of 790 cfs is, practically speaking, only suitable for fishing out of a boat (raft). Large Stone Fly nymphs, San Juan Worms and streamers (to some extent) are your go-to patterns. Most of the action is taking place below the water's surface but there is a (small) possibility of a few takes on large attractor paterns like size 10 purple Chubby Chernobyls or size 12 Parachute Adams.
Mountain Lions call this area home throughout the year. Please consider leaving your dog at home and keep a watchful eye when hiking/fishing.
Nymphs to try: #10- #12 Pat's Rubber Legs, Egg Patterns, size 14-18 Tungsten Yellow Sallies, size 18-22 Olive and Black Zebra Midges, size 18-20 Split Cased BWO's, Standard Pheasant Tails, size 18-22 Gray WD-40's, Black, size 18-22 Olive or gray RS-2's, size 12-16 Charlie's "TDJ" Pheasant Tails and Golden Stones, size 12-18 CDC Hare's Ears and CDC Pheasant Tails.
Dries to Try: #18-#26 Parachute Adams, #18-#22 Matthew's Sparkle Emergers, #20-#24 Brooks' Sprouts and #20-#22 "Stuck in the Shucks."
The Delaney Lakes are fishing well. #12-#16 Pheasant Tails/Hare's Ears, #16-#20 Zebra Midges, #14-#16 Chironomids and streamers are taking fish.
Gore Creek is running high and angry.
A tough fish given the volume of water coming down. Look to fish in and around the Ten Mile's inlet into Dillon Reservoir
Clear Creek is blown out.
The Snake River is running high. It has some visibility. Streamers are your best tactic.
We have been hearing good things about the fishing on the Frying Pan over Basalt way. The crowds have decreased. But if you really want to avoid seeing many other anglers, try fishing the Pan from before daybreak or from late afternoon until dark.
Need a Frying Pan River map?