frying pan river lodge

"Frying Pan River Lodge" 


The Frying Pan River Lodge is located in Basalt at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan Rivers. Both rivers are gold medal rivers.

Fishing in the Basalt Area.

Basalt is located at the confluence of the Frying Pan and Roaring Fork rivers in the Roaring Fork Valley.  Both of these rivers are designated as Gold Medal Trout waters. A stream or river qualifies for Gold Medal status when it consistently supports a minimum trout standing stock of at least 60 pounds per acre. It also must support a minimum average of 12 quality trout longer than 14 inches per acre.

These rivers have carried this designation for many years now and continue to maintain a healthy fish population.  As an indication of the number of fish which can be caught in our area, in October 2013 Basalt hosted the Finals of the National Fly Fishing Championship for Team USA and in 5 three hour sessions 55 fishermen caught 3965 fish.  That is a lot of fish.

Basalt is a great destination for fishermen who want to enjoy a year round fishery, great location, easy access to the rivers and the pleasant environs of the Roaring Fork Valley restaurants, shopping and accommodation.  Many great fishing locations are in remote areas which provide limited amenities.  In contrast, Basalt is an ideal location for a fisherman who enjoys his fishing and has a family more interested in other pursuits.

With the Frying Pan, Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers we have in excess of 70 miles of excellent accessible water to enjoy.  The Frying Pan is a wading river while the Roaring Fork can be floated from up near Aspen almost 40 miles to Glenwood.  The Colorado can be floated from the Grizzly put in all the way to Rifle and Silt.  There is excellent public access on all rivers and details are available at all local fly shops.

One of the great attractions of our area in winter is the ability to ski a world class mountain at Aspen or Snowmass in the morning and fish in a world class river in the afternoon.  The lower Frying Pan is fed from Ruedi Dam and being a bottom release dam this means that the water released in winter is close to 40 degrees.  Therefore it will maintain an active midge biomass enabling the fish to feed even in the coldest wintery conditions.  That is the reason there is excellent dry fly fishing throughout the winter. 
In addition, during summer, the bottom releases ensure that the water remains cold slowing down the rate of maturity of mayflies such as the green drakes.  As a consequence where a drake hatch will only last a short time in a freestone river, we enjoy drakes hatching on the Frying Pan from later July through to late September providing the great drake hatch experience for which the Frying Pan is so famous.  The other relatively unique feature is the release from the dam of the Mysis shrimp which is an excellent protein source bringing the fish fast growth and large size.  The mysis was introduced when the dam was built as a food source to support an unsuccessful experiment to support introduced Kokanee salmon in Ruedi.  The experiment failed but the mysis lives on providing a food source which has produced a lot of massive trout at the base of the dam outflow, commonly known as the "toilet bowl".
The fishing conditions are so good that there is little difficulty for even a beginner to be able to catch trout with the assistance of a guide.  Basalt has 2 full service fly fishing shops which provide guiding services.  In addition Frying Pan Anglers conducts Kids Camps during the year with the goal of introducing youth to Fly Fishing.  There is plenty of accommodation in the area including several riversides in Basalt and a new smaller riverside run by Frying Pan Anglers known as the Frying Pan River Lodge.
Frying Pan Anglers also maintains a number of cabins halfway up the Frying Pan which enable guests to fish private water at the height of the season.

Consequently Basalt provides an excellent opportunity for anyone who has never tried fly fishing to be introduced to it in ideal conditions.  It also provides the opportunity for fishermen to be able to enjoy their sport year round unlike other areas which have seasonal closures or where the conditions don't support year round fishing.
Finally it is a great destination for a fishermen with a family who is not so much inclined to fish.  Unlike many destinations which are so sparse a fishermen cannot take along his non-fishing family, in our area there is a range of activities which will satisfy the non-fishermen while the fishermen can enjoy their time on the river.