Saturday, 18 May 2013

A Day on the Green

Leopard spotted brown. 
After working every day but one for the past month, I managed to take a day to fish the Green River on my drive home from a conference in Utah.  The Green River below the Flaming Gorge dam in Utah is a world class fishery.  There are reportedly 20,000 fish per mile and I believe it. The "A section" extends seven miles downstream from the Flaming Gorge dam to Little Hole.I'd planned to fish downstream from the dam access but I abandoned that plan because of the crowd.  Instead I drove downstream to the Little Hole access.  The parking lot there was nearly empty when I arrived at 9:30 AM.  It's the takeout for boats floating from the dam and by afternoon it is filled with trucks towing trailers that have been shuttled down during the day.

It turned out to be a very good day. Saddly, I was a week late for the Blue Winged Olive hatch, though a few olives did come off during the day. Even so, the fish were still keyed in on BWO nymphs, and I caught as many fish as I care to in a day. I know because I lost count. If I had to guess I landed 15 and hooked about twice that many.  None of the fish I landed was under 15" and none were over 20".  All of them took my Black Back Wet Dream.

BBWD tied on a size 20 Dai-Riki #135 hook - black flashback.
I tie this version of the WD on size 18-22 Dai_Riki #135 hooks.

Black Back Wet Dream (BBWD)
Hook: size 18-22 scud/pupa hook
Body:  olive or  brown olive thread
Tail: a few fibers from a Wood Duck  flank feather
Thorax: tan/brown dubbing
Wing Case:  Black Holo-Tinsel

In the pictured fly I used 70 denier brown olive Ultra thread, the thorax is SLF Spikey Dubbing in natural fox color and the wing case is black Holo Tinsel.   It is a synthesis of Mark Engler's original WD (wet dream) pattern with a flashier version of Randy Smith's Tyvek Baetis.  Engler's pattern was renamed the WD-40 by  Umpqua when they commercialised it - so as not to offend delicate sensibilities. I do not share their compuction. Many folks assume the WD stands for "wood duck".  Good marketing at work I guess.  Smith's pattern uses a wing case tied from Tyvek that has been colored black.  Mine uses black holo-tinsel.   Feel free to tie as many as you like, it's proving to be an amazingly effective pattern, but also, consider this post a copyright on the pattern should you want to commercialize it.

An eighteen incher.
The Green is primarily a brown trout fishery although I did catch some nice rainbows too, fat fish. These fish are heavily pressured and can be selective feeders.  The water is extraordinarily clear and good sized fish hang on the banks. You see many many of them as you hike up the trail.  It can be a frustrating experience for the tyro to fish to one of these large trout, clearly on the feed, in shallow water.  There is nothing more satisfying than taking one of these fish.  Once again, I complain that the fly shops are pushing the big flies to novices because so many fisherman are reluctant to fish the small flies.  The green has a good hatch of cicadas and a big black foam fly is a common pattern there.  Later in the summer there is good hopper fishing as well.  The fly shops are starting to push those flies though I did not see one cicada nor did I see any hoppers.

I met a man on the trial who I took to be from Oregon since he talked about fishing to spawning rainbows on the Williamson River. These are fish that run up out of Klamath Lake. He seemed somewhat disappointed with the Green in comparison. He said he'd done well the day before but he complained that he'd had to fish size 20 flies.  When I first met him he was fishing a cicada and when I saw him later had a streamer tied on.  By that time he'd had one hook-up.  Somewhat hopefully, he told me how he'd met someone the day before who frequently fishes the Green and who prefers to tie on an Adams or a Royal Coachman. A size 20 Adams would actually be a decent imitation of a BWO and there is a kind of local beetle with red/orange colouring. So who knows, maybe an Adams or a Royal Coachman would be just the ticket.  I expressed my doubts which prompted him to walk on.

Looking down into Little Hole on my way out at about five-thirty.

The Green is a great river.  I caught it yesterday at an in between stage, after the BWO hatch but before the summer hatches.   I promise myself that next year I will catch the BWO hatch.

1 comment:

  1. Looking to hit the Green next April and looking forward to trying this pattern, and using a size 24 version here in PA for fall baetis in PA. Thanks for sharing the recipe and the experience.