Time: 9:30AM – 7:30PM
Location: Section B below Flaming Gorge Dam
A friend and I traveled to Dutch John and fished the Green River below Flaming Gorge. We floated the B section with guide, Scott, from Spinner Fall Guide Service on Friday, April 12 and wade fished above Little Hole on Saturday morning April 13. Over the course of the two days we used all imaginable techniques.
We caught rainbows and brown trout, and my partner caught one cutthroat trout. We also landed nine whitefish; an unusually high number for the Green River based on my past experience. Fish were generally in the 14-18″ range. The fishing was excellent. Large trout were present nearly everywhere. Over the course of the day and a half, my partner and I caught and landed forty fish and had numerous additional fish hooked that we failed to land.
We observed fairly heavy midge activity in the morning of both days. BWO activity became fairly dense around 2:30PM on Friday, the day we floated the B section. We pulled over for lunch just ahead of a brief thunderstorm. After the rain stopped, and we resumed the drift, the hatch was fairly intense and lasted an hour or so. The duration of the hatch was not as long as during my trip on Good Friday of the previous year. The BWO hatch appears to be running a bit later this year.
We alternated between fishing a dry/dropper combination, two nymphs, or a dry only. By far the most successful fly was what our guide referred to as a brown bead, and I recently purchased the materials to tie more of these. Brown thread, fine silver rib, and a tungsten bead on a curved size 18 or 20 hook. When nymphing, we used a size 18 on top and size 20 on the bottom. We used the size 20 or 18 as a dropper off an attractor cricket or similar buoyant fly, when we implemented the dry/dropper over slower moving shallow bank locations. During the intense BWO hatch after lunch, we fished a grey fuzzball, as we attempted to imitate clusters of BWO’s. This worked very well, as I landed four gulpers and then a very nice brown, where we stopped to wade fish a small side channel.
While wade fishing on Saturday morning I noticed some very small mayflies emerging. These were smaller and earlier in the day than the BWO’s of the previous day. In the past, when I’ve spotted these very small mayflies, I tied on a size 22 WD-40, and this provided decent success. On Saturday I tried the same fly as a dropper off a yellow Letort hopper, and I caught four nice browns in very shallow clear water along the bank. These were exceptional browns with vibrant yellow-orange coloring, and they all sucked in the WD-40. This was during a time, when the fish were being especially particular in late morning.
I do not know the cfs, but the water was very low. Friday the high temperature may have reached the low 50’s, but it was extremely windy. Partial cloud cover lingered for much of the day, and as I mentioned there was a brief shower. Saturday was much warmer with clear skies and sunshine, until we departed around 1PM.
As mentioned earlier, we used the services of Scott Barrus of Spinner Fall Guide Service. This was my second trip with Scott, and he does an excellent job. He is knowledgeable of the river and hatches. He works hard to position the boat for good presentations including rowing upstream for multiple drifts through hot areas. He is extremely patient. He guided us from 8:30AM, until we left the river just before dark. He tied on our flies, forgave us for losing his flies to overzealous strikes and untangled our knots. I cannot say enough good things about Scott. Give him a try.