This story begins in 2011 when I made a three day trip to the Conejos River. I chose this destination since the northern portion of Colorado was locked in an exceptionally long snow melt that year. After an afternoon on the lower river near Aspen Glade Campground with minimal success, I paid a visit to the Conejos River Angler fly shop and asked for advice. The store salesperson directed me to the upper river below Platoro, and as is my custom, I purchased some flies in exchange for information.
The salesperson suggested some flies, and his guidance included salvation nymphs and green drake dry flies. The dry flies were the bushiest imitations I ever saw, and in fact they struck me as olive bodied stimulators, but they produced some very nice fish that day and the next day on the upper Conejos River. I deployed these green drakes on numerous occasions subsequent to the purchase, and they seemed to perform best during the initial stages of green drake emergence periods.
During July of 2015 I made a return visit to the Conejos River and camped at Lake Fork Campground in close proximity to the upper stretch where I experienced stellar success in 2011. Once again I knotted the heavily hackled green drake to my line and enjoyed splendid results during the late morning hours on two successive days of intense fishing. Of course extended usage of a fly exposes it to loss, and I depleted my supply of bushy green drakes to two bedraggled versions in my front pack.
I resolved to tie some more, but I did not know what they were named. Fortunately our modern state of life offers a tool for such a dilemma, and it is called the internet. I typed hair wing green drake in my browser, and I was pleasantly surprised to observe results that included Harrop’s hair wing dry fly. I scanned the images on the screen and rejoiced when I spotted a green drake that matched the two remaining flies in my possession. I continued my search and found tying instructions for Harrop’s hair wing green drake and printed them.
I am pleased to report that the step by step instructions were superb, and I cranked out five size 12 Harrop hair wing green drakes. My versions appear to be slightly more sparse than the purchased varieties as they possess a narrower abdomen, but my intuition says they will be productive additions to my fly box. The newly completed flies are slotted in my boat box, and they taunt me every time I spot them. I can hear the siren call saying, “You have seven months to wait before I can torment large trout and entice smashing top water takes.” That may be true, but at least I no longer worry about depleting my supply of these amazing fish magnets.