|....................... .................... ...Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park
New KISS Bug Series - Part 46
Western Green Drake
The Western Green Drake nymphs swim to the surface to emerge from their nymphal shuck, or in some
cases, they emerge beneath the surface. In some cases they make more than one effort to emerge and
may swim up to the surface several times before they are able to emerge into duns. This will usually be in
the slower moving areas of water adjacent to the fast or moderate flowing water they normally live in. I have
not raised them in an aquarium, but I am told they split their nymphal shucks about midway between the
bottom and the surface. It's thought that they have a high number of cripples as compared to other
mayflies, but I'm not certain about that either.
We have only one type of Green Drake Emerger. It's a trailing shuck version that's more like the Green
Drake dun than the nymph. The fly has an antron trailing shuck attached to the tail imitating the shuck still
stuck to the tail of the newly emerged dun.
The Green Drake trailing shuck emerger should float in the surface skim. At times the trout don't tend to
want to feed on the surface and the emerger works better than the dun. It is more difficult to see in the
water and consequently, a little more difficult to fish.
As mentioned before, the nymphs that live in fast water will migrate to the slower moving water nearby.
Those that live in the medium flowing areas of a stream hatch in the same water they live in. The hatch only
last a few days, usually from a week to two weeks on any one stream. Normally the Green Drakes hatch in
the middle of the day, or the warmest part of the day, and last for about two hours.
To imitate the nymph swimming to the surface, you can fish a slightly weighted imitation of the nymph and
fish it up and across on the swing. If you are fishing our Green Drake trailing shuck emerger fly, you should
allow it to drift drag free in the surface skim. An up and across presentation is best for this.
In pocket water streams, fish the slower water on the outside edges of fast water current seams and the
inside of pockets behind boulders. They may also emerge at the ends of long runs.
In smooth flowing water, we recommend fishing to individual fish if you can find them feeding in the surface
skim. We stick with an upstream presentation most of the time although a down and across presentation will
also work depending on the conditions of the area of water you are fishing. Getting the fly to drift drag free
isn't easy in some of the smooth water streams. The current can be very deceptive. An uneven bottom
and/or grass beds can create some very complex currents. It's best to keep you cast short as you can
without spooking the trout.
|Western Green Drake
Availability to trout:
Type of water:
Duration of hatch period: