.......................  ....................  ...Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park
New KISS Bug Series - Part 47

Western Green Drake

The Western Green Drake hatch is a popular for one reason. The trout will usually readily take the dun
during a hatch. The dun is the most important stage of the Western Green Drake’s life as far as the dry fly
angler is concerned. This mayfly may ride the surface a relatively long time - as long as a minute or two. At
the time of the season most of these drakes hatch, it usually takes some time for them to dry their wings,
During this time, they are very subject to being eaten by a trout.

The duns usually emerge in smoother flowing water, not the fast moving, broken surface type of water.
That give the trout plenty of time to closely examine the dun. We think this gives our simit-realistic Perfect
Fly Dun fly a slight edge over most of them.

Some anglers think the trout become selective on either the emergers or duns. I don't buy that, but I do
think the trout will eat either one, depending on the opportunity available. I don't believe they become
selective on the particular stage of life. I guess it's possible where there are huge hatches taking place, but
most of the time the hatches are not that huge. Often in a particular area of a stream, the hatch only last
three or four days and unless it's heavily overcast, only for an hour or two each day.

I mentioned in the emerger article that we normally use a trailing shuck version of the emerger. The Green
Drake dun is a dry fly and that's why we prefer it. As long as we can catch fish on the dry fly, we are going
to use one instead of a wet fly or nymph.  

Normally, the best presentation is an upstream cast to the calmer areas of water. If you are fishing pocket
water, this is certainly the way to go. If you are fishing rather smooth water, then a downstream, or a down
and across presentation may be best.

In most cases, you leaders should rather long. It should have a three foot long 4x or 5X tippet for most
waters these mayflies hatch in. In very clear water you may need to use an even longer leader and smaller

You will usually be able to spot individual trout rising to the duns and/or emergers. This is especially true if
you are fishing smooth water. Even in fast pocket water you should still be able to detect the trout eating
the duns if you pay close attention.

Trout take the emergers in the surface skim with a swirl that may not break the surface of the water. When
they take the duns they usually do break the surface and are of course, much more noticeable.

In pocket water we normally stick to short, up or up and across presentations. We try to focus on the
pockets of slower moving water near the fast water runs and riffles. If we are not able to find an individual
fish eating the drakes, we try to cover a lot of water with the short upstream cast.  

In smooth water we still try to use the up or up and across presentation if we can do so without spooking
the trout. We almost always use a reach cast doing this. There are times and places, depending on the
water, that it is almost impossible to get close to the trout without spooking them. In these cases you are
better off using a down and across presentation.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh
Western Green Drake