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Terrestrial insects on Utah's Green River

The Green River is world famous for incredible dry fly fishing. Situated in the arid desert region of the eastern Uintah Mountains, the Green River sustains a plethora of terrestrial insects. Almost every season a strange new insect is seen in or on the banks of the river. These large morsels are packed with protein, and the trout happily gorge on them like a fat kid on a candy bar. This abundant food source allows for trout to be taken year round on size #14 & larger dries. Terrestrial insects are seen as early as March with grasshoppers commonly seen in April.


Terrestrial patterns for the Green River:
All of our Green River Guides have their own hand tied flies. The following fly patterns can be purchased at local Dutch John, Utah fly shops.

Chernobyl Ant black, brown size #2-16
Fat Albert tan, black size #4-14
Sailor Ant black, brown size #8-18
PMX Cricket black size #8-10
Beetle patterns black, brown size #8-18
Parachute Hoppers all colors and sizes
Double Ugly size #8-16
Triple Double amber, black, olive size #8-16
PMX peacock size # 6-14
Card's Cicada size #8-10
Green River Para Cricket black size #10-16
Momba black, brown size #8-12

Mormon Crickets on the Green River

Cicadas on the Green River


Green River Fly Fishing Tips - Terrestrials:

Make your first cast Count - Most of the trout on the Green River are opportunistic feeders. If you present your fly 1 time to a fish without a look or a take, and you believe that you gave a near perfect presentation, Stop Casting! By waiting you allow the fish to get comfortable again. You now have 3 options. Give the fish some time before presenting your fly again, Change flies and then cast (also gives the fish time), or move to the next fish.

  • Cover lots of Water - The Green River holds one of the highest trout per mile densities anywhere.  There is always another fish around the corner.  Many Green River anglers have the "right fly pattern" on, but not the discipline to allow for a natural amount of time to pass before presenting their fly again.  If they don't take after a few tries move to the next spot.

  • Approach with Stealth - Because of the large # of fish in the Green River, a sloppy approach will likely scare more than the fish that you can see. Trout are spooky creatures by nature. Ospreys, bald eagles, anglers, river otters, and larger fish all stalk the trout of the Green. The fish tend to have one eye always looking for predator warning signs.

  • Start with a Single Fly - Double fly rigs tangle easily, which can cost you on the initial presentation. Many times a dry-dropper rig will spook a fish that would have eaten a single terrestrial. While rising to your dry fly trout may feel the taught line to the dropper and pull away from both flies. However, 2 flies are not a bad way to go on your second presentation, or if the fish are primarily feeding subsurface.  If you are fishing a dry dropper - fish it the same way you would fish a shallow nymph rig.
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    Spinner Fall Guide Service is an Ashley National Forest permitee
    authorized to guide fly fishing trips on Utah's Green River.


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