Fly Fishing Seasons on Utah's Green River

The Green River in Utah is widely considered one of the very best fly fishing destinations in the world.  The amazing scenery and thousands of trout per mile that happily rise for dry flies make the Green River a Bucket List river for anglers of all skill levels.  Please use the following information to help you decide when might be best to fish her waters. 

Spring Fly Fishing on Utah's Green River

The Spring is arguably the very best time of year to fly fish the Green River in Utah.  The warmer water being released from Flaming Gorge Dam greatly increases the trouts' metabolism and initiates the most consistent aquatic insect hatch of the year, the Blue Wing Olives.  The BWO's begin making an appearance in March and last well into late May.  The peak hatches usually occur mid to late April during inclement weather.  

May offers amazing opportunities to hit the first terrestrial dry fly fishing of the year.  Cicadas show up almost every year in early May, with some years their presence being the trouts main focus  The window before high water offers amazing fly fishing and sees little river traffic.  We are only given 3 days notice as to when high water will begin, the anticipated flow levels and predicted duration.  Over the past 5 years the avearge date for the start of high water is May 25th.  May is a great time for a last minute trip.    

March

 

As the temperatures rise, the fly fishing in early spring really picks up. The trout are eager to eat the larger BWO mayfly nymphs. March provides very solid nymph fishing.  Dry fly opportunities on midges are abundant on the A Section and upper B Section as well.  The Streamer fishing on the lower stretches of the river are excellent and are some of the most consistent of the year.

April

 

The Green River fishes as well as any other river in the lower 48 states in April. Being a tailwater fishery, we do not get the muddy snow runoff which so many other rivers are susceptible to. Whatever your preferred method of fly fishing may be, April on the Green River provides some of the best fly fishing anywhere. Incredible hatches, high catch rates, and the ability to stalk individual rising fish are just part of what make fly fishing Utah's Green River in April special.

Hatches:

 

Blue Wing Olive (BWO"s) #16-18

Midges size #20-24

Black Stoneflies #14

Terrestrial Insects - grasshoppers, ants, cicadas, crickets, & beetles #8-16

 

Best Techniques:

 

Dry Fly:  Fish to rising pods of trout during the morning midge hatch.  Look for hundreds of trout rising during a blanket BWO Hatch which occur on cloudy days around 1pm.  The first Terrestrial dry fly fishing of the season also starts when temperatures start creeping into the mid 70's.

 

Nymph: deep runs & pools (7-10 feet deep)- The trout will move into shallow water and over moss beds mid day when the BWO nymphs begin to emerge

 

Streamers: fish slowly - in the Spring they fish best in the pool tailouts and on the lower sections of the river.

May

 

The Green River fishes excellent in May before and after high water. High water typically begins around May 20th and last 2 weeks. However, every season is different due to weather and snowpack. Some of the largest trout are caught during high water as all trout in the Green are displaced by the high flows. Being a tailwater fishery, the Green clears up relatively fast and good fishing usually resumes 2 days after the first day of high flows. Blue wing olives, trout eagerly awaiting terrestrial insects, large trout chasing streamers, and a chance at hitting the cicada hatch are all a part of the Green River in May.

Best Fly Patterns:

 

Parachute Adams #16-18

BWO Cripple Paterns #16-20

Spotlight Midge black, grey #16-20

PMX Parachute Cricket #12-18

Cicadas #8-10

Beefus BWO Emerger #18-22

Fat Albert tan, black #8-14

Grey Scud #18-22

Tungsten Zebra Midge black, brown, wine #18-20 Wooly Buggers black, gold, white, olive #4-8

Articulated Circus Peanut ginger, olive, black, white #2

RS2 gray, wine #16-22

Wire Worms in Neon during high water #6-10

Summer Fly Fishing on Utah's Green River

There are not many places in the world that have better dry fly fishing than the Green River in the Summer.  The river is situated on the Eastern edge of the Uinta Mountains in a very dry high desert setting.  This unique area holds an incredible variety of terrestrial insects all of which the trout happily search for.   Long drifts with floating fly patterns will produce lots of opportunities for anglers of all skill levels.  

June

 

The Green River is world famous for the prolific cicada hatch. The cicadas begin to emerge when the ground temperature reaches the mid 60's. This can occur anytime from early May to mid June. The mature cicadas live for about 1 month after emergence. Cicadas are not very accurate flyers and frequently land in the water causing explosive strikes from eager trout. Other highlights of June include Caddis, PMD Mayflies and Yellow Sally Stonefly hatches. These hatches typically start in late June, and are more prolific on the B and C sections. Also on the trout menu are grasshoppers, ants, & beetles. check out our Terrestrial Insects page for fly fishing tips and more dry fly info.

July

 

July offers a smorgasbord of tasty terrestrial and aquatic insects to the numerous trout which inhabit the Green River. July provides the driest conditions of the year in eastern Utah. This dry weather allows the entire 30 miles below Flaming Gorge Dam to be crystal clear. This helps spread anglers and rafters out and the lower sections of the river fish very well. In early July anglers may encounter the tail end of the cicada hatch, as well as prime time Yellow Sally Stoneflies, Caddis and PMD mayflies.

August

 

Warm weather, great fishing, and healthy trout are a few words which represent the Green River in August. By this time in the season all of our guides are very dialed into where the trout are holding. August fishes very well with grasshoppers, flying ants, and beetles. We also get a great Trico hatch on the lower sections of the river as well. In late August the kids are back in school and river rafting traffic drops significantly.  August is a very consistent month on the Green River.

Hatches:

 

Terrestrial Insects - all shapes and sizes

PMD's #14-16

Yellow Sally Stoneflies #14 -16

Cicadas #4-10

Mormon Crickets #2-4

Caddis Flies #14-16

 

Best Techniques:

 

Dry Fly - Some of the best dry fly fishing anywhere in the world occurs on the Green River in the summer. Remember to let the trout eat your fly before setting the hook.  Hiring one of our premier fly fishing guides will give you ample opportunities at fish.

 

Nymphing runs & pools (about 7 feet deep) - The trout will move into shallow water and over moss beds around 10am when the nymphs begin to move around. Dry-Dropper rigs are also very effective

 

Streamers fished early in the mornings, at dusk and in cloudy weather or in the shade.  They can also be great on the lower river if the water clarity is off color.

Best Fly Patterns:

 

PMX Parachute Cricket #8-14

Chernobyl Ants black, brown, tan #4-12

Card's Cicada #8-10, #4-6

Beefus PMD Emerger #14-16

Fat Albert black  & tan #6-14

Morrish Hopper tan, pink #8-14

Yellow Sally CDC & Elk  #14-16

Vis-a-Dun PMD #14-16

Tungsten Zebra Midge brown, disco, wine #14-16 Wooly Buggers black, gold, white, olive #4-8

Sex Dungeon black, olive, ginger, white #2

Triple Double black, amber, purple, olive #10-16

Elk Hair Caddis #14-16

Sailor Ant brown & black #12-18

Snookie brown, tan, black #8-12

Iron Sally #14-16

Scud grey #20

Fall Fly Fishing on Utah's Green River

Autumn oh the Green River can be a very productive time of year to fly fish.  The brown trout start to feed heavily as they gear up for the spawn and to pack on weight for the winter.  Streamers can be very effective this time of year - especially in October and November.

We also see some very thick hatches of Trico's and Psuedocloeon (tiny Blue Wing Olive mayflies) which get the trout very podded up.  These hatches offer incredible sight fishing opportunities to wary trout and peak in September.  

September

 

Kids back in school means much less traffic on the river! Warm weather, great fishing, vibrant colored leaves and healthy trout are a few words which represent the Green River in September. September fishes very well with grasshoppers, flying ants, and beetles. The trout key into brown flies, and begin their pre-spawn rituals.

October

 

Solitude, and trout in spawning colors are part of what makes October on the Green River special! The weather may be 70's or snowing so be prepared. Dry flies will fish well on warm days.  The brown trout start getting extra aggressive towards other fish, and their colors become very vivid.  This is a great time of year to hone your streamer fishing skills!

November

 

November is a great time to observe brown trout spawining behavior. Hundreds of trout can be seen paired up on, protecting, and excavating spawn beds. Because of their increasingly aggressive behavior fishing with streamers provides great visual action! "Indian Summers" in November are also common and allow for large terrestrial dry fly fishing. These warm spells provide terrific dry dropper fishing. Autumn is a great time of year to catch trout with lots of solitude!

Hatches:

 

Blue Wing Olive (BWO"s) #18-22

Midges size #20-24

Terrestrial Insects - grasshoppers, ants, crickets, & beetles #8-18

 

Best Techniques:

 

Dry Fly - Brown and tan colored flies fish very well in the Fall.  Hoppers, sailor ants, beetles, and Royal Wulffs, and small BWO patterns..

 

Nymphing runs & pools (about 7 feet deep) - There are lots of trout in shallow water and over moss beds.

 

Streamers fished early in the mornings, at dusk and in the shade. Also effective fished on a nymph rig.  Very effective later in the Fall as the brown trout stage up for the spawn

Best Fly Patterns:

 

Parachute Adams #18-20

BWO Cripple Paterns #18-20

Spotlight Midge black, grey #18-20

Beefus BWO Emerger #18-22

Fat Albert tan, black #8-14

Grey Scud #18-22

Tungsten Zebra Midge black, brown, wine #18-20 Wooly Buggers black, gold, white, olive #4-8

Articulated Circus Peanut ginger, olive, black, white #2

RS2 gray, wine #18-22

Parachute Hoppers tan, olive #8-14

Beetles brown, black #14-18

Sailor Ants brown, black #10-16

Royal Wulff #14-20

Triple Double black, amber, purple, olive #10-16

Snookie brown #8-12

Winter Fly Fishing on Utah's Green River

Winter fly fishing on the Green River is very quiet and peaceful.  The river flows tend to fluctuate greatly in the winter, but our guides can put you in the right spots to maximize the day.  Streamers , small nymphs and midge dry flies will all produce.    

December

 

December provides great midge hatches, as well as opportunities to catch aggressive brown trout on streamers. Bald eagles are frequently seen on the river this time of year, and human sightings are rare!

January

 

With river temps in the upper 30's the trout tend to group together - if you find feeding fish stay there. Trout taking your fly will hit very soft no matter which method of fly fishing you are using. If you are nymphing be ready to set on any strange or subtle movement of your indicator.

February

The Rainbow trout begin their spawning rituals in February. Please avoid standing/anchoring on or near the spawn beds. Day time highs in February occasionally reach the mid 50's. Look for awesome midge hatches on these days.  February can also be very good for streamers - especially on warm days.  

Hatches:

 

Midges size #20-24

 

 

Best Techniques:

 

Dry Fly:  Look for subtle rises to locate the pods of surface feeding fish. Delicate presntations are usually needed to entice fish feeding on midges

 

Nymph: deep runs & pools (7-10 feet deep)- The trout strikes will be soft so set on any little movement

 

Streamers: fish slowly - typically fish best in the fast water or on the lower sections of the river.

Best Fly Patterns:

 

Spotlight Midge black #20-24

Mating Midge #20-24

Parachute Adams #20-24

Gulper Special black #18-20

WD40's wine, grey, black #18-24

Barr's Emerger #22-24

RS2 olive, wine, grey #20-22

Glo Bugs peach, orange, pink, green #14-18

Soft Hackle grey #18-24

Scuds gray, olive #14-22

BWO Beefus Emerger #18-22

Tungsten Zebra Midge brown, black, wine, purple #14-20

Wooly Buggers black, gold, white, olive #4-8

Triple Double black, purple #16-18

Muddler Minnow #6-10

Ginger Bunny #6-10

 

 

 

              

Spinner Fall Guide Service is authorized to conduct guided fly fishing trips on the Green River in Utah.

BLM & Ashley National Forest Permit # 9156

 

© 2002 - 2020 by Spinner Fall Guide Service.  All rights reserved 

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