Copyright 2018 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On The Green River In Utah
The Green River Tailwater below Flaming Gorge Dam is
one of the top tailwater fly fishing destinations in the
West. It is located in a remote area of Northeastern Utah
but it is fairly close to Salt Lake City. The river has a
very good population of brown, rainbow and cutthroat
trout. Fly Fishing the Green River in Utah is a completely
different experience than fishing it in Wyoming.
The Flaming Gorge Dam is something to behold itself. It
is about 300 feet high which means the bottom
discharge of water is always cold. Below the dam the
scenery is spectacular. The Green River flows through a
very Red Canyon.
There is an eleven mile long trail that follows along one
side of the river in the Red Rock Canyon. You can fish
along the bank the entire way but wading is very limited
even during periods of low water. The river is best fished
from a drift boat. The water consist of deep pools with
fast moving water between fast water runs and riffles.
There are three main sections broken up such that each
one can be a separate drift boat trip. There are launch
and take out areas at each of the three locations. By far
the most popular section is the one just below the dam..
The first section is called section "A" and is about seven
miles long. The reason is popular is two fold. It has the
largest population of trout and it is the most scenic
section. It is enclosed by the canyon walls.
Section two or section "B" as some call it, is about nine
miles long and contains some very large trout. Part of it
is in the canyon and part of it flows through more open
The lower section, called section "C", is about 12 miles
long and has several launch ramps. It is the least fished
section but still provides some great fly fishing
Fly fishing the Green River in Utah is quite different from
most fly fishing destinations. After fishing the canyon,
anglers have a common word used to describe their
adventure - beauty. They can't get over the beauty of
the canyon and the clear water.
There's no shortage of wildlife along the river. Bighorn
sheep, mountain goats, moose, mule deer, black bear,
beavers, muskrat, bald eagles, golden eagles, osprey
and others animals and birds also add to the value of a
Green River fishing trip.
Another feature of fly fishing the Green River is that it
can be fished year-round. The water temperature of the
discharge stays about the same throughout the year.
This offers anglers an opportunity to fish when most of
the other trout streams in the western states are closed.
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Photo Courtesy of David Knapp Photography
Recommended Tackle & Gear
5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 & 12 ft., 5 or 6X, Nymphing:
71/2 ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Superb Five or Ultimate Six
For 5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
You can fish the river year-round provided
you can get there. The roads are
sometimes closed during bad weather days.
The fishing can be good during the winter
since the water stays a constant
Springtime is an excellent time to fish the
Fly Fishing Guide to the Green River,
Flaming Gorge in Utah
Fly fishing the Green River below Flaming
Gorge depends on the season and flows.
They vary by season but are basically stable
each day.The river is basically divided into
three sections, mainly because of the access
areas and put in's and take out's. The first
section, which is about 7 miles long called
section A by some, is the most popular and it
carries the largest population of trout. Its
entirely within the Red Canyon. The second
section, called section B is about 9 miles
long. It doesn't have quite the population of
the upper section but still has plenty of trout
and some very large ones. About half of this
section is within the Red canyon. The third
section, or section C, is about 12 miles long
with several launch ramps. It is the least
popular section and hold the least fish per
mile but is still good fishing water. There is
one notable tributary, the Red Creek, and it
flows into the Green River with muddy water
at times, making the lower section unfishable
when this occurs.
The upper part of Section A is generally flat
and deep with mostly a smooth surface but it
also has some areas of class 11 and 111
rapids. It's almost always extremely clear. It
has mostly rainbows but also browns,
cutthroat and some hybrids.
The lower part of section A, has some
good wading water with some pocket water
and shallow riffles. It also has some rapids.
Section B is dominated by browns with
fewer rainbows, cutthroats and some
hybrids. It runs from Little Hole to Indian
Crossing at Brown's Park. The canyon
widens out and the water slows slow some.
This is where Red Creek enters which can
muddy the water after a heavy rain. This
section contains some class 111 rapids.
This is a good area to wade with some
pocket water and some flats.
Section C may hold the largest fish but the
fishing is considered inconsistent. It loses
it's canyon and the surrounding terrain
levels out, making windy day as big factor in
fishing this area. It's easy to wade this
section and it also makes for a comfortable
float with less traffic and pressure from
Green River (Flaming Gorge)
Hatches and Trout Flies:
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and
nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other foods
at the particular time you are fishing. Unlike
the generic fly shop trout flies, we have
specific imitations of all the insects in the
Green River and in all stages of life that are
applicable to fishing. If you want to fish
better, more realistic trout flies, have a much
higher degree of success, give us a call.
We not only will help you with selections,
you will learn why, after trying Perfect Flies,
92% of the thousands of our customers will
use nothing else. 1-800-594-4726.
Tailwaters get their aquatic insects from the
original stream or river that was damed. In
this case, the Flaming Gorge Dam formed a
large reservoir that lies in both Utah and
Wyoming. The discharge is from the cold
water in the bottom of the lake. That
changed some of the aquatic insects in the
stream below the dam from that of what
once lived in a warmer river for most of the
year. Even so, the Green River has a
unique and diverse aquatic insect
population. The hatches change depending
on the distance you are fishing below the
Most of the insects are midges and scuds.
There are also some mayflies, stoneflies
and caddisflies. Over the years, there have
been more and more of these. The first
mayfly and the most abundant mayfly is the
Blue-winged Olive. They start to hatch in
late March and peak in late April and early
May. The hatch ends in late May. These are
bi-brooded and hatch again in September,
October and early November.
Pale Morning Duns hatch start hatching in
June and last on into mid August. Tricos
hatch in late July, August and September,
mostly in the lower section of the river.
Little Winter Stoneflies start showing up in
March and last into the first of May. Golden
Stonflies hatch in June and last into mid
July. Little Yellow Stoneflies are also
present. They start hatching in June and
last well into August. These are called
Yellow Sallies by most anglers.
American Grannoms, or Little Black Caddis,
start hatching in April. There are more than
one species and the hatch last on into
August, depending on the section of the
river you are fishing. It isn't normally a heavy
hatch except for a short period of time in
Scuds and sowbugs are among the most
plentiful trout foods found in the tailwater.
Trout feed on them year-round.
Minnows, baitfish and sculpin are in all
sections of the Green River. Streamers are
effective all year on the Green River, but
especially during the fall spawning time of
the brown trout which peaks in November.
Craneflies start appearing in April and last
for at least six months. We have imitations
of their larvae and the adults.
The terrestrial insects along the banks of
the Green River tailwater consist mostly of
beetles, crickets, grass hoppers, Mormon
Crickets, ants and Cicadas. The Cicadas
hatch begins in the middle of May most
years and stretches well into June.
Grasshoppers, ants and beetles start
showing up along the banks in late June.
Trout can be caught on imitations of them
on into early October.
We recommend our "Perfect Flies", not only
because they are the most realistic of all
the insects and other trout food, but also
because they are the most effective flies to
use to catch trout. Our canefly, scuds,
sowbugs imitations are far superior to any.
Our caddisflies, such as the Great Gray
Spotted Sedge, are unique to the species
and perform far better than generic
caddisfly imitations. If you haven't already
tried "Perfect Flies", then we certainly hope
you will do so. We are confident that you
will find them very effective on the Green
Spotted Sedges will show up in April and
last all the way to September. The hatch
peaks in July. Their Little Sisters are also
present. They start hatching in May and
last until August. Green Sedges are fairly
plentiful. They start hatching in July and
last on into the first of October. Trout can
be taken on imitations of their larvae, or the
Green Rock Worm, year-round. You will
find some Great Gray Spotted Sedges on
the lower river in July and August.
Summertime can be crowded with
non-anglers especially on weekends but the
fishing can be okay along the banks.
The autumn season is an excellent time to
fish the tailwater.
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
Headlines: The river is in good
shape with good discharge rates
and stream levels. We are still
recommending the upper or
section A as opposed to the middle
or lower river sections. Midges,
little Blue-winged olives, aquatic
worms, and Sculpin are the main
foods to imitate. Keep track of the
latest information by clicking the
above link to our Green River
Map of Green River