Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On The Green River In
The Green River in Wyoming is one of the most
overlooked rivers in the Western United States. If it
was located anywhere else in the nation, it would
probably be fished several times more than it is. It
lies in one of the most beautiful sections of the state
where the antelope roam the sage brush and people
are few and far between. Fly fishing the Green River
can be done in complete solitude.
To begin with there are one-hundred and forty miles
of freestone stream. In addition to that it has an
excellent tailwater. The stream starts from the Green
River Lakes just north of Pinedale on the western
side of the Wind River Mountain Range. It flows
through National Forest land for thirty miles where
access is excellent.
The trout average from fourteen to sixteen inches in
this section. The water is fast flowing and is often
fished from inflatable rafts. It leaves the National
Forest and flows through private land for about
twelve miles to the next public access.
At Warren Bridge on highway #191 there is more
public water, a boat launch but a lot more anglers.
From the Warren Bridge to Daniel Junction there are
several public access areas. Below Daniel Junction
the river flows for seventy more miles into Fontenelle
Reservoir. Below Daniel Junction you must float some
lengthy stretches to get back out at the few bridge
Below the dam at Fontenelle Reservoir, the river has
some huge trout. Although the numbers are not all
that great, the tailwater section has some big ones.
Brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout over twenty
inches get no ones attention.
The Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge provides
an ample amount of public access to the river. Most
likely you will be fishing in the presence of more
moose than other anglers. The birds and wildlife in
the refuge makes fly fishing the Green River even
Fly fishing techniques are different depending on
whether your fishing the headwaters, middle
freestone section or tailwater. They also vary with the
seasons and hatches, of course. The river has about
every type of water possible for a trout stream, from
meadows, to fast pocket water, to long runs and
riffles, to flats, to large pools, to the tailwater which
varies greatly depending on the discharges from the
Green River Wyoming
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 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 Supreme Four, Superb Five or
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
At some locations you can catch fish
anytime of the year.
You can fish the tailwater section, if you
can get there. Check season dates.
Good except for the runoff during late May
Fly Fishing Guide to the Green River
This river provides a great diversity of water.
Success depends on where and how you fish
it. The uppermost part of the Green River in
the National Forest area can be floated in a
rubber raft type boat but there is a lot of white
water than can be tough to navigate. I would
suggest only doing that with someone
experienced at it for the first time. It can also
be fished from the bank and by wading the
stream. Below the National Forest land, you
will have to have permission to fish the river
because most all of it is own private property.
At the public access area just North of
Warren Bridge on highway #191, you have
plenty of water to fish by wading it. There is
also a boat launch in case you prefer to drift
fish the river. This area can get crowded
during the peak fishing times. It is also
popular with the Jackson Hole guides. This
section is an eight mile drift with a takeout at
the Forty Rod Access near the Daniel Fish
Hatchery. This area can also be fished by the
Below the Daniel Fish Hatchery area, there is
seventy miles of river before it reaches the
Fontenelle Reservoir. There is little access
and almost all of the river flows through
private property. Access occurs only at the
bridges. If you drift any of this part of the
river, you must remember that you have to
make it to the next takeout area to get out of
the water. You cannot even drop anchor in
the stream without violating Wyoming law.
The river is not fishable for the month of June
and part of July most years due to the Spring
runoff. It is purely a freestone stream subject
to Mother Nature.
The next area to consider fishing is
probably the best one - the tailwater below
Fontenelle Reservoir. There are some
huge rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout in
the tailwater section. The water normally
stays clear about the entire year except
below Slate Creek which enters the river a
few miles downstream of the dam.
This area is extremely remote. There are
no nearby towns and few facilities within
miles. The river is easily accessed in the
Seekakadee National Wildlife Refuge.
There is also access just below the dam.
The river can be floated in a drift boat or
fished from the bank or wading in many
There are lots of big, deep pools and long,
deep runs in this section of the river. The
river is high during the spring runoff
period, but it is still plenty fishable. Most of
the fishing is done with large streamers
and big nymphs. There is some dry fly
fishing but by far the best way to catch one
of its large trout is below the surface.
The best way to fish the tailwater section is
by drift boat. You can cover a lot of water
and fish a variety of different places that
the fish may be holding. While the river
holds some huge trout, the numbers of
trout are comparatively low with some
Green River 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.
The hatch times on the tailwater section vary
some from those of the freestone stream.
Also you will find the freestone part varies
also with the elevation. The higher the
elevation, the colder the water and the later
the hatches will occur.
The Blue-winged Olive is one of if not the
most important aquatic insect to imitate on
the Green River. There are hatches starting
in March and lasting into May and then
another hatch that occurs in the late summer
and early fall from about the first of
September through October into November in
PMD's or Pale Morning Duns hatch from the
last of June through the month of August.
They are one of if not the most important
hatches. Trico mayflies hatch in late
September until the first week of October.
During the later part of July, the Gray Drakes
hatch. This is a good hatch that can last
through the month of August.
Little Yellow Stoneflies, or Yellow Sallies,
hatch at different times depending on the
elevation of the stream. Normally from about
the first of July through August you will find
them at some point on the river.
There are some Golden Stoneflies and
even some Salmonflies in the upper
headwater section of the river. The
Goldens show up around the end of July
and the Salmonflies a week or two earlier.
This is usually near the end of the spring
Caddisflies are very plentiful, especially in
the tailwater section. There are hatches of
Spotted Sedges from May through August
in different part of the river. There are
several species of these and the tailwater
section usually has one of them hatches
just about any time during this period.
There are also hatches of Short-horned
Sedges that start in June and last about a
Green Sedges hatch from about the first of
June through August, again depending on
the particular section of the river. There
are several other caddisflies that hatch on
the Green River but those listed above are
the largest hatches.
Terrestrial insects start becoming
important in July. They will last until the first
frost of September or early October.
Imitations of beetles, grasshoppers and
ants work during this time.
Don't forget about streamers. They are
especially important in the tailwater section
where there are lots of sculpin and all
types of small minnows and baitfish
present. The large ones are popular for
the large brown trout, especially during the
fall spawning season.
If you haven't done so already, we ask you
to try our "Perfect Flies". We have specific
imitations of everything that hatches on the
Green River. We feel certain you will find
them very effective. Click Here For Hatch
Summer is great after the runoff ends in
Fall is a prime time for fly fishing the
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|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 (email@example.com)
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 freestone section
of the river is just too cold to fish
and expect any real success. Fish
the tailwater section and the upper
section of it. The water temperature
is near 40 degrees there. BWOs
are stlll hatching and lots of midges,
both creams and reds, or blood
midges. Fish the larva and pupa
imitations in tandem for the best
result. The Brown sculpin streamers
are also choice flies. Keep up with
the latest information by clicking the
above link to the weekly fishing
Map of Green River, Wyoming
10/13/15 The hot location has been the tailwater the past week. For the most part, flows
have been good for both boats and sometimes, wading. Lots of big brown trout have been
caught. Streamers are producing well in the tailwater below Fontenelle Dam. It is dependant
on releases, but normally stable most of the time. There has been some wading
10/22/31 The Green is in great shape from the headwaters down through the Seedskadee
National Wildlife Refuge. October Caddis are at the peak of their hatch and Blue-winged
Olives are already hatching again. The weather is cooler but certainly not cold and few
anglers are around to take advantage of the opportunity. Our recommendation would first
be the tailwater, but be sure to check the discharges.
10/29/15 Conditions are very good for this time of the year. Stream flows are good and the
weather is decent. We didn't receive any reports from anyone fishing this past week.
October Caddis are still hatching in some upper river sections. Blue-winged olives is the
main hatch and best, of course, under cloudy conditions. It will be midge time soon but we
are holding off for a few mroe days.
11/02/15 Stream levels are good in the freestone section and the tailwater. Some very big
brown trout were caught this past week in the tailwater. Brown Sculpin streamers were the
reason. Blue-winged olive hatches are the main insect. The weather is finally getting a little
cooler but it is still unseasonably warm.
11/09/15 Stream levels are about normal at the Warren Bridge and below the dam. Of
course, the tailwater is subject to change rain or shine. The water temperature is getting
colder and hatches reduced to mostly midges and Blue-winged Olives. The hot fly has been
the Brown Sculpin and the Matuka Sculpin patterns.
11/16/15 We didn't get any reports form the freestone section this past week. Conditions
were fairly good for this time of the season. Blue-winged Olives and midges are the only
insects hatching but nymphs should have produced. The tailwater was up and down some
but one customer managed a very big, over 22 inch brown, and several medium size ones.
He was using the White Belly and Brown sculpin.
12/26/15 We have had some questions on the season in the tailwater below Fontenelle.
Green River from the Sweetwater County Road 8 Bridge, 4.5 miles below Fontenelle Dam,
downstream to the Big Sandy River in Sweetwater County. The creel limit on trout shall be
one (1) per day or in possession. All trout less than twenty (20) inches shall be released to
the water immediately. Fishing is permitted by the use of artificial flies and lures only.
12/03/15 Right now the discharges below the dam are reasonable and the levels good. You
always have to check them out. The USGS gauge at the Warren Bridge is locked up with
ice. The water has got cold in the freestone section but the tailwater is still okay. Midges is
the only insects you will need to be concerned about imitating. The river is full of sculpin
and streamers imitating them will work all winter if presented slowly in the slack water.
12/10/15 The section from the Pinedale bridge to the lake is open but there is a lot of
private property and little public. You would need a drift boat to access and take out. The
tailwater is open but make sure you know where the most upper point you can fish begins.
We added Winter stoneflies to the list because they have started hatching. Midges is still
the most important insects to imitate.
12/17/15 The high temperature for any day this coming week isn't above freezing. There is
snow forecast every day except one. There us a lot of ice in the freestone section of the
river. There is some ice along the banks of the tailwater. It is possible to catch some trout in
the tailwater but the section open is a good ways downstream of the dam and the water
temperature colder than the bottom discharge.
12/24/15 The USGS gauge at Warren Bridge has ice in it and isn't working. The stream
level below Fontenelle Reservoir is just a little above normal. The problem you will have is
water temperature. It is cold, in the high thirties below the dam and near freezing in the
freestone section. The first section below the dam is closed for the season and you can
only fish a good ways downstream where the water is getting colder than the discharge from
12/31/15 There is a slight chance of snow on Saturday night, but that is it. It is just going to
be clear and cold. The discharges from the dam should continue to be low but you have to
fish a good ways downstream from the dam and the water is in the mid to high thirties. You
can catch trout but it makes it tough.
01/07/16 Quite frankly, the water is just too cold right now in any part of the freestone
section, meaning anywhere above the Fontenelle Reservoir. The tailwater is a little warmer
but the very upper part of it is off limits at this time. Midges, fishing in tandem with the larva
the bottom fly and the pupa fly about 16 inches up the tippet is the best setup right now.
01/14/16 There is snow in the forecast every day for the next week with high temperatures
for each day not exceeding freezing for the next seven days. The only place to consider
fishing would be the Fontenelle Reservoir tailwater, and the section just below the dam is off
limit at this time.
01/28/16 The freestone section of the river has been too cold to fish. The tailwater section
is off limits to a good ways below the dam. The lets the water bottom discharge get cold
averaging about 37 degrees at the uppermost place it is legal to fish. You could choose a
better destination at this time.
02/03/16 The discharges and flow below Fontenelle Reservoir are remaining about the
same day to day at 912 cfs. It is the only section of the river that is warm enough to have
any opportunity to catch trout and the pickings are slim there because it is off limits a long
ways below the dam.
02/11/16 The weather is going to be much better with highs in the forties some days this
coming week. It isn't going to be warm enough to melt the slush ice in the freestone section
of the river. It is only about 33 to 34 degrees. The only option is the tailwater and since the
area below the dam is off limits right now, the water at the first point to fish is only 35
02/18/16 Last weeks warmer weather really helped. It got rid of a lot of slush ice in the
freestone section. It didn't raise the water temperature enough, but it helped. The tailwater
is off limits for some distance below the dam but the section that can be fished improved
about 4 degrees in water temperature. It is in the high thirties to about forty.
02/25/16 Discharges from Fontenelle Reservoir remain low and the water mostly clear of
ice, but you have to check it out before going. The water below the off limit area in the
tailwater is only 36 degrees and that makes it very tough to catch trout. Fish the slack water
(not fast current) with red or cream midges.
03/03/16 The freestone section of the Green is high and stained from melting snow in the
watershed. It isn't worth fishing and may not clear up this coming week. It is continuing to be
warm. The tailwater is the only option worth fishing. Remember, there is an off limit section
below the dam. Fish the slow current, not fast water.
03/10/16 The only option feasible right now is the tailwater below the off limit area. It is still
very cold water and midges are about the only option other than streamers when there is
low light conditions. The upper freestone river water is still in the low to mid thirties, far too
cold to fish.
03/17/16 Even though it has been unseasonably warm, the freestone section of the Green
River is still very cold, averaging in the mid to high thirties. There is still a lot of slush ice in
the upper river. The warm air just tended to melt snow and the runoff kelp the water
03/24/16 We are getting tired of writing the same old fishing report, over and over, but the
freestone river is still too cold for any decent opportunity. The tailwater is the only option
and to catch trout there, you have to fish midges or streamers in the slack water out of the
main current such as holes in the bottom and pockets.
03/31/16 The upper river is still far too cold to fish. The water in the lowest end of the
freestone stream is in the high thirties. The discharges and stream levels are fine below
Fontenelle. As it has been for a couple of months or more, that is about the only logical
04/07/16 The weather is warming up some this coming week, but that just melts snow and
keeps the water cold. It is gradually, slowly getting a little warmer. The freestone section is
still in the low forties at the highest water temperature. It will be changing soon, but for now,
the tailwater is still the best option.
04/14/16 The freestone section is high and dirty. It isn't blown out but near it. The tailwater
discharges are fine at this time, but that is most likely going to change. Make sure you
check them. There is a chance of snow for the next couple of days, but otherwise, the
weather should be good.
04/28/16 The upper freestone section is high and dirty from melting snow. The lower
freestone about the same. The tailwater is again the only feasible option. Right now the
discharges are low and reports are, some nice browns have been caught on the warm days.
The water is often stained and that really just help the streamer fishing.
05/05/16 The river is flowing just above normal and getting warmer. The Mother's Day
Caddis, or Little Black Grannom Caddis hatch should start very soon. The water
temperature needs to get about fifty degrees and it is in high forties. The water is stained
from melting snow and there is rain forecast every day.
05/12/16 There is rain and snow forecast from Saturday through next Wednesday.
Currently, the stream levels are down low enough to fish both below the lake in the tailwater
and in the freestone stream in the Pinedale area. You will have to watch them closely
starting this weekend. The water temperature is still in the high forties.
05/19/16 The river is still in pre-runoff mode, unlike some others in Wyoming. The tailwater
is still the best option. Discharges are okay for drift boats. Sculpin streamers are catching
some nice trout. Blue-winged olives and little Black caddis are hatching. Check out our
weekly updated Green River fly fishing report linked above.
05/26/16 The readings at the Warren Bridge station are much better. The freestone section
is falling out fast. The discharges from the Fontenelle Reservoir are very high right now, but
will likely change soon.
06/02/16 The discharges from Fontenelle are high. The lake is full and the discharges are
expected to go higher this week due to warmer weather. The flows in the freestone section
will increase as well and probably go into the full runoff mode.
06/09/16 The Green river watershed is high from the headwaters to the tailwater below
Fontenelle reservoir. Right now there isn't any opportunity for fly fishing on the Green, it is
runoff time. This is normal at this time of the year and thanks to having a good snow pack
that will keep the water in good shape this summer and fall.
06/16/16 The freestone section of the river is still very high and highly stained and the
tailwater discharges at Fontenelle are high and the water stained. It is still runoff time. We
get calls asking and it is the same answer we have to give but hopefully, it will be dropping
soon. The runoff did start early but it is all up to Mother Nature.
06/23/16 The runoff is still affecting the river big time and leaving little opportunity for fly
fishing. We don't guide, so we can just tell it like it is. Kidding! The flows at Warren Bridge
are at 1690 cfs at 3.65 ft., which is still high. The flows below Fontenelle is at 5440 cfs at
14.20 ft., which is still high.
06/30/16 The upper freestone river has gotten into good shape with good stream levels and
mostly clear water. The higher the elevation, the lower the flows. The tailwater below
Fontenelle has good discharge levels at this time and can also be fished. There are a lot of
hatching insects. Send us an email and we will list them and the flies you need to imitate
them for you.
07/07/16 The Green is in good shape from the headwaters to the lowest end of the tailwater
that holds trout. Our customers sent in two good reports from the past week. There are
many different insects hatching, but it depends on the section as to what is hatching. There
are lots of Little Yellow stoneflies, Golden stoneflies, Spotted sedges, Pale Morning duns
07/14/16 We received the most reports this past week on the Green that we have ever
gotten, and more importantly, all good. The freestone is a little low in places but easy to
wade and with lots of insects hatching. The tailwater has been having low discharges
allowing angler some great fishing. It is the best shape it has been in months.
07/21/16 The river is in very good shape for the middle of July. Lots of insects are hatching
but they vary from section to section depending on the elevation. The tailwater is fishing
good, with low discharges and stream levels. The hatches vary greatly with the section of
water, so it is best to send us an email for information on the section you plan on fishing.
07/28/16 The tailwater below Fontenelle is in good shape and we received some good
reports from it. The freestone section is very low and getting warm in the lower sections.
Fish the uppermost section for the best results. There are still some good hatches in the
middle to upper part. Sculpin streamers and PMDs are working good in the tailwater.
08/04/16 The freestone section is very low and too warm to fish. You may try mornings. The
headwater are cooler but low as well. The tailwater below the dam is producing some nice
trout for our customers. Pale Morning duns and two species of caddis are hatching.
Streamers are working good early mornings.
08/11/16 The river is still too warm in the lower freestone section in our opinion. We don't
recommend fishing water that is above 68 degrees. The upper sections of the freestone
part is in good shape with lots of hatches taking place. The tailwater below Fontenelle
Reservoir is in good shape. We have received some good reports from it lately.
08/18/16 The stream levels in the freestone section are all low. The good news is the water
temperature has dropped some and with the weather turning cooler, that shouldn't be a
problem. The tailwater discharges are low and fishing should be good in all sections of the
river. The upper headwaters have the most hatches and it the best option at this time.
08/25/16 The freestone section of the river is very low. It makes wading easy about
anywhere you fish but it is also easy to spook the trout. Use long, light leaders and tippets.
Fish during low light conditions, cloudy skies or early and late in the day. The discharges in
the tailwater have been normal for the summertime. We received some good reports from
09/01/16 The stream levels are are still very low. You have to stay hidden from the trout
and use longer, lighter leaders and tippets. The weather is a little cooler and that is going to
help. The tailwater is in good shape, with low discharges most of the time making it easy to
wade. Caddisflies represent the majority of the hatches. Tricos are hatching in the slower
sections of water.
09/08/16 The freestone section is low but can still be fished with the cooler weather. You do
need to stay low and hidden from the trout and use longer, lighter leaders. There's a variety
of insects hatch but they vary with the elevation. There are lots of caddisflies. Our
customers have been catching nice trout on Sculpin streamers in the early mornings.
Fishing the late afternoon caddisfly egg laying activity is also productive.
09/15/16 If you like fishing low water, you will have plenty to choose from this coming week.
The freestone section of the Green is low. It can be fished, thanks to cooler weather, but
you will have to stay hidden from the trout and use longer, lighter leaders and tippet. The
tailwater is a good option and the discharges and flows are likely to be just fine, but make
sure you check them. There are still a lot of hatches taking place.
09/22/16 In spite of the low water levels, we had some good reports from customers fishing
the upper headwaters and many little tributaries entering the river near their mouth. The
entire freestone section is below normal and a little to low to suit many anglers but fished
correctly, you can still catch plenty of trout. The cooler weather has the trout much more
active. The tailwater is in good shape with good discharge levels most of the time.
09/29/16 The Green river is one of the very best destinations you could select right now.
The water levels are running about normal in all sections from the headwaters to the
tailwater. Our customers are catching lots of trout. October caddis are thick in some
sections. Blue-winged olives and Mahogany duns are hatching most places. It doesn't get
much better than this at this time of the year.
10/06/16 We complained a long time late summer about low water levels, and you guessed
it, the freestone section is up too high to wade and tough to fish from a drift boat. The
tailwater below Fontenelle Reservoir is in good shape right now, but they may have to
increase the flows to keep the lake level down. As always, you have to check on the
discharge schedule. Fishing has been great in the tailwater.
10/13/16 The freestone section of the river is still in good shape but just a little above
normal flows in most sections. The river is dropping and wading possible in some places
and trough in others. There are some very good Blue-winged olives hatches and still some
Mahogany duns and October Caddis. The tailwater is in great shape and we are getting
some good reports from customers fishing it.
10/20/16 The upper sections of the river are still running a little high. Some sections can be
waded if you are careful, but many can't. The tailwater below Fontenelle Reservoir is in
good shape with low discharges and good stream levels. Blue-winged olives are hatching
throughout the system. There is a chance of rain from next Monday through Wednesday,
10/27/16 The upper river is flowing high and although some sections can be fished by drift
boat, wading is out of the question until the levels fall back down. The tailwater is the best
option but you will have to check the discharge schedule. There are lots of Blue-winged
olives hatching. Western Ginger Quills are hatching.
11/10/16 The freestone section of the Green in still high, too high to safely wade, but falling.
It can be fished by drift boats in some sections but they are high and fast flowing. The
tailwater section is providing some opportunity but it all depends on the discharges.
Otherwise, the river is in good shape with some good Blue-winged olive and Cream midge
11/17/16 The stream levels are still high in the freestone section. You can fish from drift
boats but wading is out in most sections. The tailwater varies but the discharges have been
relatively low at time, allowing some good opportunity. We received two good reports this
past week of some large browns caught on the Sculpin streamers. The weather will be
colder this coming week.
11/24/16 There isn't many changes from the past week on Turkey day. The tailwater below
Fontenelle is still the best option but you have to keep an eye on the releases and levels.
The upper freestone section remains to high to safely wade in most places but okay for drift
boat. Streamers like the Brown sculpin are working goode. Midges, creams and reds and
small BWOs are hatching.
12/01/16 The stream levels are finally down to a normal level in the freestone section of the
river. The water is very cold, averaging in the high thirties up to about 40 degrees. The
preferred section to fish is the Fontenelle tailwater. The water is a little warmer there, in the
low to mid forties. Midges, winter stoneflies and little Blue-winged olives are hatching.