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
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
Headlines: The discharges and
resulting stream levels are normal
and the water clear. We continue to
get good reports from customers
fishing. Fish the upper section, as
near the dam (below bouys) and
downstream only a few miles. The
water is warmer. Click the above
Fishing report link for more
information on the conditions.
Map of Green River, Wyoming
Copyright 2020 James Marsh
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