Western Green Drake
Western Green Drakes prefer cold, highly oxygenated water. Streams with both
vegetation and rock bottoms may support green drakes. Normally the hatches start when
the water temperature starts to approach fifty degrees Fahrenheit. This hatch usually
only last for a very few days. Under cloudy conditions, it's possible for each day’s hatch
to last for three or four hours. On bright, sunny days, it usually last only for an hour or so.
The hatch usually occurs mid-morning to around noon but this can vary some with local
There are two major species that anglers need to be concerned with. Our flies match
both species well. It's not necessary to have two different flies for the stages of the Green
Drakes life. They are the grandis and the doddsi species and other subspecies in the
Drunella genus. The doddsi species usually follows the grandis hatch a short time,
usually about two weeks or so.
The doddsi nymphs and duns are generally a tiny bit smaller in size than the grandis.
They are often found in the same water. The doddsi species seems to prefer higher
elevations and faster water. The grandis specie is found in slower moving water than the
doddsi. You could determine the species from looking closely at the nymphs but not the
duns. The nymphs vary slightly but the duns vary little. It would take a microscope to
determine the species of the dun.
Trout can be taken on all stages of the Western Green Drakes life but the dun is
certainly the most popular stage to imitate. The large mayfly floats on the surface a few
seconds and brings about some very good action on the dry fly.
Most of the trout streams in the western states have these mayflies. The hatch times
vary greatly depending on the elevation of the stream and the surrounding mountains.
So much publicity regarding this mayfly has been given to some western streams that the
smaller, less notable Green Drake hatches go unnoticed and in some case, not even
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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