Western Green Drake Nymph
Green drake nymphs are the crawler type of nymph. They are usually found in the fast to
moderately fast water. Like most crawler nymphs, prior to emerging they migrate to the
calmer sections of the stream. This movement may only be a few feet, not a mile. It could
be pockets in pocket water streams or calmer areas along a bank.
There's some difference in the Drunella dodsi and grandis species of the Western Green
Drake nymphs but not enough to make any difference in the way they are imitated or in
the appearance of the fly you use to imitate them. The only real notable difference is that
the doddsi nymphs prefer colder faster moving water. The grandis species is usually
found in slower moving water. Both can and usually do exist in the same streams.
These crawler nymphs are rather stocky. They cannot swim well at all. They have three
very short tails and are usually a brown or blackish brown color. Some ofthem have
yellow tints to them but this depends on the particular stream.
The doddsi nymphs will move from their fast water habitat to slower moving water before
emerging to hatch. This may only be a few feet depending on the particular stream. The
grandis species usually hatch in the moderate water that they live in.
If you are fishing the nymph in waters known for Western Green Drakes at times other
than during a hatch, then the nymphs should be presented right on the bottom. You
should add the appropriate amount of weight necessary to keep the fly on the bottom. If
it's prior to a hatch, meaning the nymphs are moving to places where they will hatch, you
should tend to fish the fly from the faster water into the slower or calmer water.
You may want to try imitating the stocky nymphs a few days prior to a hatch. You will
need to consult our hatch charts to determine when the Green Drakes should hatch for
a particular stream. It varies greatly depending on the location.
Imitating the nymphs in the faster streams with pocket water is best done on the swing.
You can rig the imitation to drift just above the bottom using a strike indicator but it's
best to watch your line and leader for a take. If you make very short up and across cast
and hold your rod high on the swing, you can feel the trout take the fly. This is the
"high stickin" method.
You must be in fast water and approach the runs and riffles carefully to avoid spooking
the trout when you are fishing that short of a line. In smoother water, you may want to
make longer (20 to 25 feet) up and across presentations and follow the drift to the down
and across position. Sometimes a strike indicator is useful in this situation. With or
without the indicator, you should focus on keeping the fly near the bottom.
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