Top 3 Flies for Spring on the Green River

A Green River brown trout snacks on early season Baetis duns.
Photo by Doug Roberts

The Green River tailwaters are a popular destination among anglers and recreationists alike during summer, but they are less-trafficked during colder months. If you’re not the type to balk at a little snow on the banks, springtime fishing on the Green can often combine the best of both worlds: more active fish and fewer active people. Mayfly hatches have begun again, and the water has warmed up enough to make streamers a viable option, as well, giving anglers a wide variety of choices. Doug Roberts—operator of Old Moe Guide Service in Dutch John, Utah—offers up his picks for the top 3 flies for spring fishing on the Green.

1. Sparkle Dun

The Sparkle Dun is the perfect dry fly to imitate many different mayflies, but I use it during spring to imitate Baetis mayflies. There are pods of trout that sip adults and emergers from the surface during the mid-day hatch, and the Sparkle Dun works very well in those situations.

2. Pheasant Tail

The Pheasant Tail is a tried-and-true pattern that works well for imitating the Baetis mayflies which are so prolific here. You can drift it deep under an indicator or shallow under a dry fly. I like to use these during the two-hour period leading up to the hatch.

3. Articulated Streamers

Articulated streamers of all colors and sizes work well in the spring on the Green. My favorite colors are white, black, and olive. These patterns work best early and late in the day, before and after the Baetis hatch, when the dry-fly and nymph fishing have slowed down. Try stripping streamers or even dead-drifting them in deep runs with an occasional twitch. 

Doug Roberts owns and operates Old Moe Guide Service, which specializes in fishing the Green River.

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