Warmer Weather and the Western Green Drake Hatch!
“Magnificent Mayflies” is what these beauties ought to be called, as they are big, fluttering, lumbering bugs that come on from June through September. They are found anywhere from the Rockies to California to Alaska. In Colorado, they seem to peak in August. And, while they can be found in many places in the state, my favorite place to fish them is on the Roaring Fork River and the famous Fryingpan River.
Now, if you want to have a few drinks, eat late, stay up late and tell stories, you will cherish the life of the Green Drakes. Aspen, Basalt and Carbondale Colorado are certainly places to do all of these decadent activities. And, all three towns are within spitting distance to those two rivers. Because the Green Drakes don’t really get started until late morning, you can do the evenings, get up late and you are right on schedule. Many feel that the best “drake” fishing comes mid afternoon into the evening. I guess we could also dub these mayflies as “gentlemen’s flies” for the hours they keep.
Lodging reservations can be tight during August, as the informed want to get in on the Green Drake activity. So, plan accordingly. And, you will make a big mistake if you do not visit the Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt. Those guys can set you straight on the rivers, sell you the right equipment and provide you guide service if you need it. You do want to have the right stuff as the fish know the difference.
Speaking of stuff, the Green Drake imitations are, for the most part, big (sizes 12 and 10). What fun to throw these flies after a spring and early summer of size 22-20 midges. If you have never fished this event, by all means go do it. Watching a fish come up and smacking a big dry fly will provide memories of a lifetime.
* Featured Image above: donbastianwetflies.com