Friday, April 19, 2013

Green River Baetis hatch

April is the most holy month of the Baetis dun  emergence on The Green River and the nexus of  nice spring weather. In no other month can the angler witness so much surface activity and take so many foolish trout with such ease and on banker's hours. But a few key points must be observed or even the best hand with a fly rod will utterly fail.
                            1. no flock fishing; stalk the banks for a single consistent riser
                            2. sneak down the bank about 20 feet downstream from the target and get down on one knee or stoop low enough to be unseen.
                            3. cast a few feet upstream of the riser, but a bit off to the side so as not to spook it with the leader falling on top of it,  such that the fly will float within a few feet; no need to be dead on target. hungry trout will move over and pick it up.
                               OR sneak upstream, make a short downstream cast, then strip off and shake out enough line for your fly to float down to the feeding fish.
                              4. after the trout takes the fly, wait a fraction of a second till he starts head down. By then his jaws are closed and the hook will take with a gentle lift. 
                              5. Match the hatch:  when trout key on these dun forms, you must use a similar fly. They are so bonded to this bug after a week or so of gorging that they look at nothing else. In fact they often run when presented with a strange fly, not matter how otherwise "attractive".
Blue Quill, BWO, etc.,  one size larger than the 22-24 naturals provides a competitive advantage in that trout go for the larger bug if presented a choice and the angler can find his floating fly easier.
Green River Baetis dun bodies range from dark green to dark gray with the usual grey dun wings so they are easy to make at home too. 
And keep the fly dolled up with plenty of floatent so it rides high, like the floating naturals which trout take in preference to drowned duns i guess because they can't be confused with floating junk. My impression is that trout do not pursue nymphs quickly swimming to the surface because it would be more work than taking slow moving duns which can more leisurely be "supped" off the top.

Angling for select riser, stealth, keeping the sun on your back, short, soft accurate casting above target to avoid disturbance of feeding fish and floating what's on the menu are all ke 
Browns on Section A taking Blue Quill #20, one size larger than the naturals for better visibility and preference of trout for the biggest offering on the water.
Baetis Tricaudatais [nymph has 3 tails; dun has 2 tails], dun stage, resting on the snow. They come off noon to 4ish on days when wind is less than 15 mph, rain or shine.

Notice tiny specks on water, each a dun floating on surface film, preferred over drowned duns or fast moving swimmers on the way to the surface, I presume because they are so still and vulnerable and not confused with floating debris.
Blue Quill # 20 vs. 22-24 naturals
raft of Baetis Tricaudatis after big emergence.


  1. An outstanding trip for dog and man. For trout, maybe not so much...

  2. Firing up the old blog! Nice. :) Lots of good info there! This could be really helpful for someone searching the right queries. Might be interesting to look at your stats and see how many people find this post. I like how Daisy is already springing into action in the picture where you just caught one. Impressive raft of Baetis.

  3. Nice info. We need to go fishing next time you are in town.

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