About 15,000 trout per mile are found in the first eight miles of the Green River below Flaming Gorge dam. The large number of trout — and the stunning and breathtaking scenery youвЂ™ll see — make the Green one of the best places in the country to fish for trout. And spring is the prefect time to fish it.
Matt McKell, a fisheries biologist with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, says if you come to the Green in the spring, you wonвЂ™t have to fight crowds like you do in the summer. вЂњDuring summer, the river is used heavily,вЂќ McKell says, вЂњnot only by anglers, but also river rafters.вЂќ
If youвЂ™re a fly angler, another reason to fish the river in spring are some of the major вЂњhatchesвЂќ that occur, including the hatch of mayflies, like the blue-wing olive. Also, depending on the year, the well-known cicada hatch often happens for a brief period in late spring or early summer.
McKell says when the cicada hatch happens вЂњthe river seems to boil with trout as they go into a feeding frenzy over the large, irresistible bugs.вЂќ Trout will willingly take large dry-fly imitations during the cicada hatch. Late spring is also a great time to fish streamers, such as woolly buggers and leeches.
Not just for fly anglers
McKell says a common misconception about the Green River is that you have to be a fly angler to fish it. вЂњWhile itвЂ™s true that flyfishing is the most popular way to fish the Green,вЂќ he says, вЂњflyfishing is not the only way to fish the river.вЂќ McKell says the Green River does have special fishing regulations (for example, you may only use artificial flies and lures), but those regulations are not intended to exclude non-fly fishermen.
вЂњIn other words,вЂќ McKell says, вЂњif you prefer fishing with spinners, jigs or other artificial lures, you can fish the Green River– just make sure your tackle meets the definition of вЂartificial lureвЂ™ in the 2011 Utah Fishing Guidebook.вЂќ
The definition is found on page 66 of the guidebook.В The free guidebook is available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks. McKell says casting crankbaits is a great way to catch trout in the river. Cast deep-running crankbaits in slow, deep runs and shallow runners in shallow, quicker water. вЂњHair jigs are a great option, too,вЂќ he says. вЂњThey can be especially deadly for rainbows.вЂќ
Boat or walk
One way to fish the river is by drift boat — you can bring your own, rent one from a local outfitter or hire a local guide. But a boat isnвЂ™t required. You can also hike several miles of riverside trail and fish from shore, or hike the trails and then wade the shallower areas of the river.
The seven-mile вЂњLittle Hole TrailвЂќ parallels the river all the way from the spillway to Little Hole.В Once you reach Little Hole, youвЂ™ll find a couple mor e miles of trail below it. вЂњThere are lots of ways to get to the fish in the river,вЂќ McKell says.
If youвЂ™ve never been to the Green River, donвЂ™t let that stop you from making the trip.В вЂњPlenty of help — from local fly shops to professional guide services to online resources — are available to get you on the river with the right equipment at the right time,вЂќ McKell says. Abundant food and lodging are also available in the area.
You can read updated fishing reports for the Green River at www.wildlife.utah.gov/hotspots.
DonвЂ™t spread disease
Before stepping into the Green River — or right after stepping out of the water at the end of the day — donвЂ™t forget to clean your boat, boots, waders and other gear. Doing so will help ensure that disease, invasive species and other unwanted organisms arenвЂ™t moved from one water body in Utah to another.