A lot of us fellow Georgians do quite a bit of traveling to the west in the spring and summer months. It’s no secret that one of the most famous bugs on those big western rivers is the Green Drake mayfly. This particular pattern was developed by one of the greats, in terms of western trout fishing, Rene Harrop. This fly has seen a lot of success on the legendary section of the Henry’s Fork know as “The Ranch”. It could be said that The Ranch gave Rene the inspiration to design a fly that imitates a Green Drake struggling to get out of its exoskeleton as a nymph, which is known as a cripple. Assuming that you have a good drag free drift these flies look like easy pickings for those massive trout on the Ranch.

Material List

Thread: 8/0 Veevus black

Hook: Umpqua TMC 100 Sz 14

Tail: Mallard Flank Fibers Natural

Shuck: Green Antron

Abdomen: Goose Biots Olive

Thorax: Super Fine Dry Fly Dubbing Blue Wing Olive

Wings: CDC Natural Dun Strips (not puffs)

Hackle: Whiting Dry Fly Hackle 1/2 Cape Grizzly

Step 1: This is pretty straight forward, go ahead and start your thread. Bring the thread wraps all the way back to the point of the hook.

Atlanta Fly FIshing

Good mallard flank is key. Look for solid barring with crisp transitions.

 

 

Step 2: Peel back your feather of Mallard Flank, and cut 6-7 fiber off of the feather itself. Measure the shank of the hook with the mallard flank and tie the tail in where you stopped your thread. I like to keep the fibers uncut at this point, however this is personal preference.

Atlanta Fly Fishing

Antron is the foundation for the rear portion of this fly.

 

Step 3: Pull off roughly about 1 1/2 inches of antron from the spool, and cut it. Tie the antron in at the same spot that the mallard flank is tied in. Then cut the antron on the tail side of the fly to resemble the picture. The shuck does not have to be very long.

 

Step 4: Cut the mallard flank fiber and antron, and take your thread to roughly the middle of the hook shank. Wrap your thread back to where the antron is visible.

Atlanta Fly Fishing

Hackle pliers make your life much easier for small delicate materials.

 

Step 5: Grab your goose biots and select a nice piece. Tie the tip of the single biot onto the shank right in front of the antron. Wrap your thread back to roughly the middle of the hook shank.

 

Step 6: Wrap the biot away from you in a way that causes the black edge of the biot to create a segmented body. Wrap all the way to your thread and tie off the biot.

 

Atlanta Fly Fishing

Fine dubbing wraps around the hook much easier than other dubbings. It also resist water much better than other dubbing.

 

Atlanta Fly Fishing

Keep an eye out on your dubbing noodle as keeping good segmentation is critical for this fly.

 

Step 7: Dub your thread with the Super Fin Dry Fly Dubbing. Wrap a couple of thread wraps to create the thorax of the fly.

Atlanta Fly Fishing

CDC is a magical ingredient for dry flies.

 

Atlanta Fly Fishing

Sharp scissors really help with getting a clean cut on your CDC.

 

Step 8: Select a good piece of CDC (with any natural material you will cull about 40%). Tie the CDC in, being sure to tie the tips facing the hook eye. As you tie the CDC in make sure you tie the feather down enough to make the gap for your hackle to rest in. Cut the CDC above the dubbing thorax, creating a small wing case.

Atlanta Fly FIshing

Half capes are a great option if budget is an issue.

 

Atlanta Fly Fishing

When you are looking at hackle make sure the transitions are crisp between colors.

 

Atlanta Fly Fishing

Even Nathan needs some oversight every now and then.

 

Atlanta Fly Fishing

When you are making precision cuts always keep your materials grouped up and away from your area of cutting. Nothing is worse than cutting your hackle but also cutting your thread this late in the game.

 

 

Step 9: While working with hackle it is important to get rid of the “Fluffy” fibers at the base of the piece of hackle. Tie in the hackle in rear of the gap that was made, using the base of the piece of hackle.

 

Step 10: Wrap the hackle tightly, making sure that the wraps are close to each other. Wrap the hackle all the way to the front piece of CDC and tie the hackle off. Whip finish in front of the CDC causing it to stand up.

 

This pattern can be used to imitate any mayfly with the appropriate color combination. With smaller hooks in the sixe 16 to 18 range this can be used to imitate Blue Wing Olives while keeping this color scheme.  Spin a few of these bugs up and let us know what you think!