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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!