I’m in Maui where I found warmer weather than home…between 30 – 40 degrees warmer! I brought a vise, tools, and a few materials with me and am tying the wings and tail for a Green Drake Sparkle Dun. That’s right, I almost always take my fly tying materials and tools if I plan to be gone for an extended period of time away from home. While here, I was checking out some YouTube videos and found one from Jensen Fly Fishing about a Green Drake Spinner fall. Do you think it was a coincidence or the river gods speaking to me?
Yes, this image is the spinner phase of my beloved Green Drake mayfly.
Not many fly fishers get to experience a Green Drake Spinner fall. I feel blessed because I’ve seen many of them and I still get excited watching them. I’ve been in the river and watch them flying barely over my head, mating and flying off. A few of them start falling into the water where they can’t escape and floating downstream. It’s the final moments of their life-cycle.
And can you guess what happens next? That’s right, a few heads begin showing themselves
This action describes a mayfly spinner fall.
Here are a few closeup images of spinners on my home waters, the Metolius River.
The clear wings are a tell-tale sign of the spinner phase of a mayfly.
Kind of hard to believe the dun is green like the one below.
Here is a female spinner I found on the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River with an egg sac attached.
You can see from these examples their body colors can be different. Why? I don’t know. It might be due to different sub-species.
A rust colored body isn’t that unusual. If you think about it, a Pale Morning Dun (PMD) turns into a rust colored spinner.
Here are images of the PMD dun and spinner.
And a Rusty Spinner – Biot Body fly to imitate the phase of the PMD.
Spend a few minutes watching Amelia and Dave Jensen’s video. I guarantee you will enjoy it!
Lastly, here is a fly I developed to imitate the Green Drake Spinner. I call it the RiverKeeper Beta Spinner.
Why the name? Well, here is a little known fact about me. I graduated from Oregon State University with a business administration degree and a minor in computer science. Computers have changed a lot since those days, but it’s what helped teach me “logic”. When programs are first developed, the are known as “beta” versions. These are tested and updated with corrections before a final software version is released.
This fly went through several versions before it came out looking like it does.
I’ve been using it for a few years, actually WE have been using if successfully for a few years. You may not believe it, but this simple dry fly fools very picky, large trout. I tie it in sizes 14 – 8 to imitate Green Drakes and Flavs. I’ve changed body colors when needed as we fish different waters that have larger mayfly spinners.
I tried to change the name, but whenever my fishing partner and I ask what fly was working, we’d call it the Beta Spinner. I decided not to force a different name on it.
I’ll publish a YouTube video on my RiverKeeper Flies channel in the near future demonstrating how to tie the fly.