If you’ve followed RiverKeeper Flies for a while, it won’t come as a surprise I might be a little obsessed with Green Drakes, from tying effective imitations, fishing the flies during a hatch, and creating images through my photography. In fact, I’ve been thinking about them all week. I taught a Zoom fly tying class last week for my Central Oregon Fly Tyer’s Guild and one of the flies was a Green Drake CDC Loop Wing Emerger. While I was tying them, I decided to add the fly to my YouTube channel. You’ll find the link below as well as other favorite Green Drake fly patterns and a few images of the insects.

Green Drake - Head-on | www.johnkreft.com

Blind luck took us to the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, ID last year and we had a terrific time fishing the Brown and Green Drake hatch. As you can see from the image below, we weren’t the only ones on the water. I had heard it would be busy and thought about passing on the opportunity, but like normal, my wife was right and encouraged me to give it a try as we could easily return to the Madison River around $3 Bridge if the fishing didn’t pan out. As I recall, we’d heard about the Salmonfly and Golden Stone hatch around Ashton, but we didn’t make it that far.

Look closely at the image below. At first you’ll notice all the fly fishers. But a focus on the white spots up and down the river. Those are Franklin Gulls.

Henry's Fork Crowd | www.johnkreft.com

These gulls would show up when the hatch began and swoop down to pick off adults floating on the surface. On more than one occasion, they tried to eat my Green Drake Sparkle Dun and I had to pull it away from them!

I found the low-profile of the Green Drake CDC Loop Wing Emerger to be highly effective.

Green Drake CDC Loop Wing Emerger | www.johnkreft.com

The gulls bypassed my imitation and I was able to obtain a longer drift…and the fish liked it!

Rainbow at Last Chance | www.johnkreft.com

I’d like to share some of my favorite Green Drake natural images with you. There is a wonderful hatch on my home waters of the Metolius and these images combine them with those from the Henry’s Fork and the Big Hole.

And two Green Drake spinners:

I’ll end with a few of my favorite fly patterns to imitate Green Drakes:

And three more:

Here is a link to my RiverKeeper Flies YouTube channel and the Green Drake CDC Loop Wing Emerger tying video:

It’s the second YouTube video I’ve published in the last week. The first one was the IOBO Humpy.

Be sure to click the COMMENT tab on the menu above if you have other ideas where I can find some great Green Drake fly fishing and would like to share them with me.

Enjoy…go fish, stay safe!

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  1. John – it was a pleasure meeting you on one of my favorite rivers. I enjoyed giving the green drake nymph a try. While I didn’t have success with it yet, I’ll give it another try on the weekend. I completely switched gears and connected a size 18 soft hackle dropper to a dry fly…and had remarkably good success.

    Jeff (Minnesota)

  2. John, a pleasure to watch your video. It is nice to have the perspective from behind the fly as you tie because the shirt gives a neutral background without clutter and stable focus on the fly. Also the presentation of materials is helpful and in focus! Awesome videography, great narration.

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words. I’m still learning how to make effective fly tying videos. It’s something new to me. I just published another one, the Manhattan Midge and the BWO CDC & Biot is the next one. Hope you enjoy them.


  3. Pardon my own lack of knowledge but is the green drake a fly we would use here in Southern Oregon?
    I am sure this fly would imitate or come close enough that the fish won’t notice or am I being naïve?

    1. Sorry, but I haven’t fished S Oregon to know if drakes are there or not. Check with others in your fly club or contact a local fly shop. Not much help…sorry.

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