The warmer season on the Green River begins in June each year, when snow showers finally turn into spring rains and the average air temperatures climb into the 70-degree range each day. It is a beautiful time of year. All the trees and streamside vegetation bloom along the river corridor, and from the spillway to Browns Park the river is alive with activity. Wildlife is ever present. Fishermen enjoy the great opportunities available, imitating and fishing the multitude of insects the fish feed on. And last but not least, recreational rafters return to the river after most schools recess for summer vacation.
The Flaming Gorge National Recreational Area offers a lot of recreational opportunities besides the Green River. The reservoir itself is a big attraction, with fishing, boating and water skiing. There are numerous campgrounds that open beginning Memorial Day weekend, or visitors might wish to try out one of the great local lodges this area has to offer. The river itself has a number of great float or hike-in campgrounds below Little Hole. And, of course, the High Uinta Mountains provide myriad other recreational activities for visitors. But let's get back to the Green River and its fishing.
In my last report I gave some information on the megaterrestrial, the cicada. This spring has been the driest in the last five years, providing the best start to this hatch that we have seen since 1995. If the weather stays on its current course and we don't get any that turns extremely cold, this may well be an above-average year or better for this hatch.
The first of June will be the peak of the hatch, with a 30-day ramping down period, unless the early dry spring brings them on ahead of schedule. But either way, expect this hatch to effect the fishing long after the naturals have waned. As attractor patterns, cicada imitations often work well into September and beyond.
Along with these insects there will be a blooming hopper population and an abundance of other terrestrial insects such as beetles and ants. Anglers that ignore their presence will miss an important approach to fishing this river. Aquatic hatches will be important as well, but their strength and duration will not match the intensity of the midges and baetis hatches of the spring.
Several species of caddis will be present and furnish some evening rises that are rare for most of the Green River's year. Pale morning duns will also provide some great fishing around mid-June or later. These are fairly large mayflies for a tailwater fishery, starting early in the hatch as a size 14 and, like the baetis, they get smaller as the hatch progresses. Their numbers are stronger in the lower reaches of the river but are not uncommon in Red Canyon as well. They commonly hatch midmorning and can provide some great fishing in the middle of the day when fishing might otherwise be deemed slow. For those anglers who like to fish deep in the river, scuds and midge imitations will still work wonderfully.