Utah's Green River below Flaming Gorge Reservoir, is one of the finest trout waters in the United States. The river consists of a trout population averaging 6000-8000 fish per mile. It flows through a deep beautiful canyon which walls rise from the banks over three hundred feet strait up in many areas. Large brown, rainbow, cutthroat and hybrid trout all flourish in this big tail-water fishery.
The Green River begins its journey at Flaming Gorge Dam, which is a spectacular site in its self. The dam is approximately three hundred feet high making the parked cars below look like a view from an airplane. Below the dam, the river flows through Red Canyon and can be broken up into three sections. Flaming Gorge Dam to Little Hole (section A), Little Hole to Indian Crossings (section B), and Indian Crossings to Riverside (section C).
"Section A" which is seven and a half miles from Flaming Gorge Dam to Little Hole is the most popular stretch of river. It is the easiest section to access and has the best population of trout. Most people choose to float this section in either a drift boat or raft because of the access.
There is a walking path that traverses the river in this section as well which many people use to walk the north bank of the river. Rainbows, browns, cutthroats and hybrids are all in good numbers throughout this area. The area consists of swift deep pools broken up by fast moving riffles and runs. The water in the upper stretch of river generally runs "gin-clear" even after hard rains.
"Section B" is also a productive stretch of river with more brown trout then any other. The browns also average larger in size below Little Hole and get much less pressure then the trout in "section A". The float from Little Hole to Indian Crossings can be exceptional except after hard rains. After these rains Red Creek, which flows in about midway between the two access points, can make the Green River very off color from dark colored sediment. It may take a few days for the lower half of this stretch to clear after hard rains. This area contains more slow flat pools then the stretch above Little Hole although a serious stretch of rapids makes for an interesting float.
"Section C" is the last area people fish in the region. This stretch, like "section B", can be off color after hard rains because of Red Creek. It is a tremendous stretch when the water is clear. Large browns hold here and can offer excellent fishing when water conditions allow. There are not as many fish in this area but browns upwards of thirty inches have been caught here. This area is difficult to access unless you choose to float. The water in this lower stretch is much slower then the water in the upper reaches below the dam.
Hatches on the Green River include Blue-winged Olives, Tricos, Pale Morning Duns, caddis, and stoneflies. There are also many other insects especially cicadas and terrestrials like ants, beetles, and hoppers. Scuds and nymphs are also very productive and what many people fish religiously. Streamers and big woolly buggers can work well especially in the two lower stretches if the water is off color from Red Creek.
If you come to the Green River, make sure to stop into one of the fly shops in the area. They will be able to tell you what sections of river are fishing the best. There a few Special Regulations as well. If rains have not been a problem, then the lower sections are nice to escape from the crowds. During the summer weekends, the river is a huge recreational attraction, but the trout do not seem to mind the commotion.
Most people choose to fly into Salt Lake City and rent a car. It is a beautiful ride from Salt Lake to Flaming Gorge and the Green River. Make sure to bring along a camera to take pictures of this beautiful river and surrounding canyon.
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