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Green Drake Emerger
By Shane Stalcup

Out West where the Rockies reach to the heavens, a midsummer mayfly hatch occurs warranting just as much admiration. The Green Drake is a big fly by all standards. Colorado is not the only place these insects are found, you will find them on the Henry's Fork in Idaho as well as the Metolius River in Oregon, where by videos were filmed.

The Green Drakes in the Frying Pan River are different from the others. Whe it first hatches, the process takes place at the bottom of the stream, out of sight of the angler. This doesn't happen in every instance but nevertheless this possibility shoud be kept in mind. Once again, knowing something about the actual insect can increase your success and put you that much more ahead of the game. When the Drake hatches, it pulls free from its shuck and swims to the surface. Fish key in on this journey and ignore all else. The large wings are laid back over its pale body giving off a silvery, glistening effect. This look can be achieved with Medallion sheeting and Ice Dubbing for the wing. This is probably the most eye-catching - and therefore fish-attracting - feature of the fly. Using synthetic materials provides a more translucent effect. Natural materials fall short.

Any newly hatched insect is pale and drab in comparison to its adult colors. When choosing a material for the body, keep this in mind. Keep in mind too, the material will darken when it gets wet. If you use white floss, any color can be applied with a Chartpak marker.

The ribbing, which is very pronounced on the Green Drake, requires special attention too. Generally, the segmentations or ribbings are a brownish color, the ones on the Flying Pan lean towards rust. Placing rust-colored tubing over the floss body gives a very realistic appearance. This is even more evident when the body becomes wet.

Materials List:

    Hook:   Targus 2312 or equivalent size 10 - 14.

    Thread:   Match the color of the body.

    Shuck:   Z-lon.

    Body:   Single-strand white floss colored with a Chartpak marker, celery or pale olive.

    Ribbing:   Micro tubing.

    Underwing:   Ice Dubbing.

    Wing:   Medallion sheeting.

    Thorax:   Awesome Possum dubbing.

    Legs:   Partridge.

Instructions - Green Drake Emerger:

    1. Tie in several strands of Z-lon so that it extends out the back of the fly for the shuck.

    2. Tie in the tubing for the dubbing and form a tapered body with the floss. The body should end about 1/4 of the way back from the hook eye.

    3. Color the body with the Chartpak marker. The longer you go over the body with the marker, the darker it will get.

    4. Rib the body with the tubing. The greater you stretch the tubing, the more translucent it will become.

    5. Tie in some Ice Dubbing for the underwing.

    6. Cut a strip of the sheeting to the width you want your wings to be, then tie them in behind the hook eye.

    7. Pull the wings back along the sides of the thorax and tie them down. Tie in some partridge for the legs so that they are on the underside of the fly.

    8. Dub the head.

    9. Trim the wings to shape. The Drake's wing length is longer than usual so make them the length of the body or just a little longer.

    How to Fish the Fly:

    Fish the Green Drake Emerger in the same manner you would fish any emerger, placing floatant on it and fishing it in the film. However, since this fly can also emerge at the streams bottom, you can try another approach. This emerger can be fished like a traditional wet fly or even a nymph with added weight place on the leader. When using weight, as the fly tumbles along the bottom of the river, swim the fly to the surface in the same manner you would a caddis pattern. With a mouthful of this fly passing by a hungry fish, the results can be amazing. ~ Shane Stalcup

    Credits: This fly is an excerpt from Mayflies "Top to Bottom" by Shane Stalcup, published by Frank Amato Publications. There is a review of this book in A Fly Fisher's Library by Stu Farnham.


For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.


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