Green Drake Cripple

Created by Bob Quigley


"Cripple" patterns represent mayflies that are either just emerging or that got stuck in the shuck while emerging. In either case, the insect isn't going anywhere soon. Trout recognize this vulnerable condition and feed eagerly on cripples when they see them. When you're confronted with a blizzard hatch, where your fly is one small speck among hundreds or thousands of natural insects, a cripple pattern is a great way to induce trout to take your fake.


There are four common green drake species in Western rivers: Drunella grandis, D. doddsi, D. flavilinea, D. coloradensis. The first two are usually lumped together as green drakes while the latter two are often referred to as flavs and slate-winged olives, respectively. Different sizes of flies are needed.

In brown colors, this pattern can also be used to match an emerging or crippled brown drake mayfly.

How to Fish

Dress the front half of the fly (only) with floatant and present on a dead-drift with standard dry fly tactics. Because green drake hatches are usually sparse, you can put the trout down if you cast blindly. Wait until you know where a trout is rising, then put the fly in its feeding lane.

HOOK: TMC 900BL, sizes 8-12


TAIL: Tan or light gray Z-lon

BODY: Olive rabbit

THORAX: Olive rabbit

WING: Deer hair

HACKLE: Grizzly