Green Drake

Other Common Name: Great Green Drake
Scientific Names: Drunella grandis, D. doddsi, D. spinefera

Green drakes are crawler-type mayflies that inhabit moderate to fast riffles and runs. Stout and strong, they are seldom swept away and hence anglers don't begin fishing the nymphs until the emeregence season despite their large size.

As they near maturity in late May and early June, the nymphs migrate to moderate flows. At this time they often end up in the drift and trout take them eagerly because the nymphs are big enough to make a real meal deal. Even after the duns start hatching, trout will ignore them and continue to feed on the nymphs for a few more days. A Poxyback Green Drake nymph can be very effective when dead drifted near the bottom, especially near dusk.

Eventually trout awaken to the presence of the duns and become eager for them. Because the duns are large, it takes a long time for their wings to dry. So after the dun emerges on the surface, it floats for long distances on quiet flows--a sitting duck (or sitting drake, if you will) the entire distance.

Because green drakes rarely hatch in large numbers, it is difficult to know where feeding trout are lying until you see a trout rise. Further, hatches occur on quiet runs. For these reasons, a lot of blind casting will only spook the fish. Therefore the best strategy is to refrain from casting until you see a natural insect taken by a trout, then cast to that fish.

Trout feed on the spinners, but spinner falls usually occur after sunset, and Westfly is not about to recommend that you prowl around moving water in the dark.

Two smaller species of green drakes, the slate-winged olives and the flavs , hatch in late summer/early fall. They deserve their own web pages.


How to Match a Green drake

Hatches are matched from Westfly's database of "standard" fly patterns.

Size 8-12 Hares Ear, Poxyback Green Drake. Olive body, dark wing
Size 8-12 Green Drake Cripple. Olive body, dark wing
Slow-moderate runs: standard dry fly
Size 8-12 Green Drake Paradrake. Olive body, dark wing
Slow-moderate runs: standard dry fly


NYMPH COLOR: Browns, olive-brown

DUN SIZE: 11-16 (7/16-5/8 in)

DUN COLOR: Wings--smoky. Body--olive, brown-olive with some yellow highlights

SPINNER SIZE: 11-16 (7/16-5/8 in)

SPINNER COLOR: Wings--clear. Body--red-brown to dark brown; may have yellow highlights.

OTHER CHARACTERISTICS: Nymph of D. grandis and D. spinifera--horny bumps on head and abdomen; all have three tails. Dun and spinner--three tails.